New Canaan's Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County will present a program titled `Communications Techniques and Behavioral Challenges' for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or related dementias Thursday, March 15 at Laurel Ridge Health Care Center, 642 Danbury Road in Ridgefield, from 6 to 8 p.m.

This special seminar is one of a series of four caregiver programs sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

Communications Techniques and Behavioral Challenges will be presented by Dawn Pelazza, RN, of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County. She will discuss the enormous challenges in caring for a person afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and offer guidance for those struggling to provide care for a loved one at home.

"Language is based on memory and, as the person with dementia becomes more forgetful, they often have difficulty expressing themselves," Pelazza said. "In many cases this leads to frustration that can manifest itself as tearful or angry outbursts, slamming of doors or shutting down completely. I use a variety of methods to teach caregivers how to `speak Alzheimer's' including understanding the verbal and non-verbal cues of a person with dementia."

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The program on Communications Techniques and Behavioral Challenges is free of charge and open to the public. For more information, contact Laurel Ridge at 203-438-8226.

A nonprofit community organization for 100 years, Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County provides professional nursing and support services, senior care management, physical rehabilitation, health education, community wellness programs and compassionate hospice care for individuals and families in New Canaan and throughout Fairfield County. Visit