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Free family caregiver workshop June 17 in Benton

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LITTLE ROCK – The Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will hold a free family caregiver workshop June 17 for those who would like to learn about caring for an adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

The workshop will be held 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Saline County Library at 1800 Smithers Drive in Benton. For more information or to register, please email skumpuris@uams.edu or call 501-603-1967.

The Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative, funded by a Health Resources and Services Administration grant of $2.4 million for a Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program, and AARP Arkansas are sponsoring the workshop.

Taught by Theresa Horton, M.N. Sc., Certified Nurse Practitioner and director of education for the South Central Center on Aging, the workshop will present an overview of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and provide caregiving tips that maintain respect, dignity and quality of life for the person living with dementia. Information will also be presented on nutrition, behavior, communication techniques and activities.

About 452,000 family caregivers in Arkansas provide an estimated $4.7 billion in unpaid care each year, helping their loved ones with bathing and dressing, cooking meals, transportation, finances and complex medical tasks like wound care and injections.

AARP Arkansas State Director Herb Sanderson said support for family caregivers, including making available free training opportunities, represents a top priority for AARP, which has more than 300,000 members in Arkansas, 50 years old or older.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system, serving a crucial role in helping older Arkansans and other loved ones remain in their own homes and communities,” Sanderson said. “Because of their tireless efforts, older parents, spouses, and other loved ones are able to live independently at home and in the community – where they want to be. It’s a labor of love, and often more than a full-time job.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as health care security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @aarp and our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.

The UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging serves the needs of an aging generation with the highest standards of research and care. It was established through a 1997 gift of $28.8 million from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and expanded through a 2009 foundation gift of $33.4 million. Within the institute is the Arkansas Aging Initiative (AAI), created from part of Arkansas’ share of the Master Tobacco Settlement to improve the health of older Arkansans through interdisciplinary clinical care and innovative education programs, and to influence state and national health policy. The AAI created seven Centers on Aging throughout the state to provide senior adults access to quality care within a 60-mile drive from their homes. These centers offer the Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program so older adults might have more opportunities to remain at home.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and two dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com.

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