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Caring for the Caregiver: A Conversation about Caregiver Wellness and Brain Health

Richard Liu cares for his father who has Alzheimer's disease. He holds up a card that says "I'm RICHARD, your son."

Every day nationwide, about 38 million people perform a great labor of love as a family caregiver: caring for parents, spouses, adult children with disabilities, friends, and other loved ones. Caring for a family member or close friend is one of the most important roles we are likely to play in our lifetime; however, the emotional and physical tolls of caregiving can be profound.

Higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression are common among those who care for an older relative or friend, and studies show caregivers who experience chronic stress may be at a greater risk of experiencing their own cognitive and physical decline.

To help support caregivers take care of their own health and wellbeing, AARP Washington, BECU, and KING 5 invite you to a free event on Tuesday, March 19, with NBC News/MSNBC anchor Richard Lui and Dr. Kate Zhong, geriatric psychiatrist and founder of the Brainnovation Initiative at UNLV.

Hear about Richard’s own caregiving experience as he took time away from his TV job to care for his father as he lived with Alzheimer’s, as seen in the new movie “UNCONDITIONAL,” which has screened at the White House, United Nations, and U.S. Capitol. We’ll explore how others can prepare themselves for caregiving, and examine what roles gender stereotypes, technology, family conflict, and more play in how we care for our loved ones.

Dr. Zhong will help us recognize how caregiving can impact our own mental health and provide tips and tools for how caregivers can boost their brain health and reduce the risk of memory loss.

Jim Dever, host of KING 5’s Evening, will moderate a discussion with a chance for you to ask your own questions of our presenters. Information about local community resources and services will also be available.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and light refreshments will be served. Space is limited, and registration is required at (or call 1-877-926-8300).

Jason ErskineContributor Jason Erskine is Communications Director at AARP Washington. For information about AARP issues and events in Washington state, click here.

Photo courtesy of AARP Washington.