As an employee of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, I provide education and support to people living with dementia and their families, and I am also in regular contact with professionals involved in dementia care. I see firsthand how championing change in dementia care affects all the people I work with.
For people who live with dementia, the disease creates changes in their abilities, and family members need to adjust by making changes themselves. Healthcare professionals need to keep up with the changing understanding of the disease and the latest best practices for supporting people with dementia and their families. Changes are occurring in how we view people living with dementia, as people with dementia are being consulted about their experience, and new publications are coming out like the Canadian Charter of Rights for People with Dementia, published by the Alzheimer Society of Canada. For me, I expect one of the highlights of the conference will be the presentation “How We Are Living with the Changes” where Sandra Britten and Marilyn Taylor, two remarkable women living with dementia, share their experience.
Here’s a sprinkling of what else the conference has in store for us: a presentation on the latest research on quality of life, and presentations on the palliative approach to caring for dementia, on new initiatives, on addictions and dementia, and on the brain and physical activity. One of the attendees of last year’s conference had this to say about their experience: “Excellent conference, my first time in many years. Learned so much and am excited with my new found knowledge.”
On Monday evening of the conference, we also have a free event for friends and family of persons with dementia called How We Are Living with Change, again featuring Sandra and Marilyn, and with comments from panelists and an opportunity for participants to ask questions. Here’s what a family caregiver told me about her experience of the event a few years ago. “Just to hear each person speak. We were all at various stages in our journey with the disease. I was in awe that the Alzheimer Society’s Family and Friends Night was all under one roof and available to us as caregivers, family, and friends.” If you attend, you could get a Medic Alert Safely home bracelet and one year of registration for free.
Between the daytime conference and the evening Family and Friends night, there are great opportunities to learn, to reflect, and to connect with others. I hope you can make it.
Come to Our Annual Provincial Conference and Family Night-October 22 and 23, 2018.