"Caregiver's Journey" Conference - Thursday, March 27, 2014
Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver’s Journey A Great Resource
Our conference addressed the need for more education about living with Alzheimer’s disease, person-centered care, and ways to cope. Keynoter, Dr. Steve Hume spoke about his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 60 and the terrible strain it put on his work as a psychologist, his finances and his relationship with his partner, Candace. He also revealed that after living with Alzheimer’s disease for 7 years that a PET scan changed his life and his diagnosis. Dr. Hume discovered after being examined by a new doctor in Boston that he does not have Alzheimer’s disease but is suffering from cognitive impairment. At this time, it is undetermined what Dr. Hume actually has but that fact aroused some hope with loved ones who are still seeking a diagnosis.
Throughout the day, there were 3 sessions of 8 workshops which touched upon communicating with persons with Alzheimer’s disease, legal issues, family caregiving, local resources, spirituality, long-term care, challenging behaviors, the basics of Alzheimer’s disease, and Medicaid planning. During lunch, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts and Catherine Taylor, the Director of the Division of Elderly Affairs gave us an update on the Rhode Island State Plan on Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementias. By partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association and working with groups of professionals and caregivers around the state, the following recommendations have been highlighted: online resources, safe driving, transportation, family caregiver training, workforce training, research conference, legal issues and cultural competency. There is a lot of work to be done but the focus groups are in place. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the Lt. Governor’s office.
We look forward to our 2015 conference and urge you to get involved in the planning by calling the Rhode Island Chapter office at 1-800-272-3900 or visit our website for upcoming educational programs and events. Program Director, Marge Angilly, coordinator for the conference said that “Alzheimer’s is a crisis for the person with the disease and for the family – that is why our conference is so important.”