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In partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, Charnitta Waters, Senior Services Senior Director of Operations will be speaking at the Caregiver Bootcamp at Wesleyan University on Tuesday, April 23rd.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Alzheimer’s disease takes a toll not only on the person who has it, but also on their caregivers as well. Tuesday in Virginia Beach, the Alzheimer’s Association is running a Caregiver Bootcamp to help caregivers help themselves.

About 350,000 Virginians are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, and many feel they have no choice and often report high levels of stress, which puts their own health at risk.

“How do you care for one if you’re not caring for yourself,” said Senior Director of Operations for Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, Charnitta Waters. “We want to make sure we are taking care of those who are taking care of others.”

Caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients may not even know how stressed they are.
Signs of caregiver stress include:

  • Denial about the disease and how it’s effecting the person you love.
  • Anger at the person with Alzhemiers becasue they can’t do what they used to.
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Health problems

Caregiver Bootcamp aims to provide tools to navigate the challenges of caring for a loved one while prioritizing self-care.

Waters will be one of 6 experts sharing strategies and services.

“So we provide that personal care [and] homemaker services so that the caregiver can have an opportunity to step outside of the home and do what they need to do,” she said.

There will also be doctors who specialize in Alzheimer’s and dementia care there, including the Director of the Memory Consultation Clinic at the Glennan Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Dr. Hamid Okhravi.

A fitness expert and representative from the Beltone hearing aid company will also be on hand to help you take better care of yourself so you can take better care of your loved one.

Caregiver Bootcamp begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach. Register here.