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May 25, 2016 Holiday Inn Syracuse Hotel & Conference Center, Liverpool, NY

Presented by

Note: Online registration is no longer available. Seating is extremely limited. Please call (315) 472-4201 and press zero to check remaining availability and purchase admission.

 Sponsorship Information for Dementia Care 2016
 New for 2016

Dementia Care 2016 is the fifth annual Alzheimer’s Association conference for family and professional caregivers of individuals with dementia in Central New York. The conference’s goal since its first day has been to empower caregivers with practical solutions. This has been the guiding principle in every decision made about the event, from the speakers and session topics to little things like how the conference manual is designed.

Registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, admission to all programs and vendor expo, and the conference manual.

This activity is supported, in part, by a grant from the New York State Department of Health

New for 2016

  • New Location: Dementia Care has moved to the Holiday Inn Syracuse Hotel and Conference Center, which means more space for our guests and vendors.
  • New Format: The goal for 2016 was to find speakers everyone wanted to see. Rather than choosing between breakout sessions, guests will attend the same sessions between keynotes.
  • Topic Tables: In addition to open seating for lunch, Topic Tables located in the lobby area will be staffed by experts able to answer your questions about caregiving, care planning and other subjects.
  • Ask the Expert: A dementia caregiving expert will be available near the registration area to answer your questions all day.
  • Early Bird Registration: Register before May 1 and receive our reduced admission of $60. After May 1, admission is $75 per person.


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Conference Schedule

8 a.m.
 Registration begins
 Continental breakfast is served
 Expo opens

8:30 a.m.
 Opening remarks
Catherine James, Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter
Maggie Reap, McHarrie Pointe Assisted Living

9 a.m.
  Morning Keynote: Living With Alzheimer’s A Moderated Discussion
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult to navigate. How do you handle everyday challenges? How do you stay positive? Paul and Sarah Hornback will share their experience of his diagnosis of younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. They will provide practical strategies for coping with the disease on a daily basis from their perspectives of a person with the disease and a care partner. The session will be moderated by Emily Shubeck, senior specialist of early-stage initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association national office.

Presenters: Paul and Sarah Hornback; Emily Shubeck, moderator.

10:15 a.m.
 Expo open

10:30 a.m.
  Morning Session: Pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias
What is the underlying science of Alzheimer’s disease? Dr. Joseph Parisi, a board-certified neuropathologist at the Mayo Clinic, will share his expertise on the changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. He will also share an update on latest research in the field.

Presenter: Dr. Joseph Parisi

11:45 a.m.
 Topic Tables: See the topics and table leaders.
 Expo open

1 p.m.
  Afternoon Session:
Engagement Through Music Therapy
Music can be powerful. Studies have shown music may reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues that are common in the middle-stages of the disease. Even in the late-stages of Alzheimer's, a person may be able to tap a beat or sing lyrics to a song from childhood. Music provides a way to connect, even after verbal communication has become difficult. This session will provide practical, hands-on strategies to engage individuals with dementia through music.

Presenter: Megan Smith

2:15 p.m.
 Expo open

2:30 p.m.
  Afternoon Keynote: The Joys and Jolts of Caregiving
Following his father's stroke and his mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis, Jim Comer found himself thrust into the role of caregiver. He quit his job in California and moved home to Texas to care for his parents. In 15 years of caregiving, he lived the questions and learned the answers. He will share his journey with Medicare, hospitals, long-term care and taking care of his parents in their time of greatest need.

Presenter: Jim Comer

3:45 p.m.
 Closing remarks

4 p.m.
 Conference ends


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Paul Hornback

Paul Hornback was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease 2009 at age 55. He is a member of the Alzheimer’s Association National Early Stage Advisory Committee. Paul graduated from the University of Louisville in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. In 1996, he received his master’s in industrial engineering. Paul spent his career as an engineer and operations research analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense. He was responsible for computer modeling and analysis of combat operations, as well as vehicle engineering. His work included classified data analysis during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Paul’s initial cause for concern began at work when her had difficulty solving problems, maintaining classified information, keeping appointments and finding words when talking. During this time Paul began to withdraw during business meetings and stayed late to check his work. Six months later, he made the decision to see a neurologist. After a year of testing, which included an MRI, spinal tap, PET scan, Paul was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Sarah Hornback

Sarah Hornback is the primary caregiver for Paul Hornback. Sarah and Paul have been married for more than 38 years. She is a retired school teacher and administrator. Paul and Sarah met during high school, but didn’t start dating until Sarah’s junior year, at which point Paul was a sophomore in college. They married in 1977. Prior to the diagnosis, Sarah began to notice changes in Paul’s behavior, including forgetfulness for household tasks such as bill pay and daily chores. Since Paul had always been incredibly precise, Sarah was immediately concerned. However after Paul was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, her first reaction was denial. Both Paul and Sarah felt shock and disbelief after the diagnosis was confirmed. Today, Sarah and Paul are focused on making great memories together and raising awareness for the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on individuals and families. Paul and Sarah have 3 children, Katy, Ben, and Sam.


Emily Shubeck

Emily Shubeck is a senior specialist for early-stage initiatives with the Alzheimer’s Association national office. In this role, she is responsible for assisting the national director with the strategic development of programs and services designed to meet the needs of individuals living in the early stage of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. She is currently responsible for administering the Alzheimer’s Association National Early-Stage Advisory Group, a cohort of individuals living in the early stage of Alzheimer’s and related dementias that act as spokespersons for the Association to raise awareness, promote advocacy and inform the development of the most appropriate programs and services for individuals living with the disease.

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Dr. Joseph E. Parisi, MD

Dr. Joseph Parisi is a board-certified pathologist on the staff at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Among his many roles with the clinic, he is the director of the Fellowship Training Program in Neuropathology, a consultant in anatomic pathology and neurology, professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, and the director of the neuromuscular and peripheral nerve laboratories. Prior to his appointment at the Mayo Clinic, he held positions at Upstate Medical University, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and National Institutes of Health. A Syracuse native, Dr. Parisi is a graduate of Syracuse University and earned his medical degree at Upstate Medical University, He performed residencies in neurosurgery and anatomic pathology, and was a neuropathology fellow while at Upstate.

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Megan M. Smith, MA, MT-BC, LCAT

Megan Smith is the co-founder and executive director of Alice's Encore: Community Music & Mindfulness, Inc. She is a music therapist in Rochester, NY with experience in educational, medical, behavioral health, and private settings with people of all ages. Megan currently serves as a music therapy consultant to St. Joseph's Hospital, primarily working with older adults experiencing agitation and disorientation and supervising graduate music therapy interns from Nazareth College. Her research has included group music therapy for empathy and self-esteem development in children, and development of a model for music therapy in the Pediatric Emergency Department.

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Jim Comer

Jim Comer is a seasoned, multi-faceted communications consultant with more than 25 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies, professional associations and startups. What sets Jim apart is his ability to create and sharpen content, his collaborative, supportive and candid approach, and the extraordinary range of skills he brings to clients. In 1996, his life took a sudden detour when he quit his job and moved back to Texas after 30 years to care for his parents. This life-changing choice led to a rediscovery of real family values and the writing of When Roles Reverse: A Guide to Parenting Your Parents in dedication to his parents and with the hope that he might help others to be better prepared when it’s their turn.

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Topic Tables Moderators

  • The Decision to Move – Care Facilities: There may be a point when you can no longer care for your loved one in their home. What are your options and what questions should you ask along the way? Maggie Reap, McHarrie Pointe Assisted Living
  • Challenging Behaviors: Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can cause many unpredictable behaviors. Discuss ways to respond and how to find the behavior's cause. Mary Koenig, MSW, Loretto Heritage Apartments
  • Difficult Decisions in Care: Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia often present many ethical dilemmas, and you cannot plan for everything. We will discuss how to navigate concerns of safety, end-of-life care and more. Whitney Hadley, MA, MSW, Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter
  • Cognitive Engagement Activities: It's important to stay cognitively engaged, with or without dementia. Take part in a discussion about how to keep your brain active and why that is important. Ellen Somers, MA, LMHC, LPC, Syracuse Jewish Family Service
  • Respite Can Help: Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can be emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. Discuss how respite can benefit both the caregiver and the individual with Alzheimer's disease, as well as the options available in the community. Cynthia Stevenson, Onondaga County Department of Adult and Long Term Care Services


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  • By completing the registration process, you grant full permission in perpetuity to the organizers of this event to use, reuse, publish and republish my name and image as a participant in the event in photographs, video or other recordings.
  • Cancellations: You may request a full refund of your registration fee until 4 p.m. on May 17, 2016. No registration fees will be issued after that point.
  • The Alzheimer's Association and the event location will make every effort to fulfill your dietary requests.

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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.