To help enhance services for veterans, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is hosting a free educational workshop for those who serve and care for veterans, especially those living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and dementia.
The workshop, “An Exploration of Brain Health and Trauma,” which includes training from AFA and the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, will take place on Thursday, Nov. 2, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, at The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights (21 Clark Street, Brooklyn). Individuals can register through AFA’s website.
TBIs, which can be sustained in both combat and non-combat military service, PTSD, or being a prisoner of war can all increase a veteran’s chances of developing dementia, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans living with dementia can experience a re-emergence of traumatic memories as the brain deteriorates, along with their coping skills and the ability to suppress traumatic memories. According to the NYC Department of Veterans’ Services, there are more than 150,000 veterans living in NYC.
“Every veteran makes sacrifices and puts themselves in harm’s way in service to our country. During the course of their service, veterans may experience chronic stress, TBIs, or PTSD, especially if they served in combat. All of that impacts their mental health and increases their risk of developing dementia,” said Jennifer Reeder, LCSW, SIFI, AFA’s Director of Educational and Social Services. “Understanding the impact of chronic stress and trauma on brain health, especially for veterans with dementia, and knowing how to help veterans when traumatic memories cause them distress is essential for those who serve veterans, so that they can provide the level of support our veterans need and very much deserve.”
The training workshop will detail the impact of chronic stress, TBIs, and PTSD on brain health, the relationship between these factors and dementia, and vital information on resources, services and non-pharmacological approaches available to help. Speakers will include Jennifer Reeder, LCSW, SIFI, AFA’s Director of Educational and Social Services, and Lauren D’Mello, Ed.D., MHC, Executive Director of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services’ Mental Health and Care Coordination Unit. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers. Licensed social workers and certified case managers who attend may be able to receive three continuing education credits.
The AFA training workshop is being sponsored by Care Patrol and VNS Health.
Individuals can learn more and register for the free Nov. 2 training through AFA’s website or by calling AFA at 866-232-8484.