A special weekend program at Brenau University’s School of Occupational Therapy sought to address challenges faced by caregivers dealing with individuals suffering from dementia. The Gerontology Conference and Dementia Care Workshop at the Brenau University Downtown Center drew more than 250 Brenau faculty and students Saturday from occupational therapy, physical therapy, nursing and gerontology programs, as well as caregivers, family members of dementia patients, assisted living facility workers and community members.
One in 5 families now deal with members suffering from dementia. Teepa Snow, founder of Positive Approaches to Care in Efland, N.C., predicted that within 15 years, half of families will do so. “Caregivers need to learn how to deliver better quality care, and we also need to figure out how to care for caregivers as well as people who are living with the disease,” she said. Dr. Wendy Holmes, Brenau occupational therapy professor, said the goal of the workshop was to get many people from the community involved in the education process related to dementia. “It really takes a community to care for people with dementia,” Holmes said.