HCMC & the Mid South Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association Host Support Group Facilitator Training

PARIS, TN – When someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease, it can be confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming not only for the person, but also for the entire family. Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, as the sixth leading cause of death for American adults.

Two of the main risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are genetics and age. If you have a family history of this disease, it is important to share this information with your physician. It is also important to watch for symptoms as we age. For most people, symptoms begin after age 60, and the risk for Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after age 65.

Early Alzheimer’s disease warning signs include:

  • Memory loss that disrupts normal daily activities
  • Taking longer to complete daily tasks
  • Confusion with time and location
  • Recent issues with speech or writing
  • Repeating questions
  • Poor judgment
  • Losing things
  • Being unable to retrace steps
  • Changes in mood and personality

1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s. Between 2017 and 2025 every state is expected to see at least a 14% rise in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s. There has been an 89% increase in deaths due to Alzheimer’s between 2000 and 2014. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in TN and ranks as the 7th highest state for such deaths.  In TN, there are approximately 435,000 caregivers caring with their loved ones with this disease.

With these statistics, it confirms our need for a support group in Henry County to help those caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.  June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and with that, HCMC is working with the Alzheimer’s Association to provide a support group facilitators training on Wednesday, June 13 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in HCMC Classrooms 2 & 3.

The training is free and open to anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer support group facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer’s Association provides all the resources for the training with coffee and snacks provided.  The first hour includes an educational program on what Alzheimer’s is, the different types of behaviors that patients can exhibit as well as effective ways to communicate with the patients. The second half of the training participants will discuss different dynamics of support groups as well as services that the Alzheimer’s Association provides free for the community and volunteer facilitators. The participants will explore different vignettes and experiences of actual West Tennesseans and how each caregiver handled the situation.

If you are interested in attending this training, please call 731-644-3463 to hold your spot or e-mail Laura Pate at lpate@alz.org for more information.  You can also register online at www.hcmc-tn.org.

About Henry County Medical Center
Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region.  Including a 142-bed hospital and other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Additionally, HCMC owns and operates 8 provider clinics in various specialties.  Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: www.hcmc-tn.org.