Elders First holds spring party, May 24, 2011

Murfreesboro Post, May 24, 2011

Elders First Adult Day Services in Rutherford County will hold its spring party and fundraiser Saturday, June 11, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the home of Murphy and Barbara Thomas, located at 2111 Shannon Drive in Murfreesboro.

Special guest will be hometown, world- renowned cake baker Jay Qualls, who will entertain with a cake-baking demonstration. Qualls’ cakes have been featured in Martha Stewart’s annual bride’s magazine, and he recently appeared as a contestant on The Learning Channel’s “The Last Great Baker.”

The public is invited to meet friends of Elders First and learn more about the organization that provides loving care for persons age 55+ who exhibit the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and also gives family members a much-needed break from 24/7 caregiving.

“It’s a huge party,” said Tina O’Brien, founder and executive director of Elders First. “It’s just like the best-friends service we provide to our elder citizens. It will be a fun evening to celebrate friendship, joy, caring and sharing.”

“The real purpose of the evening is to help support the hundreds of families in Rutherford County caring for loved ones who are experiencing the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other frailties,” noted board president Janet Belsky. “Elders First offers a joyous and nurturing setting for these people, a loving environment where they can spend some time during the final years of their life rather than languish at home or in an uninviting institution.”

Belsky said organizations throughout the country like Elders First save billions of dollars because the cost is modest and much less expensive than nursing-home care.

During 2010, Elders First provided more than 6,000 hours of care for families in Rutherford County utilizing a small professional staff and local volunteers. This was a 30 percent increase in hours of care from 2009.

Client families received caregiver education through newsletters, Alzheimer’s Association materials, support groups, workshops and consultations with Elders First professional staff members.

“There are nearly 2,000 persons with Alzheimer’s or other dementia right here in Rutherford County,” O’Brien noted. “At least 75 percent of them are being taken care of in homes of loved ones. It is our mission to provide those loved ones with the relief they so desperately need and to provide a safe, loving environment for their elder family members.”

To learn more about Elders First Adult Day Services, visit www.eldersfirst-ads.org. Or call 615-542-4371.

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