Husband and wife team up to talk Alzheimer's and dementia

A husband and wife duo will explore the psychological, social and spiritual pain in persons living with dementia, and friendship and community in an aging society at the annual Alzheimer's Education Conference entitled, "Dimensions of Dementia: Dementia, Friendship and Flourishing Communities: Where is the Hope?"

Co-sponsored by Blessing Hospital and the Alzheimer's Association , Central Illinois Chapter, Quincy Area Branch, the day long event will be held Thursday, April 28th, at the Blessing Conference Center, 2808 Chestnut Street, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Featured speakers will be John and Susan McFadden . Susan McFadden, Ph.D., is professor of psychology, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she teaches adult development and aging, and the psychology of religion. She received her PhD in psychology and religion from Drew University in 1985. She has been active in both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Society on Aging in bringing together researchers and practitioners interested in religion, spirituality, and aging. She has published over 30 articles and book chapters in the general area of spirituality, religion, and emotion in late life.

John McFadden, M.Div., is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ who has served in parish ministry for 34 years. He was volunteer chaplain for two years at an extended care facility, with a particular focus on pastoral presence to persons with advanced dementia. He is currently workplace chaplain for Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin. He presents lectures on themes related to aging, dementia, community and friendship.

The couple has co-authored a book, Aging Together: Friendship, Community and Dementia, in which they explore how persons with dementia can continue to enjoy friendship and community ties.

Advanced registration is required. The $45 registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, program materials and continuing education certificate. Six (6) CEUs are available. To register or for questions about the program, call Blessing Hospital, Educational Services at 217-223-8400, ext. 4830, or the Alzheimer's Association Quincy Branch at 217-228-1111.

In 2010, 14.9 million family and friends provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer TMs and other dementias.

More than 60 percent of Alzheimer TMs and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; one-third report symptoms of depression.

The McFaddens will be sharing their message with families and caregivers for a family night program entitled, "Tools for the Caregiver - Family Moments," Wednesday from 6:30 - 8 p.m. at the Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center at 639 York. The annual program is co-sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association Quincy Area Branch and Blessing Hospital. It is free and open to the public.

If you have questions about the program, call Blessing Hospital, Educational Services at 217-223-8400, ext. 4830, or the Quincy Area Branch Alzheimer's Association at 217-228-1111.

The Alzheimer's Association, Central Illinois Chapter, provides free services to caregivers and those with memory loss problems including education programs, 24-hour telephone Helpline, library, newsletter, advocacy, care consultations and registration in the national MedicAlert+Safe Return program. Brochures on Family Night and the Education Conference can be found on the agency website at

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