Community members gather to discuss upcoming events with Alzheimer’s Tennessee during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Pictured from left are Elmore Torbort, Dana Brooks, Caren Teichmann, Janice Wade-Whitehead, Fran Gray, John Purdue and Ed LeBlanc.

November was designated as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. In congruence with this, the Alzheimer’s Tennessee Association is gearing up for an important event to help bring awareness to the disease.

The South Central Tennessee office is having an Alzheimer’s 101 conference on Tuesday, Nov. 6. This conference will feature five professionals from Middle and East Tennessee to discuss and educate care partners, families and individuals who want to know more about Alzheimer’s.

“All of our speakers will present a variety of information and education on medicine, law, life experiences, communication and research,” said Regional Coordinator Fran Gray.

Dr. Ben Gardner from Columbia will talk about dementia from a medical perspective. Gardner is an Internal Medical Specialist, and he has more than 38 years of diverse experience in Internal Medicine and Hospice care.

Kate Kelly is a Program Manager at the Center for Cognitive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Kelly is a researcher who strives daily to “do something unforgettable” to educate Tennesseans on treatment, prevention and the trajectory to one day alleviate Alzheimer’s disease as she shares the latest research and clinical trials.

James Conley, an attorney and judge in Tullahoma, will explain the things care partners should know about dementia and the law.

Rev. Howard Olive from Tullahoma will share how faith helped sustain his family during his wife’s journey through Alzheimer’s disease.

Cheryl Blanchard is coming from Knoxville to give practical suggestions for Alzheimer’s care partners. Blanchard is a licensed social worker, life coach and dementia care specialist.

 “This event is to help anyone who is being affected or has been affected by Alzheimer’s understand what is going on with their loved ones,” said Gray.  “Everyone is different and learning how to provide care for loved ones is important. Those with Alzheimer’s or any kind of dementia, sometimes have several different types of dementia going on simultaneously. We want people to be able to communicate about the disease so that we are able to help them better.”

The event will be take place at First Christian Church, 120 W. Grundy St., in Tullahoma.

Registration will begin at 10 a.m. for a program that starts at 10:15 a.m.  The event will end at 1:45 p.m., following a break for lunch. 

Registration is $15 and includes all course materials, lunch and refreshments. Register online at or in person at the event.

Morning Pointe of Tullahoma will provide care, respite and lunch for loved ones while care partners attend the conference. If a loved one requires care from Morning Pointe, please call 931-434-2348 in advance.

Faith Few can be reached via email at