Changes that occur within dementia process part of awareness program


Area residents who are interested in gaining a deeper insight into the physical and cognitive changes
that occur in the various stages of dementia are invited to participate in several Dementia Awareness
Program workshops at Owens Community College.
Owens will offer two different workshops as part of the program on Aug. 14. The first seminar, which is
intended for family members and home caregivers of individuals with dementia, will take place from 9
a.m. to noon. The college’s second class is designed for health care professionals who work with
dementia patients and will occur from 1 to 5 p.m. The classes will be held at the college’s Workforce
and Community Services building on Tracy Road in Northwood.
Earlier this year, Owens established the Dementia Awareness Program with the overall goal of providing
individuals with an enhanced understanding of dementia, which annually affects over 24 million
individuals worldwide, as well as a deeper sense of empathy toward those with dementia and educational
tools for a more healthy and productive interaction between caregivers and dementia patients.
According to Jennifer Finch, adjunct faculty member in the college’s massage therapy program and Dementia
Awareness Program instructor, dementia is a mind-altering and devastating illness, both for those who
have it and for their caregivers.
"The more knowledge individuals have about dementia, the better able they are to care for those who
have it and themselves as caregivers. Increased knowledge leads to better care, which eventually leads
to less stress for the caregiver," stated Finch, who is a nationally certified Dementia
Practitioner and has 12 years of experience working in long-term care facilities helping patients and
families adjust to life with dementia.
Workshop instruction will include discussion about the physical and cognitive changes that are occurring
within the dementia process, which is a progressive deterioration of the brain that leads to problems in
areas such as memory, learning and perception, as well as the physiological reasons behind the changes.
Attendees will also obtain tools for enhancing effective communication that will allow for more
meaningful interactions and visits, fostering a deeper sense of empathy and compassion, and minimizing
behavioral episodes common with the various stages of dementia between patients and the caregiver or
family members.
The registration fee for each workshop is $49. For more information, or to register for the classes, call
(567) 661-7357 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7357.

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