Seminars for seniors and caregivers to come at St. Mark’s Lutheran in China Grove – Reuters

Upcoming Seniors and Caregivers Seminars at St. Mark’s Lutheran in China Grove

Posted at 12:05 a.m. on Sunday, August 28, 2022

By Susan Shinn Turner
For the Salisbury post

CHINA GROVE – Are you an elderly person, do you have an elderly person in your life, or are you a caregiver for an elderly person?

Then you might be interested in three seminars on successive Tuesdays in September — September 13, 20, and 27. They are being held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 326 N. Main St., China Grove, from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be served beginning at 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the church’s Mission Outreach team.

Kara Lemon is a trainer with the GAST program. GAST stands for Geriatric Adult Mental Health Specialist Teams, and Lemon serves Mecklenburg and Rowan counties. The agency receives state support, so the seminars are free.

Earlier this year, Lemon, a licensed clinical social worker, sent out marketing materials to local churches.

“Our primary mission is to provide training for professionals who work with older populations, and secondly, we work with the faith community to provide education to the general public,” she says.

Based in Randleman, the agency offers training in three main areas: mental health, addiction and dementia. Training at China Grove will reflect these areas.

Mental Health 101 will take place on September 13.

“We’ll talk about mental health versus mental illness,” Lemon says, “as well as warning signs that someone needs support or self-care.”

This seminar will discuss mental health, mental illness and the continuum between the two, Lemon says.

The September 20 seminar focuses on the basics of dementia, what dementia is, its common symptoms, and the types of dementia.

The September 27 seminar focuses on mental health and mental health during the pandemic.

“From a mental health perspective, we’ll explain why the pandemic has been so hard on people,” Lemon says. “We’ll talk about self-care strategies and we’ll include information about substance abuse in older adults.”

Although the seminars are aimed at seniors and caregivers, Lemon says, “the information we give can be applied to people of all ages.”

“We think this is a really good opportunity for people to get information to move forward,” says Rick Erwin, who leads the church’s mission outreach team.

He says the church hopes to attract attendees from across Rowan County.

“This training has already been done several times and everything will go well,” says Lemon. “It was a pleasure to work with Rick and his church.”

Erwin adds that each seminar includes take-home material.

To register for these free seminars, call 704-577-4616.

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