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Marlene George, Yonkers Caregiver To Speak At Alzheimer’s Symposium

Marlene George will speak at the upcoming Alzheimer’s” symposium.
Marlene George will speak at the upcoming Alzheimer’s” symposium. Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Marlene George of Yonkers, a graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College studying health advocacy, knows a thing or two about caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the fall of 2011. For a few years, George lived with her parents in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and helped with the caregiving. Because of her nursing background, she took on the role of primary caregiver in consulting with doctors about his care.

When she moved to the U.S. for graduate school two years ago, she faced the additional challenge of being a primary caregiver at a distance. She said this type of situation is increasingly common for millennials.

“More and more millennials are falling into the role of caregivers,” she said. “When I moved here to New York, I had the stress of wondering if my mother could handle it without me being physically there — I know the anxiety, the guilt that goes along with the role when you can’t be there.”

Her father passed away in fall 2016. Now, as part of her master’s degree in health advocacy, George is working on a capstone research project on bridging the gaps, increasing accessibility and navigating supportive resources for Alzheimer’s/dementia caregivers.

She will be among the panelists at the “Linking Generations Against Alzheimer’s” symposium to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 1 in the Gateway Center Auditorium at Westchester Community College in Valhalla.

Besides George, panelists will include Dr. Jennie Valles from Burke Rehabilitation Hospital; caregiver Alisa Anderson; social worker and Alzheimer’s Association staff member Patricia Gaston; elder law expert Victoria Wagnerman, and the Rev. Viviana DeCohen, who is also a caregiver.

Each will each discuss their topic of expertise for 10-15 minutes. This will be followed by a Q&A and discussion.

Admission to the event is free. A complimentary breakfast will be served at the event, and parking at the venue is free of charge.

To register, call 800-272-3900 or 914-253-6860.

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