Improving communications with Alzheimer’s patients


DAYTON—The Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter is hosting two programs, one in-person and one virtual, at the end of November to help families learn more about the basics of Alzheimer’s and new ways to connect with their loved ones.

The programs will be offered at the following times:

Effective Communication Strategies from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Dayton Metro Library – Vandalia Branch, 330 S. Dixie Drive in Vandalia.

Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, on Zoom.

Pre-registration is required. To register for one of these programs, call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900. Instructions for how to join the webinar will be emailed following registration.

“Both of these programs answer questions that may arise for families at any stage of the Alzheimer’s journey,” said Annemarie Barnett, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley and Greater Cincinnati Chapters. “With both in-person and virtual program options, we want to make our programs as accessible as possible for families during the busy holiday season.”

During Effective Communication Strategies, attendees will learn that communication is more than just talking and listening — it’s also about sending and receiving messages through attitude, tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. As people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias progress in their journey and the ability to use words is lost, families need new ways to connect. Join this program to explore how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s, learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

The Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia live webinar will teach viewers that Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Attend this program to learn about the impact of Alzheimer’s; the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia; stages and risk factors; current research and treatments available for some symptoms; and Alzheimer’s Association resources.

“Whether your family has just received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, or you have been living with this disease for some time, similar questions may arise about symptoms, treatments, or changes in communication or behavior,” Barnett said. “Please join us for these programs to get your questions answered and learn how the Alzheimer’s Association can help you and your family.”

In 2021, there were 220,000 Ohioans age 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association “2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.” That number is expected to increase to 250,000 by 2025.

Those concerned about themselves or a loved one can contact the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter office at 937-291-3332 to schedule a care consultation with a social worker who can offer connections to local resources that can help.