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Friday, April 12, 2019
7:30 am - 4:00 pm

Location: Dayspring United Methodist Church

Cost: $50 - Individual; $95 - Professional (includes CEUs)

Conference Agenda

7:30 am — Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00 am — Welcoming Remarks
Melissa Del-Colle, PhD, LMSW – Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter, Central Arizona Regional Director

9:15 am — Keynote
Alireza Atri, MD, PhD - Banner Sun Health Research Institute
Title: "Current State of Research"
Description: New research is undertaken every day in the United States and across the globe to help us better understand, identify, treat, and respond to Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia conditions. Keeping up with the newest findings and knowledge about dementia can be daunting, but knowing the direction of and future of dementia research is an important component of serving those living with dementia and their care partners.

9:45 am — BREAK

10:00 am — Breakout Session A-1
Lori Nisson, LCSW - Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Title: "Ambiguous Loss: Living Effectively with Uncertainty "
Description: Ambiguous loss is a familiar experience for many care partners and families living with and/or caring for a person with dementia, even if they don’t know it. Ambiguous loss is a phenomena that dementia care providers and practitioners will deal with during treatment and being prepared to identify, address, and respond to ambiguous loss is an important facet of dementia services.

10:00 am — Breakout Session A-2
Kimberly Yellow Robe, MBA Public Affairs Specialist – US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration
Title: "Social Security, SS Disability, Medicare, & Medicaid"
Description: Navigating Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid before or after receiving a dementia diagnosis can be a daunting and overwhelming task, yet programs such as SSDI, AHCCCS, and ALTCS are available as a means to support people living with a dementia diagnosis and their families to ensure they receive medical care and can live as healthy of lives as possible. This session will teach participants about these programs and how to access services and information for these programs. Social Security Disability, Survivor, Retirement, and SSI are important benefits members of the public should understand including the application process. SSA offers convenient online services and highlights how important it is to create your own online account in order to conduct business minus the visit to the local field office.

10:00 am — Breakout Session A-3
Robert Hess, III, BSW, MPA
Title: "Serving LGBTQ Older Adults with Dementia Well"
Description: Understanding the lived experiences of those who provide support and care giving to a loved one with dementia is a cornerstone of effective holistic dementia care and services particularly those who identify as LGBTQ. This session will include information about serving the Older Adult LGBTW population effectively, both those with dementia and their care partners.

10:00 am — Breakout Session A-4
Katie Cruz, MA, MSW & Jodie Khotim, MSW - Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter
Title: "Women: The unsung heroes of this disease"
Description: Women represent both two thirds of those with AD and more than 60% of the caregivers. This presentation will focus on the unique stressors women face, as caregivers. 

11:00 am — BREAK

11:15 am — Breakout Session B-1
Lori Nisson, LCSW - Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Title: "Behaviors and Communication: Expressing What Words Cannot"
Description: Changes in behavior and communication are common among people living with dementia and caregivers must address and adjust their response to dementia-related behaviors multiple times over the course of caregiving. Some dementia-related behaviors can be upsetting, distressing, or even dangerous for people living with dementia and their care partners. Being able to identify and respond to behaviors, using practical tactics and methods, can help reduce care partner stress and maintain the dignity and comfort of the person living with dementia. Dementia care practitioners can help the families they serve by providing education, problem solving, and support for responding to dementia-related behaviors while caregiving.

11:15 am — Breakout Session B-2
Mary Servin, RN, Mary Pat Sharp, RN, Carolyn Hutchens – FSL Adult Day Health Services
Title: "Best Practices for the Non-Medical Practitioner in Dementia Care"
Description: Best practice standards for the medical response to dementia is fairly well documented and the medical community as a whole has developed a system of ensuring providers of medical dementia care engage in specific best practices during care. Holistic dementia care treatment planning requires more than just medical team involvement in care, often bringing together professionals from different disciplines including speech and cognitive therapy, occupational and physical therapy, social work, dietitians, and other mental health professionals, among others. Due to the ever-evolving nature of the treatment teams in general, and as the knowledge about how to best serve those living with dementia grows and develops, so too does the expectation that all service providers involved in dementia care planning engage in best practices. A growing area of interest and a focus of many families providing care for a person with dementia is what to look for when choosing an adult day health care program, particularly one that provides wrap-around services for the person with dementia and their family. This session will address what families and other providers can look for when exploring day health programs and other wrap-around services that are outside of the medical treatment team.

11:15 am — Breakout Session B-3
Marsha Goodman, JD, CELA – Frazer Ryan Goldberg & Arnold, LLP
Title: "Financial and Legal Planning"
Description: If you or someone you know is affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the time for legal and financial planning is now. Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease is a workshop for anyone who would like to know more about what legal and financial issues to consider and how to put plans in place. This workshop is for informational purposes only and does not replace legal advice specific to participants’ own situation or needs.

11:15 am — Breakout Session B-4
Brian Browne, MS – Dementia Education
Title: "Memory & Faith: Spirituality, Caregiving, and Dementia"
Description: Many people gather strength and peace from their spiritual or religious practice, particularly in times of trouble or struggle. For others dealing with the uncertain, scary future that comes with a dementia diagnosis, spiritual and religious beliefs and traditions become more difficult and bring feelings of distress or even anger where there once was solace. Regardless of the perspective though, spirituality and religious practice can be a difficult aspect of a client or patient’s life for dementia care practitioners to incorporate into treatment or care planning and is frequently overlooked during the creation of care plans and treatment teams. Regularly incorporating a client/patient’s spiritual and/or religious practice into treatment planning and caregiver support programming and services, when desired by the client/patient, often improves the overall effectiveness of treatment during and after a diagnosis and caregiving and can provide additional means for accessing additional social support. 

12:15 pm — LUNCH (Included)

1:00 pm — Breakout Session C-1​
Presenter: Tommy Montanarella, MS  - Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter
Title: "Difficult Conversations for When Life Changes in Dementia Care"
Description: This session will offer helpful tips to assist families with difficult conversations related to dementia, including going to the doctor, deciding when to stop driving, and making legal and financial plans. It is important that families and support networks don’t wait to have difficult conversations. Invite family, friends, employers and health care professionals to form a care team, communicate with each other, and help you and the person with changes in functioning. The fear or lack of awareness that often accompanies having these conversations can result in delays that have serious consequences for the entire family. This session will also include a discussion about how to engage families in these hard conversations and how to address family concerns and gain support.

1:00 pm — Breakout Session C-2
Mary Servin, RN, Mary Pat Sharp, RN, Carolyn Hutchens – FSL Adult Day Health Services
Title: "Finding your Groove: Activities and Engagement for PWD & Caregivers"
Description: For many families, a diagnosis of dementia is the first of many changes to which the person living with the diagnosis and their care partner must make during the course of the disease. For many people living with dementia and their care partners, the stress of the diagnosis and the changes they experience functionally and cognitively, can result in withdrawal from activities and events that once brought joy, enjoyment, and relaxation. This is particularly true for people who are unsure how, when, or even if they should tell their family, friends, and social supports about the dementia diagnosis. Practitioners and caregivers can both benefit from ensuring there is a focus on maintaining social engagement and activities for both the person with dementia and the caregiver(s) throughout the course of the disease. Social engagement encourages support, decreases stress, and provides a needed outlet during difficult times. This session will provide participants with practical ideas and techniques for caregivers and professionals alike to encourage ongoing social interaction and engagement after a dementia diagnosis.

1:00 pm — Breakout Session C-3
Brian Browne, MS – Dementia Education
Title: "Cultural Competence for Professionals and Practitioners in Dementia Care" 
Though many aspects of living with dementia and providing caregiving are universal or similar among different families, groups, and individuals, truly effective dementia treatment and care planning requires specific attention to the cultural and ethnic needs of the individual and the family in treatment planning. Cultural competency in dementia care planning is of paramount importance when creating effective and responsive treatment and intervention plans, while demonstrating respect for cultural and social norms can deepen the therapeutic and service relationships between practitioners and families.

1:00 pm — Breakout Session C-4
Julie Yeoman, LMSW – Valiant Hospice
Title: "When is it time and what then? Hospice and Palliative Care Decisions"
Description: Receiving a dementia diagnosis is a scary and life altering event for most people and their families. At this point in time, research and medical treatment can not stop the progression of the disease and ultimately, dementia claims the life of the person living with the diagnosis. Though many families understand this is the only outcome for their loved one, for practitioners and caregivers alike, discussing end-of-life decisions can be heart-wrenchingly difficult and nearly, if not completely, impossible. This session will help participants, whether they are caregivers or practitioners, the tools to start having these conversations and making plans for the future that reflect the desires and maintain the dignity of the person living with dementia. This session will also assist participants in identifying how their own beliefs about end-of-life care and decisions impacts their caregiving and/or provision of services.

2:00 pm — BREAK

2:15 pm — Breakout Session D-1
David Coon, PhD – Arizona State University
Title: "Managing Caregiver Guilt and Caregiver Concerns"
Description: Caregiving for someone living with dementia is a full-time endeavor that usually requires managing many different activities and wearing many different hats at any given time in order to ensure the person with dementia is comfortable and receives the best treatment possible. Often, people become caregivers with little to no warning or preparation, and have to learn many different skills and a lot of information “on the fly”. Due to the progressive nature of dementia and the serious impact it has on a person’s skills and functioning, often treatment plans fail to adequately address the needs of the caregivers if they address them at all. Yet overwhelmingly, caregivers report that they face ongoing struggles with many emotions, including concerns about the future, feeling misunderstood or judged by family, friends, and practitioners, and having a sense of guilt about any feelings they have related to caregiving. Practitioners and service providers can assist caregivers and families by recognizing caregiver stress and concerns and addressing it consistently and respectfully during treatment.

2:15 pm — Breakout Session D-2
Nallelhy Ballesteros, BA Family Care Consultant & Raul Bueno, MFT – Southern Arizona Region, Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter
Title: "Diversity and Dementia: Hispanic/Latino/Chicano/Latinx - What’s in a Name?"
Description: Some studies indicate Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as their white counterparts. But what does it mean to be “Hispanic”? This session will highlight the importance of understanding the rich diversity among ethnic groups and how these unique differences inform approaches to care and support.  The Hispanic/Latino population of Arizona reflects the fact that the entire southern border is shared with Mexico. Arizona and Nevada, both states served by the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, is uniquely situated to provide insight into how ensuring culturally competent and responsive services in dementia care is imperative for people living with dementia and their care partners and families. The Southern Arizona Region of the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is at the forefront of this discussion about best practices for culturally responsive services for the Hispanic and Latino community in Arizona. This session will provide practical ideas and insights in to how services should be adapted and created to address the needs of our Hispanic/Latino community members living with dementia while also providing a forum for practitioners to discuss challenges they face when serving the Hispanic/Latino community in Arizona and Nevada.

2:15 pm — Breakout Session D-3
Dan Fern
Title: "Planning for the Future: Long-term Care Planning & Assisted Living"
Description: Most who have Long Term Care (LTC) insurance have not only given little thought to how to use their policy, but have little idea of what their policy provides for.  This session is intended to help those who have LTC insurance formulate a policy to maximize the benefits available, and do so in a manner that will minimize their out-of-pocket expense.  Learn how to serve as an advocate to obtain LTC insurance benefits to cover the costs for care for those suffering from cognitive impairment. 

2:15 pm — Breakout Session D-4
Mary Servin, RN, Mary Pat Sharp, RN, Carolyn Hutchens – FSL Adult Day Health Services
Title: "Caring for the Caregivers: Practical Methods for Supporting Caregivers"
Description: Significant focus and attention is paid by all members of a dementia care treatment team to the person living with dementia and often care partners and family members also spend most of their focus on the person with the diagnosis. Supporting care partners and families of people living with dementia is a critical component of holistic dementia care treatment and requires not only people to be available to support care partners, but also that those people are comfortable being supportive to care partners. This session provides participants with knowledge and practical tools and advice for how to best support care partners and families while they care for and support a person diagnosed with dementia. Supporting caregivers in meaningful and helpful ways has a lasting positive impact for individuals and families both during and after caregiving.

3:15 pm — BREAK

3:30 pm — Closing Remarks

3:45 pm — Evaluations & Adjourn