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The Morning Pointe Foundation, with guest speaker David Hutchings, Ph.D., recently presented a virtual seminar educating family caregivers and professionals in the senior care industry on Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The presentation on Nov. 10 was the latest in the Morning Pointe Foundation’s Caregiver Café series, free webinars providing education for seniors, their families and other caregivers. This session was the foundation’s first Caregiver Café to offer CEUs/contact hours to registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and master’s of social work.

Hutchings is a geriatric neuropathology and dementia specialist. Live attendees asked questions at the end of the session, and those signed up for CEUs took a brief survey after the webinar’s conclusion. The credit was administered by a partnership with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

“Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process,” Hutchings said. “We don’t just get older and develop dementia, but we see things that are cognitive impairments that are not a part of normal aging.”

For example, Hutchings listed frequent memory lapses, forgetting how to do things, difficulty learning new materials, repeating questions or conversations, indecisiveness, difficulty handling money and losing track of daily events.

“[With dementia,] we see emotional abilities change,” said Hutchings. “We see fluctuations in mood. We see personality changes. We see the loss of ability to problem solve.”

Hutchings touched on not only Alzheimer’s but other types of dementia such as vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease dementia and the importance of correct diagnosis for appropriate treatment.

He also talked about genetic risks, the stages of dementia and managing advanced symptoms. For example, timing medication for mid- to late afternoon may help a dementia patient experience fewer negative “sundowning” behaviors.

“I learned so much from the webinar,” said participant Barbara Pedigo. “Dr. Hutchings had an excellent presentation. Thank you for the opportunity to participate.”

The session is available to watch on the Morning Pointe Foundation website: https://morningpointe.com/caregiver-cafe/.

The Morning Pointe Caregiver Café wellness series connects experts on senior living and care with those experiencing the physical and mental effects of aging and their families.

The Morning Pointe Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Morning Pointe Senior Living founded by Tennessee-based senior healthcare entrepreneurs Greg A. Vital and J. Franklin Farrow. The 501(c)3 nonprofit public service organization was created in 2014 to provide caregiver support programs, sponsor educational awareness events, and fund clinical scholarships to advance the care of seniors throughout the Southeast.

Morning Pointe Senior Living, headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, develops, owns, and manages 37 Morning Pointe personal care, assisted living, and The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence memory care communities in five southeastern states. The company is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022.


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