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May 20, 2015 at Doubletree Hotel Syracuse

Dementia Care 2015 has sold out. A standby list has been created in case of cancellations. Please call Stephanie at (315) 472-4201 x108 to learn more.

 New for 2015
 Breakout Sessions
 Speaker Bios

Our goal for Dementia Care 2015 is to empower and inspire you on your caregiving journey. We gather experts from the Alzheimer’s Association and Central New York community to guide you on your journey as an Alzheimer’s or dementia caregiver.

New for 2015
Repeat Breakouts: We want you to experience as many of the programs as possible. This year, we will repeat our morning presentations in the afternoon so that you will have a greater chance to experience all of our offerings. You choose the topics you want to attend and we will create your morning and afternoon schedule.

Our conference planning team created a set of guiding principles when designing this year’s event:

  • Introduce unpaid and paid caregivers to community resources available for hire, consultation, or other use.
  • Increase the knowledge base of paid and professional caregivers through peer-to-peer or expert-to-peer sessions.
  • Provide family caregivers practical tactics to employ at home to relieve stress and reduce the rate of caregiver burnout.
  • Improve the quality of care provided by unpaid and paid caregivers by discussing interventions that can be employed immediately within the care setting.
  • Improve the quality of life for the person receiving care.

The $75 registration fee includes all sessions, continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments during the day. You will also receive a reference book that includes all presentation materials from the day, as well as a guide to local resources.

ATTENTION SOCIAL WORKERS: Continuing education credits for social workers are available at no additional cost, courtesy of the Finger Lakes Geriatric Eduation Center. Please indicate when registering if you are a LMSW or LCSW. University of Rochester Medical Center, Center for Experiential Learning is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0005. This course has been approved for 5.5 contact hours.

Event Schedule

8 a.m.
Registration Opens
Expo Opens (tables open during all breaks)
Continental Breakfast Served

8:30-10:15 a.m.
Opening Remarks
Catherine James, Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter Chief Executive Officer

Morning Keynote Presented by Centers at St. Camillus
Finding Hope In Alzheimer’s Disease

Jed Levine, Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter
Alzheimer’s disease has a physical, mental, and emotional impact on caregivers. What is the hope in Alzheimer’s disease for caregivers? Our keynote will center on validating the caregiver experience, acknowledging the emotional impact of the disease, and addressing challenges of acceptance.

10:30-11:45 a.m. 
Breakout Session I

11:45 a.m. 
Lunch Presented by Brookdale Senior Living Clare Bridge Manlius

1-2:15 p.m.
Breakout Session II
2:30-3:45 p.m.
Afternoon Keynote Presented by United Healthcare Community Programs
Self Care: The Key To Effective Caregiving
Gwendolyn Webber-McLeod, Gwen Inc.
Caregiving is an act of love, but is also stressful and exhausting. Self care is an important and necessary piece of effective caregiving. Our speaker will offer inspiration and specific strategies that can be used to thrive through the joy and challenge of the caregiving journey.

3:45 p.m. 
Closing Remarks

4 p.m. 
Conference Ends


Breakout Session Descriptions

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors
Melinda Sobrado, Associate Program Director, Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia change how the brain works. As a result, unique behaviors related arise. As the leader in dementia care and education, our staff will discuss how to avoid and diffuse challenging situations.


  • Review the relationship between dementia and behavioral difficulties
  • Discuss triggering events (i.e. traveling, loud noises, confusion) and how to reduce their impact on the person with dementia
  • Provide successful methods to intervene and respond a behavioral event
  • Identify warning signs to prevent behavioral events.

Navigating and Advocating at the Hospital
Eileen B. Welch, LMSW, Veterans Administration Medical Center
Hospital visits create confusion for both the patient and caregiver. Learn about the admission, observation and discharge processes, how to ensure that best quality of care is provided, and how to avoid hospitalization altogether.


  • Review the Patient’s Bill of Rights and how they apply to the individual being hospitalized and their caregiver(s)
  • Discuss the difference between admission and observation, and how that affects both the hospital and patientnswer the most frequently asked questions about hospitalization, and arm the caregiver with questions to ask on behalf of the patient
  • Identify warning signs to avoid hospitalization.

Nutritional Needs for Dementia
Chaya Lee Charles, MS, RD, CSG, CDN, Outpatient Dietitian, Sodexho at The Centers at St. Camillus
A board-certified specialist in gerontological nutrition will present on how to provide proper nutrition to a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, as well as remove challenges related to mealtime


  • Discuss the basic nutritional needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia compared to healthy seniors
  • Explore the impact of other medical conditions on the nutritional needs of a person with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia
  • Offer practical tips to address eating challenges (i.e. choking, utensil usage) for an individual with dementia

The OTHER Dementias
Dr. Andrea I. Berg, M.D., Upstate Medical University
Diseases including Frontotemporal dementia (Pick’s disease), dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Parkinson’s disease are becoming more commonly diagnosed by medical professionals. A board-certified geriatrician will compare and contrast the different dementias and discuss each disease’s unique challenges


  • Explain the similarities and differences between common forms of dementia, including vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Parkinson’s disease
  • Explore the less common forms of dementia including Huntington’s disease, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Review the behavioral and physical challenges presented by other forms of dementia (i.e. tremors and Parkinson’s disease)
  • Discuss the treatment methods for individuals with non-Alzheimer’s dementias


Meet The Keynotes

Jed Levine
Jed A. Levine is Executive Vice President and Director of Programs at the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter, where he has been on staff since 1990. He is the author of numerous articles on Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s care and the co-author of a chapter in Hospital Care for Persons with Dementia, and co-author of a chapter on Disaster Preparedness for Persons with Dementia. Jed holds a Master’s degree in Applied Human Development with a specialization in Gerontology and Community Recreation Services from Columbia University's Teachers College. He has post-graduate training in group process from the Center for the Advancement of Group Studies, and is currently pursuing Certification in a psychoanalytic training program at the Center for Human Development. He has taught at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Hunter College, School of the Health Professions. He was appointed to the New York State Coordinating Council for Services Related to Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias, and serves on Senator Gillibrand’s Working Group on Aging. He was a member of the NY Academy of Medicine Older Adults & Disasters Policy Advisory Committee. He is the principal investigator for Palliative Care for Advanced Dementia: Training and Implementation. Jed has presented nationally and internationally on dementia care. In December 2013, he presented at the Japan-US Conference on Dementia Strategy in Tokyo, Japan. In September 2014, he was a presenter and responder at the Innovative Practices in Care for People with Advanced Dementia: Meeting of Experts, Institute of Medicine, Washington DC.

Gwendolyn Webber-McLeod
Gwendolyn (Gwen) Webber-McLeod, M.S., is President/CEO of Gwen, Inc. She has over 30 years experience in leadership development, facilitation, strategic planning and the development of effective coalitions/collaborations. In addition, Gwen is a frequently sought after lecturer and conference keynote speaker on the topic of leadership. Her clients are CEOs, executive and mid-level managers, and leadership teams in public, private, health care and education businesses and organizations. Gwen is a cum laude graduate of SUNY Potsdam University, and a recipient of a Masters of Science in Management from Keuka College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Gwen takes pride in being a serial entrepreneur who created two businesses prior to Gwen, Inc; Treble Associates, a full service marketing, communications, and project management company, and Gwen Webber-McLeod, Inspiring People to New Levels of Leadership, a consulting practice specializing in facilitation and professional mentoring /coaching for executive leaders. In 2008, she incorporated what she considers her “legacy building” business, Gwen, Inc., which houses her consulting practice and two new divisions. Gwen, Inc.’s hallmark division - The Leadership Connection®: A Resource Centered on Great Leadership opened as a resource center for leaders in January 2009. The resource center is unique in that its sole resource is access to a team of talented leaders positioned to provide direct support to emerging and established leaders and leadership teams. This team provides support through leadership education, facilitated work sessions, technical assistance, and professional mentoring/coaching. In addition, You Can’t Fail Because Your History Says You Can’t: A Day Celebrating Professional Women of Color is the second division of Gwen, Inc. You Can’t Fail is an unforgettable, one of a kind, strategically designed multicultural leadership learning environment for professional women of color and those who support them.


Meet The Breakout Presenters

Dr. Andrea I. Berg, MD
Dr. Andrea I. Berg is an assistant professor of medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. She is a graduate of Cornell University, after which she served as a Teach for America Corps Member in Oakland, CA.  She earned her medical degree from George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine/primary care at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT.  She then completed the Harvard Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. She served as an attending primary care provider at the Newton Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts prior to joining the faculty at SUNY Upstate Medical Center, within the department of Geriatrics.  Dr. Berg has been inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and has received two Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine Research Awards. As a clinician educator, she is particularly interested in fostering awareness and interest into the unique needs of older patients and our aging population.  Her clinical interests include comprehensive geriatric assessments with a special interest in cognitive evaluations and memory disorders.


Chaya Lee Charles, MS, RDN, CSG, CDN
Chaya Lee Charles is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a decade of experience providing nutritional guidance for aging adults. Chaya holds a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University, and is a Board Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition. She currently works as an adjunct professor for Syracuse University, and is the outpatient nutritionist at The Centers at St. Camillus in Syracuse, NY. Chaya also consults for Oswego County Opportunities Nutrition Services, overseeing the nutritional quality of home-delivered and congregate meals served throughout the county. Her areas of expertise include malnutrition prevention in the elderly, cardiovascular and diabetic nutrition counseling, nutritional intervention for wound healing, and weight loss counseling. Her current area of focus is in functional nutrition for the promotion of brain health and prevention of cognitive decline.


Melinda Sobrado
Melinda Sobrado has been the associate program director for the Alzheimer's Association, Central New York Chapter since 2014. In her role, she works directly with local families impacted by Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia by providing care consultations and delivering education programs. Previously, Melinda was the activity director for Samaritan Summit Village in Watertown, where she oversaw a team of activity leaders working in long-term care environment that served aging adults, including those with a form of dementia. In this role, she was also part of a team of social workers and nurses that took a holistic approach to treating behavior on the facility's dementia care unit. Melinda's previous long-term care activity experience came while working at Iroquois Nursing Home, Elderwood Healthcare at Birchwood, and Keepsake Village at Greenpoint. She is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam.


Eileen B. Welch, LMSW
Eileen Welch is a social worker at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. She currently works in Geriatrics and Extended Care in the Telephone Dementia Case Management Program. The program supports caregivers of Veterans with dementia in their home setting by providing case management via phone. In addition, she serves as VA Project Lifesaver Coordinator and VA representative to the Syracuse Area Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition Elder Abuse/Justice Committees. Eileen is a graduate of SUNY Brockport. She received her Master of Social Work from Syracuse University. She has several years of personal, volunteer, and professional experience in geriatrics and human services.


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.