June 5, 2014
FCSO TO HOST FLORENCE ALZHEIMER’S COMMUNITY TASK FORCE
Sheriff Kenney Boone and Florence County Sheriff’s Office will host the kickoff of the Florence Alzheimer’s Community Taskforce (FACT) on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at West Florence High School. This newly formed taskforce, consisting of members from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, New Generations Home Care and Adult Day Center, Embrace Hospice and Presbyterian Senior Care is intended to bring awareness of and develop strategies for dealing with the increasing concerns of Alzheimer’s and dementia in our area. This task force is to address the unique demands on law enforcement, first responders, caregivers and family members affected by Alzheimer’s in the community. The event is held in conjunction with Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month which began June 1.
“Our deputies are encountering mental health, Alzheimer’s and dementia issues on a daily basis,” Sheriff Kenney Boone stated. “We want to do everything we can, consistent with officer safety, to deal with these situations in a compassionate and caring manner. It is not always immediately apparent that we are dealing with an Alzheimer’s sufferer when we respond to an incident or complaint, and we are training our deputies to recognize the signs and symptoms. FACT will assist all of us as we seek to serve the community better.”
FACT will conduct training for first responders to recognize behaviors and best approaches for disoriented Alzheimer’s suffers, including monthly community educational seminars to enhance understanding and caregiver skills for family members and professionals. FACT also envisions the development of a volunteer outreach program to contact known dementia sufferers and “shut-ins” on a consistent basis.
The kickoff for FACT will begin at 8:30 AM on June 24, 2014 when volunteer runners will gather at the West Florence High School track field for an Alzheimer’s Awareness Run which will begin at 9:00 AM. Runners will participate in 30 minute shifts until 4:00 PM to bring awareness to the demands on family members and caregivers of dementia sufferers.
A Health Fair consisting of representatives of Hospice, Memory Care, Home Care and Adult Daycare along with organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Counsel on Aging and AARP will begin at 10:00 AM. This Health Fair is open to the public and food and refreshments will be served.
At 11:30 AM Sheriff Boone and other members of FACT will address the public on the importance of Alzheimer’s awareness in our community.
“How we treat the elderly and most vulnerable tells a lot about our values as a community,” Sheriff Boone observed. “We owe it to them to provide them with as much dignity and understanding as we can. I urge everyone to come out for this event to learn more about this growing problem and to show support for FACT.”
For further information on the Kick-off or to volunteer, please contact George Manos at New Generations Home Care, Inc. at (843) 319-4064 or FCSO Investigator Jennifer Floyd at (843) 665-2121, ext. 421.
Captain Michael M. Nunn