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Johnston register of deeds honored for dementia caregiver support

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SMITHFIELD — Johnston County Register of Deeds Craig Olive recently received an award from Community and Senior Services of Johnston County and the Family Caregivers Program of Johnston County.

Olive was recognized for his efforts over the years in organizing and supporting the annual Candlelight Reflections ceremony at the Johnston County Courthouse.

This ceremony remembers those who have died and honors those currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. It’s also a time to honor caregivers.

For many years, Olive was the primary caregiver for his mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, his eldest sister was diagnosed with dementia.

“I am very honored to receive this recognition,” Olive said. “Caring for our loved ones and others with this disease can be a full-time job and very little time to care for ourselves. Our goal in this annual event is to acknowledge the often thankless job of caregiving while also remembering our loved ones who have suffered from this terrible disease.”

“Our annual Candlelight Reflections event is an opportunity for caregivers to gather and honor loved ones, to hear stories of compassion as well as enjoy uplifting music,” Community and Senior Services executive director Neal Davis said. “For the past four years, Craig has graciously arranged to host the event in the courthouse atrium. He is a dedicated supporter of our caregiver program and we sincerely appreciate his tireless efforts.”

Pam Maynor, caregiver specialist with Community and Senior Services, provides resources for caregivers and assists those who find themselves in this role. The agency provides support groups twice each month. One group meets in Smithfield on the third Thursday of each month, while another group meets in Clayton on the fourth Thursday. CSS also organizes an annual caregivers retreat and two six-week caregiver workshops each year.