By the end of this year, projections indicate that about 180,000 people 65 and older will be classified as having Alzheimer’s Disease in North Carolina alone.

Couple this with those of all ages who are diagnosed with dementia, and add this to the nearly 500,000 unpaid family and friends trying to care for those in need during a pandemic when life is anything but normal, and the need for support and education is — or should be — paramount to many caregivers in the High Country for their own health and the health of those they care for.

A series of free virtual programs designed from the Western and Eastern Carolina Chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association offered in July are some of the most important offerings available now for those who care for this vulnerable population.

Understanding and responding to dementia-related behavior is a continuous work in progress for caregivers, but especially important now when a need for stable environment is at its most unstable. These programs can address and assist that work, and not only through formal education. Each virtual program is about an hour through video webinars or by phone, and also includes a format for questions and the ability to engage with other participants.

If you or someone — and there are thousands in the High Country who do — are in need of such services, visit alz.org/northcarolina or call (800) 272-3900. Programs are offered at no charge, but registration is required.

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