Conference educates caregivers about Alzheimer's disease

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC) - A conference in Olive Branch taught caregivers how to deal better with a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease.

The conference hosted dozens of exhibits with tools and educational material to help caregivers.

Dealing with loved ones with Alzheimer's is a full time job. It's something Marilyn Kelley has done for the last 10 years. Her mother-in-law and husband both have dementia

"It's a very taxing role," Kelley said. "It's a very lonely role."

Tuesday she was not alone. She joined joined dozens of others at Longview Heights Baptist Church in Olive Branch for a caregivers conference. Each one takes care of a loved one with Alzheimer's. They were all hoping to learn how to cope.

"The most difficult part is every day is a new day," Kelley said. "When you wake up in the morning you don't know what you are going to be faced with."

Susan Crowson works for Baptist Hospital's Memory Care Center. She said with baby boomers getting older, more people are being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

In Tennessee there are 110,000 with the disease. In Mississippi 53,000 have Alzheimer's.

Crowson said short term memory loss is the first sign your loved one has the disease.

"If you remember that you forgot, it's OK," Crowson said. "If you forgot that you forgot, it's not OK."

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