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Caring for the Caregiver

Illinois Central College Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and the Educational Foundation will team up with community partners to host a “Caring for the Caregiver” open house dedicated to both patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. The “Caring for the Caregiver” open house will be held on Saturday, February 28, at the CougarPlex on the ICC East Peoria Campus. It also will feature community partners Central Illinois Alzheimer’s Association, IPMR Senior World, Lutheran Social Services and the Central Illinois Agency on Aging for a day of relaxation, refreshment and education.

The open house will run in two sessions ─ from 10 am to noon and from 1 pm to 3 pm. Content will be repeated in both sessions, and it is only necessary to attend one. The event is free and open to the public, and childcare is provided.

All activities are designed and/or led by students in ICC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program and include informational sessions on health and fitness, dietary tips, stress reduction and resources available to caregivers, as well as free massages. The event involves the participation of students in many of ICC’s programs, including Horticulture, Culinary, Nursing, Respiratory, Medical Office Assistant, Art, Dental, Personal Training, Physical Therapy Assistant, Emergency Medical Technology, Graphic Design and Web Design.

ICC Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Professor Lee Ann Hohstadt said the open house is the first of its kind in the area to provide activities and informational sessions for both the caregiver and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The idea is to provide a day of rest and refreshment for those who care for patients or loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease while offering an inter-professional living lab for our students currently learning to become occupational therapy assistants,” Hohstadt said. “So often these caregivers selflessly put the patient’s needs before their own. We want to give the caregivers time to re-energize while engaging the individual with the disease in meaningful activities.”

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Registration for the event is required and may be completed by visiting http://caringforthecaregiver.me/ by February 10, 2015. For more information about the event, call (309) 694-5422.

For more information about ICC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, visit http://icc.edu/academics/catlog/health-careers/ or call (309) 999-4600.

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