Alzheimer’s caregiver conference Sept. 17

In Washington, more than 107,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease. In most cases, care is provided by unpaid family caregivers. Without their care, many families would be facing untold financial hardships.

The annual Pierce County Alzheimer’s Caregiver Conference will provide information and practical skills for individuals who are providing care or seeking more knowledge about Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The free event will be held on Sept. 17 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Tacoma, located at 1315 N. Stevens St. Refreshments will be provided. Organizers said RSVPs are requested at 253-798-8787 or

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr. Stephen Thielke of the University of Washington’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Thielke will discuss types of dementia, their related behaviors and ways of dealing with them.

Participants will have the opportunity to focus on their own particular needs in six breakout sessions titled:

  • Legal Issues and Medicaid.
  • Challenging Behaviors and Meaningful Activities.
  • Paying for Care.
  • Physical Environment and Home Modifications.
  • End of Life, Palliative and Hospice Care.
  • Hands-on Experience of Dementia.

In addition to the workshops and breakout sessions, local providers will offer information and resources about their services, including in-home care, respite, medical support, legal assistance, long-term care, skilled nursing, memory care, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center.

The conference has been approved by the state Department of Social and for continuing education for state long-term care workers. They can receive four hours of credit by checking in at registration no later than 8:30 a.m. and staying for the entire program until 1 p.m.