The Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter is pleased to present its 17th Annual Education Conference. This full ­day conference is designed for both professionals and family caregivers. Our aim is to share best practices and creative interventions for the care, treatment and preservation of the quality of life of persons with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Note: Conference session content targets specific audiences (caregiver, professional , advance professional ). Please choose your sessions accordingly.

conf pic.jpg


WEB Greens Cannondale.jpgHHCNew.jpgWEB Greens Greenwich.jpgWEB Wilton.jpgWEB Greenwich Woods.jpg028 CT - Logo Candlewood Valley

Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
Arden Courts Memory Care Community Avon, Farmington, Hamden
Optum CarePlus CT
United Methodist Homes 




028 CT - Download Brochure


Take a brief survey. Family caregivers and service providers – let us know how we can better serve you. Your input will help us develop local programs and services.

Click here to take the survey. 

Families rely on the resources offered by the Alzheimer’s Association, which is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care support and research.Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey!



Eileen Cleary, RN, CRRN, MA, NHA (Conference Committee Chair), Director for Dementia Education and Programming, Saint Mary Home
Blanche Agostinelli, MSN, Member, Medical Scientific Advisory Council, Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter 
Pamela K. Atwood, MA, CDP, CLL, Director of Dementia Care Services, Hebrew Health Care, Inc.
Stacy A. Batty-Chavis, MA , Program Department Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter
Betty J. Brennan, RN, BSN, Volunteer, Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter
Sandra Cook, AS, Community Sales Director, Atria Greenridge Place
Carolyn A. DeRocco, BA, Sr. Director of Programs and Education, Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter
Cynthia R. Grant, BA, Field Representative, Connecticut Department on Aging
Mike Hetsko, MSW, Director of Social Services, Gardner Heights
Nancy V. Leonard, MSW, LCSW, MBA, Director of Social Work, New England Home Care
Mary E. Mackey, Special Events Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter
Patricia B. O’Brian, BS, North Central Regional Director, Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter
Catherine Sarni, MS, Volunteer, Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter 
Elena Schjavland, MS, APRN (Lead Nurse Planner), Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Keys2Memory
Ginny Steller, MSW, Volunteer, Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter
Cecelia Sullivan, MS Ed., HTP, Care Partner /Family Advocate; Healing Touch Practitioner; Court Appointed Conservator
Emily L. Uguccioni, BS, TRD, ACLTC, Director of Operations & Services, Seabury Meadows
Rebekah Wilson, MSW, Marketing Director, Arden Courts of Farmington


7:00 AM – 8:00 AM                  Registration and Vendors   

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM                  Opening Remarks

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM                Morning Keynote  

Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?

 In the last 5 years, there has been a re-evaluation of when Alzheimer’s disease begins. Recent advancements in imaging the living brain has helped us understand and track the disease and suggests that abnormal brain changes may start decades before clinical symptoms appear. This has set the stage for new diagnostic guidelines and the quest for markers to identify who is at risk and who is progressing towards the disease. The exciting news is that this data may suggest a large window of opportunity to treat individuals,which opens the door for new prevention trials.

Presenter: Dean M. Hartley, Ph.D., Director of Science Initiatives, Medical and Scientific Relations Division, Alzheimer’s Association, National Office

   9:30 AM – 10:00 AM     Morning Break

  10:00 AM – 11:15 AM     Breakout Session A

♥ Caregiver  ♦Professional  ★Advanced Professional

A1     Alzheimer’s 101 ♥♦★ - This session will educate attendees about Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Topics to be presented include risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, epidemiology and the impact on society. Evaluation of individuals suspected to have dementia, assessment methods, treatment and management options will also be discussed. Alzheimer's related resources for all stages of the disease will be provided for family and professional caregivers. Presenters: Muhammed Qureshi, MD, Geriatrician, United Community and Family Services

A2  As the Journey Ends: Finding support and answers for end of life ♥♦Hospice is a philosophy of care offered when curative medical treatment is no longer the best option. This session outlines how hospice care utilizes a team based approach to provide support, education, and guidance to people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Highlights include dementia specific signs and symptoms associated with end of life as well as issues of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and artificial hydration and nutrition. Presenter: Lorraine Moon, RN, ADN, CHPN, Clinical Outreach and Quality Coordinator, Center for Hospice Care,Southeastern Connecticut

A3       Alzheimer’s Disease and Down Syndrome: Strategies for care ♥♦As persons with Down syndrome live longer, they are developing Alzheimer’s disease at a staggering rate.This presentation will address the complexities of supporting individuals with both dementia and Down syndrome and examine issues of assessment, diagnosis, treatment, care and resources for professionals and caregivers. Emphasis will be placed on ways to assist a person so that they may function as safely and independently as possible. Presenters: Liza Paulsen, RN, Nursing Manager, The Kennedy Center; Sarah O’Grady, BA, Program Manager,The Kennedy Center; Wendy Bloch, MSW, Administrator of Therapeutic Services, The Kennedy Center

A4        My Story: Dignity and dementia during hospitalization ♥♦★ - Approximately 25% of hospital beds are occupied by someone with dementia. When a person is admitted for an acute illness, in addition to a diagnosis of dementia, the challenges for staff are heightened. This session will identify symptoms of dementia that make hospitalization overwhelming for the person diagnosed and provide tools for person centered care in the hospital setting. Presenters: Cynthia LaCour, BSW, Director of Social Services, Candlewood Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center Kathleen J. Maher, TRD, Director of Therapeutic Recreation, Candlewood Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center

A5       Supporting a “Life I Want to Live”: Moving beyond behavior management and redirection to lives full of ‘Well-Being’ ♥♦★ - The concept of ‘Well-being’ can be used as a non-pharmacological method to care for people with dementia thatalso experience challenging behaviors. This session explores domains of well-being from the latest evidence basedapproaches and will emphasize empathetic care-partnering, the promotion of abilities, and how to create supportiveand personalized environments. Presenter: Stephani Shivers, MEd, OTR/L, CDP, Director of Community Services and Education, Alzheimer'sResource Center of Connecticut

A6       Intolerance or Bullying: Creating a culture of allies for dementia care ★ - Bullying can be disastrous in communities and have a devastating impact on older adults; people with dementia are often the target. This session will review definitions, assessments, and issues of bullying among elders, and describe how to create a culture of respect and understanding for all. Presenter: Pamela K. Atwood, MA, CDP, CADDCT, CLL, Director of Dementia Care Services, Hebrew HealthCare

A7       Family Dynamics and Caregiving: Usual and expected challenges ★ - Family harmony and cohesiveness is a tall order at any time of life, but as parents with dementia progress, adult children often encounter challenges they are unprepared for. This session will provide insight and strategies to help families move forward. Topics include why sibling tensions erupt as parents age, the only child caregiving dilemma,and the challenge to providing care when there has been a history of abuse or estrangement. Presenter: Roni Lang, LCSW, Social Worker, Greenwich Hospital

A8        Treating Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias: Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments  - There is more to treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD) than Aricept and Namenda. This session will discuss non-pharmacologic management of individuals suffering from dementia, describe the common comorbid conditions,and present alternative pharmacologic management of the illness. Presenter: Alan P. Siegal, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University; Fellow, American Psychiatric Association; President, Geriatric and Adult Psychiatry, LLC

 11:15 AM – 11:30 AM       Morning Break

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM   Breakout Session B

♥ Caregiver  ♦Professional  ★Advanced Professional

B1       Writing a Wrong: Using journaling as a coping strategy ♥ - This workshop will focus on the use of personal writing as a tool to cope with challenging situations. Participants will learn how journaling can help meet the emotional challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia. The presenter, through example and instruction, will provide insights and practical strategies for participants to start or enhance their writing. The use of the common reporting mantra: “who, what, when, where, why and how” will be employed to summarize the process for successful journaling and personal essays. Presenter: Teresa M. Norris, MS, Writer, Author, Educator

B2        Understanding Wandering  ♥♦★ - Alzheimer’s disease causes millions of Americans to lose their ability to recognize familiar places and faces. Up to 60 percent of those with dementia will wander at any stage of the disease. This session will identify risk factors for wandering in a variety of settings, help participants to recognize signs of wandering behavior and discuss approaches to decrease wandering. Participants will apply strategies to develop an action plan in the event of a wandering incident. Presenter: Tania Paparazzo, LMSW, Southwest Regional Director, Alzheimer's Association, Connecticut Chapter

B3        Paving the way for a Successful Discharge to Home from the Hospital or Rehab  ♥♦ -  This session is designed to help caregivers feel more confident in their abilities to assist the person with dementia to get the best possible care during their time in the hospital and/or short term rehab and prepare for their return home. The session will focus on improving caregivers’ knowledge of the healthcare system to help with their role as an advocate while navigating the system with and for their loved ones. To ensure a smoother transition, participants will be introduced to the idea of a personal health record that can be used to record health history, provider information, medication list and how the personal health record can be used to increase communication with providers. Attendees will discuss ways to plan for potential barriers that can occur during discharge from the hospital or short term rehab center and strategize for best outcomes. Presenters: Patti Massa, BSW, CMC, Care Management Liaison, Connecticut Community Care, Inc.; Lisa Wrinn, MA,Supervisor of Transition Care Coordination-MFP, Connecticut Community Care, Inc.

B4        Getting Youth Involved in the Crusade Against Alzheimer's ♦ - This interactive program will demonstrate how students in grades 3 - 16 can benefit from common core based programs dealing with awareness, advocacy and fund raising for Alzheimer's. Participants will observe components from programs including the work students can do with the legislature and various community fund raising events.Attendees will review appropriate tools such as websites and related books that can be utilized with students working on programs where adults and children learn about Alzheimer's together. Presenters: Darla Shaw, EdD, Professor of Education and Women's Studies, Western (CT) State University; Scott Russell, EdD, Alzheimer’s Association Public Policy Committee, 2014 Chairman for Advocacy Forum,Washington DC, Former National Board of Directors, Early Stage National Advisor

B5        Navigating the Challenges Associated with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease  ♥♦★ -  When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, planning ahead for legal matters and asset protection is a challenge. The younger onset population, diagnosed under the age of 65, face limited resources. This session will provide families and care providers knowledge of the programs available to this population with unique needs.Topics include legal, asset protection, long-term care planning, and resources available. Presenter: Sharon L. Pope, JD, Principal, CzepigaDalyPope

 B6      The Creative Arts Therapies in Dementia Care  ♥♦★  - This workshop will explore the arts as purposeful psychotherapeutic interventions as well as tools for behavior modification, cognitive enhancement and communication. Participants will be introduced to a variety of creative arts therapies with people living with dementia through case studies and experiential exercises. Defining the difference between the arts and the creative arts therapies will be discussed. Participants will be offered strategies on how to start a creative arts and/or a creative arts therapy program or enhance programs that already exist. Presenter: Maria Scaros-Mercado, LCAT, BCCC, BCPC, Executive Director, The Greens at Greenwich

B7       Mobilizing Authentic Partnerships in Dementia Care, Supports and Services  ★ - Within the context of dementia, decisions are often made for, rather than with the person who is living with dementia.In this interactive session, participants will collaboratively identify some of the assumptions and actions that often disable persons living with dementia and limit possibilities for well-being. Participants will explore the three guiding principles and five enabling factors necessary for mobilizing ‘authentic partnerships’ in dementia care, supports and services. Examples of authentic partnerships-in-action will be shared during this presentation and the session will conclude by engaging participants to identify the supports they need in order to adopt an authentic partnerships approach. Presenters: Jennifer Carson, MS, PhDc, Chief Learning Officer, Alzheimer's Resource Center; Jennifer Terray, MSN RN, Assistant Director of Nursing, Alzheimer's Resource Center

B8       Primary Progressive Aphasia, Semantic Dementias, and Communication Deficits in Dementia  ★ - Disruption of language is seen in many Neurodegenerative disorders. Exploration of the functional neuroanatomy will be presented. The participants will review the nature and location of brain changes leading to functional deficits. Means of assessment of language processing will be reviewed. Understanding the nature of these deficits assists the care provider in interactions with the patient. Exploration of patient frustration and care-giver or family distress will be examined.Opportunities for nonverbal interventions will be explored. *Participants are encouraged to bring clinical vignettes* Presenters: Harry E.Morgan, MD, President, The Center for Geriatric and Family Psychiatry, Inc., Consultant, Elderpath ,LLC, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut; Karen Dworski, LCSW, Consultant, Elderpath, LLC, Clinician, The Center for Geriatric and Family Psychiatry, Inc.; Denise Fogel, Psy.D., ABPP, Neuropsychologist, The Center for Geriatric and Family Psychiatry

 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM                Luncheon and Vendors 

2:30 PM – 3:45 PM                Breakout Session C 

♥ Caregiver ♦Professional ★Advanced Professional

C1        Singin’ in the Brain: Singing, neuroscience and fun for all ages  ♥♦★ - Singing is a communication tool for caregivers. Singing can affect brain function and can be used as therapy for neurologic and speech disorders, as well as an exercise to improve vocal clarity with ease and confidence. Participants will explore the importance of current research on singing and its potential therapeutic applications. The session allows attendees to practice and communicate basic principles of effective and efficient vocalization and learn how to facilitate group and individual singing at home and in communities. Presenter: Robert Bergner, MDiv, Chaplain, Seabury

C2        Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Elders in Nursing Facilities: What are their rights?  ♥♦★ - It is well documented that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) older adults face specific health vulnerabilities and have limited familial and social caregiving supports. Adding a dementia diagnosis and the identity issues thatmay ensue, families face a difficult path as they consider the placement of their loved one in a long term care facility that is not LGBT friendly. This session will review protections available to LGBT long term care residents and their families, identify questions to ask to ensure culturally competent care is received, and discuss what the law requires to ensure LGBT older adults can age in dignity and equality. Presenter: Karen L. Loewy, JD, Senior Attorney, Lambda Legal

C3        Decrease Stress Using Holistic Techniques for Progressive Relaxation  ♥♦★  - This session will discuss research on meditation and its positive impact on individuals with Alzheimer’s disease including emotional wellness and stress reduction. Participants will review how to incorporate meditation, yoga, andtouch therapy into their activity programs. Ayurvedic daily practices and aroma-therapy, in concert with accu-pressure will also be explored. Presenters: Dave Krett, RYT, Chief Operating Officer, Family Care Plus; Leah Doroch, CHLC, Director of Programs,Family Care Plus

 C4       The Inspiration of Symbols ♦The onset of dementia is a life changing event, and the progression of the disease impacts the life journey for the individual, their loved ones and professional caregivers. Spirituality is often where people turn to engage body, mind and spirit to bring cohesiveness to the divergent experiences of life, the joys and challenges. This session will provide key concepts, visual engagement, group practice and case debriefing to help loved ones and professional caregivers engage with symbols for spiritual coping, offering a path to hope in challenging times.Presenter: Jean L. Morris, MARS, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Masonicare Home Health & Hospice

C5        Empowering the Caregiver with Critical Legal and Financial Strategies ♦This workshop will present an overview of important legal and financial considerations when facing the need for long-term care. Attendees will learn about the different options available for decision-making on behalf of a person with diminished capacity, utilizing such tools as power of attorney, advanced directives, conservatorships and asset protection. The presentation will outline funding sources for long term care including VA and Medicaid home care benefits. Unique planning strategies will be identified when a spouse or disabled child is involved.Presenter: Ann L. Fowler-Cruz, JD, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Cohen and Wolf, PC

C6        Driving, Aging and Dementia: It’s more than taking away the keys ♦Seniors and driving is often a difficult issue to address; and when the diagnosis of dementia is added to the mix the issue becomes much more complicated. Participants will review physical and cognitive changes that impact a person’s ability to drive and surprising facts and statistics will be shared. The means to assess a person’s driving ability will be discussed in addition to resources available for obstacles faced. Strategies to best approach this subject will be explored. Presenter: Mary Underwood, BSW, Vice President of Memory Care and Resident Experience, Maplewood Senior Living

C7       New Technologies to Assist in the Diagnosis of Dementia Type and Research Options Elicidation of underlying mechanisms of different causes of dementia has permitted the development of a number of clinical tools to assist in making the correct diagnosis, allowing better understanding, planning, and consideration of treatment and research options by the patient, their family, and caregivers. This session will address recently approved diagnostic tools and possible research alternatives. Presenter: David S. Russell, MD, PhD, Associate Director of Clinical Research, Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders (IND); Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine

C8        Understanding and Preventing Resident-to-Resident Aggression in Dementia The session will provide an overview of the prevalent, concerning, but under recognized and understudied phenomenon of dementia-related resident-to-resident aggression (RRA) in long-term care residences. Based on an extensive review of the research and practice literature, the session will describe: (a) The consequences of RRA in dementia; (b) Common causes, contributing factors, and triggers of these behaviors; (c) Key strategies for prevention and de-escalation; (d) Tools for documentation and interdisciplinary screening of dementia-related RRAas well as individualized intervention planning. Presenter: Eilon Caspi, BSW, MA, PhD, Gerontologist & Dementia Behavior Specialist, Ocean State Research Institute, Providence VAMC; Postdoctoral Fellow, Canandaigua VAMC

3:45  PM              Evaluations and Contact Hours / CEUs Awarded 

Continuing Education Credits available for Physicians, Nurses and Social Workers

 **Payment must be received by date of conference in order to receive CEU’s**

Physicians - Application has been submitted for this program to be approved for Continuing Medical Education credits. Jewish Senior Servicesdesignates this CME activity for a maximum of 1 credit hour AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. Physicians should only claim creditcommensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses - This Continuing Nursing EducationActivity has been submitted to the NortheastMultistate DivisionAssociation, anAccreditedApproverby the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation for approval to award contact hours.

Social Workers - Application has been submitted for this program to be approved for Continuing Education Credit hours by the National Associationof Social Workers, CT. If approved, this program will meet the continuing education criteria for Social Work Licensure renewal.

DISCLAIMER: The Alzheimer’s Association and its affiliate organizations do not endorse or support off label usage of any medication or product to beused other than as the manufacturer suggests or that is FDA approved as an intended use of a medication or product.

The complimentary/alternative therapeutic modalities in dementia care taught at this educational conference are an adjunctcomplimentary/alternative modality and are not a substitute for traditional medicinal care. All participants are encouraged to continueto seek medical advice from their primary care physicians as a primary source of treatment.

Continuing Education Credits Available for Physicians, Nurses and Social Workers

**Payment must be received by date of conference in order to receive CEU’s**


Physicians - Application has been submitted for this program to be approved for Continuing Medical Education credits. Jewish Senior Services is accredited by the State of Connecticut as an intrastate sponsor of continuing education.

Nurses - This activity has been submitted to Connecticut Nurses’ Association for approval to award contact hours. 

Connecticut Nurses’ Association is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

 DISCLAIMER: The Alzheimer’s Association and its affiliate organizations do not endorse or support off label usage of any medication or product to be used other than as the manufacturer suggests or that is FDA approved as an intended use of a medication or product.   

The complimentary/alternative therapeutic modalities in dementia care taught at this educational conference are an adjunct complimentary/alternative modality and is not a substitute for traditional medicinal care. All participants are encouraged to continue to seek medical advice from their primary care physicians as a primary source of treatment.

 Social Workers - Application has been submitted for this program to be approved for Continuing Education Credit hours by the National Association of Social Workers, CT. If approved, this program will meet the continuing education criteria for Social Work License