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BEDFORD, N.H. — Vermont residents are invited to a free educational conference hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association New England Region for individuals living with dementia and their families. The two-day New England Family Conference will take place on Feb. 3 and 4. The virtual event is free and open to individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, family caregivers and the general public. New this year, live translation in Spanish will be offered during the entire conference.

“People living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and their caregivers face special challenges. Connecting families with useful information to understand what to expect can help them prepare to meet the changes ahead. This conference is about helping provide those families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease with the tools and support to navigate the difficult journey,” said Jim Wessler, New England regional leader for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Experts in the field of care and support will share practical and concrete recommendations, resources, and guidance in the care and support for those living a life with dementia. Sessions include “Living Well with Cognitive Challenges: Tips and Strategies”; “Creating a Healthy and Safe Environment for Living with Dementia”; “Expressive Therapy: A Little-Known Formula for Easing Stress and Anxiety”; and a special Spanish-language caregiver session. The two-day program also features a panel of individuals living with Alzheimer’s, as well as a panel of caregivers.

“I think the most valuable aspect of a caregiver panel is the experience being shared. It’s important to realize you are not alone. The feelings you experience are valid. Understand losing your patience is not unusual. Don’t berate yourself. Find someone who ‘gets it.’ The people sharing their caregiving experiences want to do what they can to help you handle your own experience,” said Barbara Meehan, former caregiver and panelist for this year’s New England Family Conference.

In New England, there are more than 302,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease, and roughly 596,000 individuals are serving as unpaid family caregivers. For a full list of sessions, topics and speakers, and to register for the New England Family Conference, visit alzfamilyconference.org.


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