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Sept. 12 Face of the Day: Kari McElderry

The Daily Nonpareil - 9/12/2017

Dementia education is of utmost importance to Kari McElderry, transition liaison at Hillcrest Health Services. McElderry, of Omaha, connects individuals with Hillcrest Home Care services as they transition through life.

"I see many individuals struggling with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia," she said. "People are not sure how to communicate with individuals with dementia, don't understand the symptoms, worry about finances and suffer from guilt."

Hillcrest dedicates many resources to educating team members, families and senior living communities through dementia expert Dr. Anna Fisher. In addition to education on the disease, McElderry encourages caregivers to take time for themselves so they don't end up burnt out, hurt or unable to care for their loved one. She suggests caregivers utilize respite grants and support groups.

McElderry often encounters individuals experiencing dementia-related challenges, including lack of a correct early diagnosis or difficulty funding appropriate care.

"A big struggle is the grief of seeing a loved one look physically the same but act differently," McElderry said. "They no longer recognize you, remember events or even their signature potluck dish recipe."

McElderry, on the Council Bluffs Alzheimer's Walk committee, is excited to increase awareness, encourage people to join the walk and raise funds to support the mission. Formerly of the Missouri Valley-Council Bluffs area, McElderry loves that all funds raised stay local.

For more information on how you can help in the fight to end Alzheimer's or to start or join a team for the Council Bluffs Walk to End Alzheimer's being held at Tom Hanafan River'sEdge Park on Sept. 23, visit the Alzheimer's Association website at alz.org/walk or contact Marsha Williams at 712-308-8946. To learn more about Alzheimer's disease and available resources, call the toll-free Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

 
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