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Unique Alzheimer’s Conference targets caregivers and healthcare professionals

Unique Alzheimer’s Conference targets caregivers and healthcare professionals
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October 15, 2020
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Caregivers, health care professionals and individuals living in the early stages of dementia looking to learn about innovative technologies and resources amid the pandemic can find it through “A Meaningful Life with Alzheimer’s Disease,” a virtual conference co-hosted by Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology and the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter.

The conference takes place from 9 a.m.- noon on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and focuses on caregiving, technology and living a meaningful life with dementia. 

“Alzheimer’s is a growing epidemic and a devastating journey for all those affected,” said Jennifer Lepard, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter. “COVID-19 has made things even more difficult for persons with dementia and their caregivers, who may be dealing with increased anxiety, feelings of isolation and depression, and more. We’re thrilled to partner with Wayne State again and look forward to providing much-needed dementia information and resources to more Michigan residents.”

Conference keynote speaker Gwen Graddy, M.D., chief medical officer for PACE Southeast Michigan, will shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease, highlighting what science reveals about Alzheimer’s disease in the 21st century; strategies that provide socially accountable care of those affected by the disease and their caregivers; and integrated models of care that enhance quality and dignity to this population.

Leda Rosenthal, CEO of Alz You Need, will address assistive technology, solutions to improve quality of life, and the pros and cons of new and innovative technologies that offer support to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, families, and caregivers. The website features items like a call-for-help and location tracker button designed to look like jewelry or a stylish key chain, and incontinence pads that can detect early signs of a urinary tract infection.

The conference also includes a Timeslips session on simple techniques to engage older adults with dementia who may feel isolated, as well as connecting more deeply with friends and neighbors of all ages.

Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Gerontology and a national expert in financial exploitation in older adults, will welcome attendees. Lepard will provide closing remarks.

"One of the biggest messages we all need to get out is that people do not lose their personhood when they receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease,” Lichtenberg said. “Too often, once a person is labeled as having Alzheimer's disease, their preferences and opinions are diminished in the eyes of others."

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s — more than 190,000 in Michigan alone with their more than 518,000 caregivers. It’s the sixth leading cause of death, killing more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Here in Michigan, the Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer’s is $1.487 billion. Numbers (cost and diagnoses) are estimated to increase by about 16 percent by 2025.

Health care professionals can receive 2.5 contact hours or continuing education credits free by attending. Contact Donna MacDonald for questions regarding professional development at donnamacdonald@wayne.edu or 248-719-0640.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit bit.ly/alzconference20 or contact Jean Barnas, Alzheimer’s Association program services director at jbarnas@alz.org or 248-996-1033.
 

Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia.™ For more information, visit www.alz.org or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

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