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.

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Arden Courts Memory Care Community Avon, Farmington, Hamden
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United Methodist Homes 




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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 – 10:00 AM                Morning Keynote  

Creating Moments of Joy - National speaker Jolene Brackey is the author of Creating Moments of Joy and founder of Enhanced Moments. Her message of hope, encouragement and humor is warmly embraced by family members and professional caregivers alike.  As individuals, our lives are made up of moments.  This keynote presentation will provide strategies to create a wonderful moment for individuals with dementia and their care providers; a moment that can put a smile on a face, a twinkle in an eye, or trigger a pleasant memory.

Jolene will provide insight and share tips for guiding people though the Alzheimer’s journey. Jolene A. Brackey, BA, Owner, Enhanced Moments 

   10:00 AM – 10:15 AM     Morning Break

  10:15 AM – 11:30 AM     Breakout Session A

♥ Caregiver ♦Professional ★Advanced Professional

A1      Arts to Hearts  ♥   - This session will identify brain functions that are affected through visual arts, tactile senses, music and dance.  Through first-hand accounts and exhibit, attendees will be inspired as presenters unravel the benefits of pursuing artistic endeavors for both caregiver and person diagnosed.  Presenters:  Duarte Machado, MD, Neurologist, Yale School of Medicine; Lesley Mills, Owner, Griswold Home Care; Susan Falzone, Photographer; Teri Fogler Binkley, Performance Designer and Gardener

A2  Ethical and Legal Issues in Older Adults with Dementia -  As the population of the United States ages, the number of older adults with dementia is bound to increase. Ethical and legal issues are often encountered in the care of these individuals. Major issues include the maintenance of quality of life while ensuring the safety of the individual and others around them. Family dynamics further complicate the care needs of these individuals. This workshop will discuss two cases that highlight common ethical issues seen in the care of older adults with dementia. The workshop concludes with an overview of important legal aspects of caring for individuals with dementia.  Presenters: Rajesh R. Tampi, MD, MS, FAPA, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Tenure Track),   University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Deena J. Tampi, MSN, MBA-HCA,RN, Executive Director, Behavioral Health Services, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; Kirsten Wilkins, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine; Attending Psychiatrist, VA CT Healthcare System; Honorable Philip A. Wright, Jr., JD, Judge, Wallingford Probate District, Administrative Judge, Central CT Regional Children’s Probate Court; Keith Sittnick, MBA, JD, Attorney at Law

A3        An Overview of Suicide During Dementia - Coping with the distress of advancing cognitive loss may contribute to feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness. Patients also may have other emotional illness. Dementia itself affects verbal and reasoning abilities. These factors can increase the presence of self-destructive thoughts and understanding this may help families and clinicians as they relate to loved ones and to clients. The challenges of living with a progressive brain illness are difficult for patients, families, and professionals. The nature of approaches to deal with these feelings and attendant self-destructive behaviors will be reviewed. Guidelines for interacting with professionals will be presented. There are often no easy answers. Presenter: Harry E. Morgan, MD, President, The Center for Geriatric and Family Psychiatry, Inc., Consultant, Elderpath, LLC, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut 

A4        Frontotemporal Dementia; Behavioral Strategies ♦  - Many times, individuals with Frontotemporal Dementia have symptoms and behavioral expressions that are unique to this particular diagnosis. This workshop will review the differences between FTD and other forms of dementia, describe the subtypes of FTD, discuss common behavioral expressions in FTD and explore strategies for managing behaviors. Presenter: Rebekah Wilson, MSW, Marketing Director, Arden Courts of Farmington

A5        The Key to Finding a Cure: Promoting and Participating in Clinical Trials ♥♦★ - This session will focus on what clinical trials are, including different types and phases of studies, as well as the potential benefits and risks of participating in a clinical trial and why the use of placebo is important.  This presentation will also review myths and facts about Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials.  Information about how to participate and questions to ask if you are considering participating in a clinical study will be discussed.   Presenter: Nicole Barcelos, M.S., M.A., Clinical Study Coordinator, Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit, Yale University School of Medicine

A6        Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease: Legal and Financial Concerns ♥♦¨- When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, planning ahead for legal and financial matters is a challenge.  The Younger Onset population, diagnosed under the age of 65 years old, 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 and financial planning and resources available.  Presenter: Attorney Sharon L. Pope, CzepigaDalyPope

A7        My Gift Is My Song: Musical Approaches to Caregiving ♥♦ - Music offers a wealth of powerful approaches to Alzheimer’s and dementia care.  This session will impart stage-specific music interventions as well as cutting edge points of research that describe the underlying reasons for music's unique efficacy with this population.  Presenter: Jenna St Pierre, MT-BC, Neurologic Music Therapist, Alzheimer’s Resource Center of Connecticut 

A8        Alzheimer’s Disease and Down Syndrome  ♥♦ - As the population of individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) age, the concern of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) increases. This session will review the type of evaluations used to determine memory loss, challenges in activities of daily living (ADL) and strategies to maximize a person’s functioning while preserving self-esteem in persons with Down Syndrome. Presenter: Gerard J. Kerins, MD, FACP, Associate Chief of Geriatrics, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine; Program Director, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship, Yale University School of Medicine;  Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine 

 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM       Lunch and Vendors

 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM  Breakout Session B

♥ Caregiver ♦Professional ★Advanced Professional

B1        Inclusive Services for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Adults ♥♦★ - The unique set of issues faced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) population coupled with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia necessitate the need for inclusive services in order to maintain quality of life.  The goal of this workshop is to increase cultural competency about the challenges of caregiving and aging in the LGBT population and offer tools to providers on how to become more inclusive in providing services to this population.   Panelists will share their experiences, present information and have an open dialogue with workshop participants.  Presenters: Reverend John L. Selders, Jr, CLS, D.D., M. Div Program Coordinator, Zezzo House; Anthony Crisci, BA, Executive Director, Triangle Community Center; Karen Loewy, J.D. Senior Staff Attorney, Lambda Legal; Beth Counselman Carpenter, MSW, LCSW, Private Practice, Individual Group and Family Psychotherapy 

B2        Treating Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia in the Era of Black Box Warnings ★ - Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) refers to a group of non-cognitive symptoms and behaviors that occur commonly in patients with dementia. Recently, the use of psychotropic medications for the treatment of BPSD has generated controversy due to increased recognition of their serious adverse effects.  Available data indicate efficacy for some non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatment modalities for BPSD.   This presentation will discuss the epidemiology, neurobiology, diagnosis and treatments. Evidence based guidelines to assess and treat patients with BPSD will be provided. Presenters: Rajesh R. Tampi, MD, MS, FAPA, Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Tenure Track), University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Deena J. Tampi, MSN, MBA-HCA,RN, Executive Director, Behavioral Health Services, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; Kirsten Wilkins, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine; Attending Psychiatrist, VA CT Healthcare System

B3        Managing Independent Decisions and Mandated Reporting ♦★  - The onset of dementia puts one at increased risk of experiencing abuse, neglect and/or exploitation, often collectively referred to as “elder abuse”. This presentation will outline the intersection between dementia and elder abuse, present professional obligations for mandated reporting, and discuss professional risk and liability issues.   Attendees will be provided with an easy, everyday tool for assessing the lucidity of decisions made by someone with dementia. “Grey area” situations of mild cognitive impairment will be discussed using case reviews.  The goal being to maintain independence to the extent possible, and to protect and prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation. Presenter: Laura Snow, MPH, Program Director, Jewish Senior Services, Institute on Aging

B4        Adult Day Centers: Your Community’s Best Kept Secret ♥♦★ This interactive panel will discuss the importance of Adult Day Centers in our communities.  Topics include how Adult Day benefits clients of all ages with a variety of diagnoses and the impact of adult day centers on behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Panelists will review services provided,  how to recognize when someone could benefit or need to attend an adult day center, how to tell your loved one about adult day centers, the social and economic value of adult day centers and the importance of certifying adult day centers in CT.  Presenters:   Kimberly Savoir, BMT (Moderator for Session), Director, Day-Break at Farmington; Lois R. Arsenault, M.Ed., Director, Caring Connection Adult Day Health Center; Diane C. Fontana, BA, CDP, Care Manager, Connecticut Community Care, Inc.; Judge Robert K. Killian, Jr., Probate Court, District of Hartford; Anne Krott, BA, Respite Care Manager, Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut; Kim E. Radda, R.N., M.A., Caregiver; Paula Vaicekauskas RN, BSN, Director, Town of Enfield Adult Day Center 

B5        End of the Journey ♥♦★ - Late stage dementia is a challenging time for families and caregivers as patient needs and impairment become more pronounced.  Because Alzheimer’s and related dementias often progress slowly and sometimes unpredictably, preparations made for care in the final stages of the illness may turn out to be insufficient.  Symptoms such as pain, agitation, swallowing/eating difficulties, impaired communication, incontinence and aggressiveness may worsen.  Treatments and interventions that promote quality of life and comfort may need substantial changes.  Evidence –based practices that promote a palliative approach, as well as including physical, emotional and spiritual support will be presented.  Often the end of the dementia journey requires home health and hospice services or may require admission to a care facility such as a nursing home or hospice.  Guidelines for admission to, as well as the benefits of, the Medicare hospice benefit for final stage dementia patients will be presented. Presenter: Betty J. Brennan, RN, BSN, Volunteer, Alzheimer's Association, Connecticut Chapter 

 B6       Exploring Intimacy Issues in Dementia Care ♦★ - Is sexuality a basic human need, or inappropriate behavior? Expression of intimacy for people with dementia can be complicated by: 1) elderly sexuality as a taboo subject; 2) ability to consent; and 3) state mandated reporting responsibilities versus residents’ rights to freedom of expression. Recent articles in Bloomberg Business have reported instances where administrators and nurses have lost their jobs and careers over intimacy and dementia. This panel presentation will address the challenges professionals face when residents/clients are sexually expressive, consider family perspectives (including celibacy), and provide resources to develop organizational philosophies to guide their decision-making.  Presenters: Pamela K. Atwood, MA, CDP, Director of Dementia Care Services, Hebrew Health Care; Robin Dessel, LMSW, Alzheimer’s and Sexual Rights Educator, Hebrew Home at Riverdale; Eugene A. Conrad, PhD, MPH, Spousal Caregiver and Support Group Leader

B7        Horticulture Therapy: Come Grow with us! ♥♦★ - Join us for an exciting therapeutic horticulture workshop.  Learn the many benefits of therapeutic horticulture for persons with dementia.  Experience first-hand the special connection between people and plants.  Improve your body, mind and spirit.   Everyone will receive a plant to take home to nurture and grow!  Presenter: Jeffery Eleveld, CHT, Owner, The People Plant Connection

B8        Capturing a Legacy ♦★  - Faulkner proclaimed, “If a story is in you, it has to come out.”  This session will introduce participants to the concept of capturing the life story, or footprint, of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.  Strategies in which to engage individuals with Alzheimer’s disease in the creation and sharing of their rich histories in the form of “legacy boxes” will be reviewed.  Former occupational therapy interns will share their journey of the creation of legacy boxes and encourage attendees to think about how this creative process can be applied to their own settings.  Presenters:  Erica DeFrancesco, MS, OTR/L, Assistant Clinical Professor of Occupational Therapy, Quinnipiac University; Miranda Davis, OTS, Student, Quinnipiac University; Lauren Poole, OTS, Student, Quinnipiac University

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

♥ Caregiver ♦Professional ★Advanced Professional

C1        Assessment and Interventions for Suicidal Behavior during Dementia: Interactions for  Clinicians ♦★PROFESSIONALS ONLY, SPACE IS LIMITED -  This session is designed to give a review of literature in suicidal behaviors followed by a discussion of the impact of dementia upon the risks of self-destructive events. Through clinical vignettes, a real world understanding of interventions will be discussed. Attendees are encouraged to participate with their own case vignettes and experiences. By accepting and understanding the inner thoughts of patients, an individualized approach must be developed. Risk can be diminished but never eliminated. We are often challenged to face our own beliefs. Presenter:  Harry E. Morgan, MD, President, The Center for Geriatric and Family Psychiatry, Inc., Consultant, Elder Path, LLC, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut

C2        Understanding Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) and the Parkinson’s Disease Link ♥♦ - This session provides an opportunity to better understand the fundamentals of the type of dementia known as Lewy Body Dementia (LBD), a form of dementia closely associated with Parkinson’s disease.  The presentation will focus on the science of the brain and how it is impacted by these non-Alzheimer diseases.  The discussion will include an update on the latest research as well as caregiver strategies.  Presenter: Stephen G. Jones, MD, Chief Safety Officer / Director, Outpatient Center for Healthy Aging, Greenwich Hospital

C3        Silver Alerts: Safety Issues for Persons with Dementia ♥♦★  - Since the year 2000, emergency responders have been required to receive training in management of “missing persons”.  In 2009, the Silver Alert system was introduced for searches of missing persons over 65 (or over 18 with mental impairment). Although alerts were for children as well, Connecticut responded to more than 850 Silver Alerts between January and December of 2013. This workshop will review case studies of people with dementia who have wandered, and tips and tools to minimize the risks. Ideas of how to partner with local law enforcement will also be shared.  Presenters: Sergeant James P. Thomas, Commanding Officer, Missing Persons Unit, Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Division of the State Police; Kristine Johnson, BA, Eastern Regional Director, Alzheimer’s Association, CT Chapter

 C4       Connecticut Assistance Programs for Homecare ♥♦ ¨ - This program focuses on available government homecare options in Connecticut.  Benefits to be discussed include the little known Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension, the highly beneficial Medicare Savings Plans and Medicaid homecare programs such as the Homecare Program for Elders and the Statewide Respite Program (including the use of Pooled Trusts for excess income and assets).  Attendees will be provided with a simple guide to help family caregivers and professionals screen clients and families that may be eligible for government help.  Presenters: Attorney John F. Kearns III; Kearns & Kearns, PC Attorney Rebecca A. Hajosy, Kearns & Kearns, PC 

C5        Communication: Breaking Barriers ♥♦★ - This session will explore the process of communication and will review how verbal, nonverbal and paraverbal communication impacts the message being sent.  An in-depth look at the communication chain will be presented and explained to highlight areas where these breakdowns can occur.  The process of listening will be reviewed to further understand the communication process.  Examples of techniques for communicating with persons with Alzheimer’s will be presented.  Presenter:  Kimberly A. Cassia, BS, TRD, ACC, AC-BC, CDP, Elderly Services Coordinator, Municipal Agent, Town of Monroe Senior and Social Services 

C6        Chair Yoga for Wellness ♦★ - As staff members ‘become the change’ they desire to see, they become powerful and inspirational models for their patients.  In this experiential workshop, participants will learn chair yoga poses and deep breathing exercises to de-stress and restore themselves.  When participants can model and share these benefits with their patients, they can have a lasting positive impact.  Participants will experience a shift in their own physiology, or ‘state of being’,  through deep breathing exercises, chair yoga poses, and guided visualization.  The many benefits of chair yoga will also be discussed including improvement in overall quality of life, depression, tension, mood, confusion, and the greater benefits to physical functioning and general health.  Presenter: Kathleen Kiley, Owner of Wellness Insights, LLC, Certified Yoga Instructor

C7        Filling the Day with Meaning (and Fun!) ♥♦ - Therapeutic recreation activities can be both meaningful and fun for persons with dementia.  This session will address individual and group activities that focus on program adaptation to meet individual needs.  The importance and benefits of caregiver involvement with activities to enhance visitation will be explored.  Examples of low-cost materials and supplies will be provided. Presenters: Candace Catlin Hall, Recreation Staff, Maple View Health & Rehabilitation Center; Eileen Barbaro, BS, Owner, “The Looking Glass Day Spa”

C8        Oral Health: From Soup to Nuts ♥♦★ - Oral Health is important to maintaining and improving quality of life.  This session is designed to inform the participant about common oral conditions as we age and how they affect our ability to eat and function; specifically if someone has dementia. The effects of polypharmacy and assessing the patient with dementia will be discussed.  Simple caregiver tips will be demonstrated including inexpensive adaptive devices.  Presenter: Ruth S. Goldblatt DMD, FAGD, FASGD, DABSCD, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine

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 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