Local events on the horizon for Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Published 8:16 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Northeast Tennessee is encourage to ‘go purple’ this month.

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June is recognized as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month and citizens throughout the area will have the opportunity to learn and combat a disease that affects 47 million people worldwide.

“This is a special time of the year to highlight the struggles and the positives of what can come from Alzheimer’s, dementia and any other brain disease,” said Tracey Kendall, regional director of Alzheimer’s Tennessee. “I think there’s a lot of people who don’t know much about Alzheimer’s and dementia unless they’ve had someone in their family, or know someone that has it.”

Alzheimer’s Tennessee was founded in 1983 by Tennessee families and professional. The group currently operates as a 501(c)(3), independent, nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors that advocate services for more than 120,000 individuals and families facing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the state.

Throughout the month of June, Kendall said Alzheimer’s Tennessee will host a variety of events throughout Elizabethton and Johnson City to help raise awareness.

“This month is very caregiver educational,” she said. “I have family members that have been affected so I understand what people go through. Our goal is to help provide education for the community.”

The organization is providing their ‘Caring & Coping’ Caregiving Conference in Johnson City on Thursday, June 16, at Boones Creek Christian Church. The events allows people from the area to learn about caring for loved ones afflicted by the disease and will feature Melanie Bunn, RN, MS, GNP, who will present “Navigating the Journey of Dementia – Where do we go and how do we get there?,” showcasing different aspects on how to care for individuals.

To register for the event, visit alzTennesse.org or call 330-4532. The cost to register is $25 and $45 for healthcare professionals (CEU credits are available). Registering for the event includes materials, lunch and refreshments.

Kendall added that the organization will hit the ground running in Elizabethton, working with various healthcare providers on educational items for this month. The group will be active in the city on Monday, June 13, with Awareness Bingo at the Elizabethton Senior Center from 5 to 7 p.m. with food, games and socialization expected, Kendall said.

The group will host their regularly scheduled Alzheimer’s Caregiver support group meeting at Sycamore Springs Senior Living Community off of West Elk Avenue from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., which will be recognized this month as a ‘special celebration’, according to Kendall. The group meets every third Monday of the month at the same time and location.

With various activities going on, fundraising efforts begin Friday, June 10, with the inaugural Northeast Tennessee Regional Office’s Tri-Cities Light the Way with Alzheimer’s Tennessee fundraising effort set to last from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union community room, located on Bobby Hicks Highway in Gray.

The event will provide an update on the regional office, overview of Tri-Cities Light the Way movement.

Friday’s kickoff event will be followed by the Light the Way event on Saturday, July 16, at the Gray Fossil Site in Washington County with the start time pegged at 10 a.m.

Various door prizes, entertainment, including Kryss Dula & Friends, will be available while the organization will be accepting donations.

For more information on the various events coming to the area, information on caregiving or other items, contact the regional office at 423-330-4532.