Provincial conference 2017

Busy agenda for provincial conference

By Linda Bird, Director, Programs and Services



Summer is almost over, and our 28th Provincial Conference is coming up soon.

This annual gathering of professionals involved in dementia care across Nova Scotia will be at a familiar location for past attendees, although the venue has had a makeover. The DoubleTree by Hilton on Wyse Road is where we’re meeting on Oct. 23-24.

One of things participants tell us in post-conference feedback is that they look forward to the event and always learn from it.

Everyone involved in this field knows the challenges – and rewards – of working with people who live with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. But information on emerging dementia issues is always advancing. In the same way, best practices for providing support and care are also evolving.

That’s why the two days we’ll spend together is so important to the work we do as health care providers, administrators and other partners. The conference provides an opportunity to network – to see old friends and make new acquaintances throughout the province.

It’s also a time to share best practices and learn from each other. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about the conference, and I know others do too.

Finding new ways to work together and ensure seamless service for people with dementia, their families and other partners in care is what this conference is all about. We must coordinate the limited resources that are available in Nova Scotia and use them wisely.

This focus on collaboration is reflected in the conference theme: “Working Together to Make a Difference.”

So how will we do this when we meet this fall?

A great place to start is by talking about the importance of listening to people with dementia. Participants in this Monday morning session will learn more about the challenges faced by people with the disease, and the strategies they use daily.

Dr. Jeanne Ferguson, a geriatric psychiatrist in Cape Breton, will present later the same day on the importance of collaborating with families. This is another presentation to look forward to.

So is a session on responsive behavior, which will be led by consultants in Continuing Care with the Nova Scotia Health Authority. The presentation should generate a lot of discussion, since this is an area that people often have questions about. As people progress on the dementia journey, their reasoning, judgment and perceptions change, and we must also adapt.

The Day 2 lineup will also be a busy one, beginning with a presentation on cultural safety. Meghan Fullerton of Sipekne’katik Health Centre and Millbrook Health Centre, and Brian Knockwood of Sipekne’katik Health Centre will discuss best practices for providing a safe environment for people from various cultures.

The afternoon includes another important topic: palliative care for people with dementia. We’ll discuss ways to identify the need for such care. The session will also look at the strategies that should be in place to ensure people with dementia receive palliative care.

As you can see, the agenda is a full and informative one, with presentations from knowledgeable speakers wanting to share their passion for what they do. We’re expecting another great two days of dementia education again this year.

Besides providing valuable professional development, our goal is also to inspire people as they return to work in their communities. As we organize the conference, we seek to “flame the spark” and bring new enthusiasm and commitment to the field.

We hope participants leave the conference with a fresh perspective and an open mind on the collective work we’re doing to provide care to Nova Scotians living with dementia. This will have a positive impact not only on the people we serve but also on our workplaces.

Thanks to our sponsors for helping to make this year’s event happen: Dementia Understanding the Journey, Harding Medical, Northwood - Live More, Shannex Parkland at the Lakes Phase 3, and True North Clinical Research.

To register for the conference, please visit our website:

Last Updated: 10/17/2018