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Caregivers can learn about dementia care in a class starting today in Bellefonte and Mifflintown

Carlos Osorio/AP
The four-part Living with Dementia series starts Wednesday, August 31, 2022 at Centre Care just outside of State College and at 4 Seasons Senior Center in Mifflintown.

The Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing is launching a new educational series to support caregivers for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. The four-part series offers practical tools, realistic tips and reliable community resources for caregivers.

The college’s Janice Whitaker said the educational sessions are part of their “Age-Friendly Care PA” project aimed at improving care for older adults.

“We know there is a great need for knowledge as well as skills related to caring for people with dementia,” Whitaker said. “It’s not an easy thing to do.”

Whitaker said a unique part of this programming is the inclusion of a Memory Café which provides programs for those with dementia while their caregivers attend the classes.

“It provides the care-partner an opportunity to go to the informational session while their loved one with dementia is in a very safe, comfortable, engaging environment,” Whitaker said.

She hopes that the series will inspire confidence in caregivers when it comes to helping their loved ones.

“Caregiving can be very challenging and very tiring, so we’re really hoping that people gain not only knowledge and skills, but they gain a sense of, a kind of confidence in terms of caregiving, as well as access to resources and support,” Whitaker said.

The first sessions in the Living with Dementia series take place Wednesday at the 4 Seasons Senior Center in Mifflintown at noon and at Centre Care in Bellefonte (just east of State College) at 4:30 p.m. Caregivers do not have to attend all four classes in the series.

Advanced registration is required, and Memory Café space is limited.

Casey Zanowic is a WPSU radio news intern for fall 2022.