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Alzheimer’s Family Resource Fair on Nov. 13 at WVU-P

PARKERSBURG – One, two, three – in the time it takes to count to three, a new case of dementia occurs somewhere in the world. Not to mention, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates 50 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias. Caring for someone with AD can be challenging and overwhelming, and that is why a West Virginia University at Parkersburg student is hosting an Alzheimer’s Family Resource Fair.

John Kavanagh started his academic career at WVU Parkersburg in 2016 by pursing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Multi-Disciplinary Studies degree with minors in sociology, communication and literature. Individuals in the program must present a project that showcases their mastery in the subjects from their minor studies.

“I was interested in Alzheimer’s because my mother was diagnosed many years ago, and throughout the years, we, as a family needed to find information about different aspects of the disease. The information was spread all over in many different places, so I wanted one place where others could find a lot of information.”

Thus, Kavanagh envisioned the Alzheimer’s Family Resource Fair.

The Alzheimer’s Family Resource Fair, taking place on Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the WVU Parkersburg main campus, will allow attendees the opportunity to visit organizational resource booths and listen to personal and family testimonies about AD, as well as presentations on “Communicating with the Patient” and “Using Written Communication for Early Diagnosis.”

The resource fair will be held in the College Activities Center with “Communicating with the Patient” beginning at 1 p.m. and “Using Written Communication for Early Diagnosis” at 1:30 p.m. in the college theater.

The Alzheimer’s Association of West Virginia, Alzheimer’s Association of Parkersburg, BrightStar Home Health Service of the Mid-Ohio Valley, First Settlement Physical Therapy, Take Me Home Transition Program from the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, United Way and WVSV Metro Area Agency on Aging are set to attend and provide information on navigating the challenging journey of AD.

“I envision attendees leaving with more knowledge about what the family will go through if a loved one is diagnosed with the disease. They won’t have to flounder around and hit obstacles on top of worrying about their loved one,” Kavanagh said. “I also want to leave a ‘How to Make This an Annual Fair That Will Get Bigger and Bigger Each Year’ handbook for someone else to continue the fair.”

For more information, or to become a vendor at the fair, please contact John Kavanagh at jkavana1@wvup.edu.

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