2015 Dementia: Current Trends and Future Directions

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Montecito Country Club
920 Summit Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA 93108


2015 Dementia Conference SOLD OUT

2015 Conference Schedule 






Opening remarks



Keynote: The long and winding road to a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease., Ken Kosik, MD

Description:  The research community has delivered a wealth of scientific data concerning the fundamental molecular pathways that lead to Alzheimer's disease. While the scientific achievements have been laudable, they have revealed how much more we need to learn. The knowledge gap stands out most starkly when we consider our inability to translate the basic insights into effective treatments. On the other hand, one irrefutable fact remains, research remains the only route to a cure.




Early Stage


Breakout 1A:  Advance Health Care Planning:  State your wishes and control your future, Jeanne West, RN, MHA

Description:  All too often, adults express that they are “not yet ready to discuss end-of-life wishes” or are too busy to get their wishes formalized in writing. Many are unconcerned about planning ahead for their health care needs, believing that good health indicates everything will be okay as one moves on in years. This workshop will focus on early planning and will demonstrate to participants how to have the conversation about their own health care wishes with physicians, family and significant others.  The goal is to encourage early and proper completion of pertinent documents that enable one to define their health care wishes, should there be a sudden or unexpected serious health event.  A popular Advance Directive form, “Five Wishes” and the 2014 version of the POLST form will be distributed and reviewed in this workshop.  Local resources where one can obtain the forms and assistance with the conversation will be provided.

Breakout 1B:  The Physical Space:  Bricks Mortar in the AD patients world (Panel), Bob Harbaugh, MD (Moderator), Jay Blatter, Rosemarie Harris

Description:  A representative panel consisting of an architect with interests in this domain, a savvy caregiver, and the director of a specially designed local residential care facility specializing in dementia care will discuss the essential elements of the physical space that best serves persons affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.



Roundtable discussions or Networking  (See below for topics)



Grab your lunch & Network

Middle Stage


Breakout 2A:  Creating Meaningful Connections Through Art Media, Anne Galbraith, MA, LMFT, ATR

Description:  This presentation will discuss and demonstrate the uses and benefits of art media for individuals living with memory loss and their caregivers (family/professional).  A variety of approaches and art materials will be introduced; from working with individuals to small groups for the purpose of improving a sense of well being, stimulating conversation, supporting social connection, decreasing stress and just plain old having fun.



Breakout 2B: Driving and Dementia: Objective assessment of driving skills for the person with dementia, Denise Dowd, OTR/L

Description:  As a family member of a person with dementia, broaching the conversation of driving can be a sensitive subject.  In an office setting, it may be difficult for a physician to determine if a patient with mild dementia is safe to drive.  Learn how a Pre-Drive and Behind the Wheel Evaluation can bridge the gap by providing the physician with objective findings on cognition, visual perception, vision, behavior and physical limitations that may affect a person’s ability to safely drive a motor vehicle.




Late Stage


Breakout 3A: Late Stage Dementia: The Power of Non-Verbal Communication, Jackie Martson 

Breakout 3B:  The Dementia EcoSystem:  The Caregiver as the indicator species,  Mary Sheridan, LMFT  & Erika Dixon, LCSW

Description:   This session will look at the well being of the family caregiver and how that reflects the well being of the caregiving environment and ultimately the person with dementia.  Additionally, the session will cover how to assess family caregiver well being.



Changing the Status Quo: State & National Advocacy, Susan Demarious

Description:  The facts regarding Alzheimer’s disease prevalence, impact and cost are well documented yet millions in California struggle daily to find appropriate care and support, and still more question why researchers haven’t discovered the cause or cure of this disease.  Learn how the Alzheimer’s Association is strategically approaching these issues at the state capitol and in Congress, and find out how you can help advocate for improved public policies.  



Closing Remarks

Roundtable Topics:

  1. Creatively paying for Long term Care 
  2. The emotional "roller coaster" of being a family caregiver 
  3. Nutrition & Hydration at End of Life:  Beneficial or Harmful?  
  4. Deciding on "making a move" (to care facility)
  5. Hospice and palliative care 
  6. Communicating Through the Stages 
  7. Content & Involved: Using Activities to Support People with Alzheimer's

We welcome professionals in the field of dementia care, including those licensed as HHA, CNA, LVN, RN, LCSW, MSW, and RCFE. Six Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered for professional attendees. 

Please note, if you are unable to attend the conference, please notify our office as soon as possible.  Refunds will be issued as follows:  Full refund minus a $25 processing fee until April 1. 50% refund until April 15.  No refunds after April 16.

We are looking for volunteers! For information about volunteering and to sign up today, click here.  

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Mitchel Sloan at 805.892.4259 x102 or msloan@alz.org. 

Thank you to our 2015 sponsors!


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