TYLER, Texas (KETK) – May is “Older Americans Month” and one East Texas organization is holding their annual gathering Wednesday to help further education on an illness that affects more than 6 million Americans.

From 8 a.m. to noon, the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County gathered with other experts and community members at the Tyler Rose Garden in hopes to bring more awareness and education about dementia.

The event was a day of learning and speakers were present talking about different dementia care strategies. Topics included the latest Alzheimer’s research, paying for long-term care and a caregiving session titled “When The Vow Breaks.”

Due to the coronavirus, last year’s event was virtual so the organization is excited to be back in person furthering their knowledge on this important subject.

What we know is that more and more people will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and that trend is going to grow. And, so we want to make sure that this community is equipped with all the latest information. We want people who are diagnosed with any form of dementia to be able to live a great quality of life right here in East Texas and feel like they’re part of the community.

Stephanie Taylor, Smith County Alzheimer’s Alliance

Alongside speakers and alliance members, anyone who is interested in dementia care or Alzheimer’s research was invited to attend Wednesday’s event.

This year’s conference is completely sold out, but the Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County is already planning for 2022 and they hope more community members attend every year to learn about these illnesses.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is inviting senior citizens across the country to get a free virtual memory screening this month. To schedule a free appointment, or for more information about brain health and lifestyle choices that can help promote healthy aging, visit AFA’s website at www.alzfdn.org or call AFA’s Helpline at 866-232-8484.