Those recently diagnosed with a memory-related disorder might not know where to turn next, but they can gain insight into their disease Saturday through a free workshop.
Safety Solutions, a seminar offered by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office's TRIAD program and the Alzheimer's Association Augusta Regional Office, will take place from 9:45 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 825 North Belair Road, Evans.
"The sheriff's office TRIAD program is a program that we have here which deals with crime prevention for the elderly," said Lt. Patricia Champion, of the sheriff's office's Community Services Unit. "In dealing with crime prevention, we also deal with any kind of safety precautions, information or tools for the elderly in our community."
The workshop is designed to provide tips and safety information for caregivers, senior citizens and people recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia.
Topics to be addressed include home and driving safety.
"Safety is one of the main issues," said Kathy Tuckey, the program and services director for the Alzheimer's Association Augusta Regional Office. "So many times, families, until they're confronted with the problem, (are) not prepared for it."
Also, the topic of wandering will be discussed, and attendees can view a demonstration of Project Lifesaver, a program that can track the location of a person wearing a bracelet detectable by radio signal.
Tuckey said that 60 percent of Alzheimer's patients will wander from their homes.
Also during the seminar, Dr. Suzanne Smith, a neurologist and director of the Medical College of Georgia's Memory Disorder Clinic, will present an overview of dementia.
Champion said Saturday's workshop will mark the first session of this type offered by the two agencies and will provide members with tips on keeping themselves or loved ones safe.
The point of the seminar, Champion said, is to "help people better understand what they're dealing with when they are dealing with a loved one who has any of these diseases as far as Alzheimer's or dementia."
She said she hopes people become aware of the options available locally to those with such illnesses.
"There are certainly a number of resources through the Alzheimer's Association and a number through the sheriff's office that people just are not aware of, so we want to make them aware of some of the things that we have to offer them," Champion said.
Lunch will be provided, and reservations are required by Tuesday. Registration will begin at 9:15 a.m. Saturday. Class spaces are limited, Tuckey said.
"It will keep loved ones safe," she said.
"They'll have the tools to do it."
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