The 8th Annual Eau Claire Dementia Symposium was held at the beautiful Florian Gardens on May 25th where attendees could come together to converse, connect, learn and share care insight. Azura Memory Care hosts these conferences every year, with all proceeds going to support the efforts of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the Alzheimer’s Association and Second Wind Dreams.
This educational conference welcomed individuals from all different backgrounds; whether in the dementia healthcare field, a family caregiver, or someone who was interested in learning more about the disease, all were welcomed to learn, share insight and offer support. The conference started off with an opportunity to visit the community resource booths to learn of the different services and to connect. After an hour, the attendees took their seats to hear the first speaker of the day, Dr. Art Walaszek.
Dr. Art Walaszek is the Professor and Vice Chair for Education and Faculty Development, Residency Training Director for the Department of Psychiatry and the Co-Leader of Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (WADRC) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. He joined us all the way from Madison the morning of the conference to share his insight in Managing Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia through the DICE approach (Describe, Investigate, Create and Evaluate) in doing thorough assessments to better address a cause and solution.
Governor Martin J. Schreiber is Wisconsin’s leading crusader for Alzheimer’s caregivers, working to help improve support services in healthcare settings and the workplace. Governor Schreiber has written the book My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver to help those affected by this disease find patience, courage and love. Governor Schreiber had the attendees captivated, chuckling and reaching for a Kleenex when discussing his personal caregiving journey.
“If there is one thing worse than Alzheimer’s it is ignorance of the disease.”- Governor Martin J. Schreiber
Dr. Stephanie Ebner, Regional Medical Specialist for Assurex Health, presented an educational segment on Pharmacogenomic Testing offered through GeneSight. This INNOVATIVE test involves using genetic information from a patient to personalize the medication selection process, helping to give further insight as to what could be trigging certain behaviors and reactions. Along with the several other case studies shared, Azura Memory Care shared their personal successes in using GeneSight to help several of our residents RECOVER.
Dr. CeCelia Zorn, local author of Angels Don’t Get Tattoos and Devil’s Don’t Wear Velvet as well as a Registered Nurse and Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Clare with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing, shared segments of her writing along with some of her findings and research through examining and understanding the teenage caregiver.
P.K. Beville, creator of the Virtual Dementia Tour and founder of Second Wind Dreams, an international nonprofit committed to changing the perception of aging, offered insight regarding sensitivity training for providing quality care. P.K. Beville delved into some of the different perceptions and perspectives that are manipulated for those with this disease, and how healthcare providers and caregivers can better understand and recognize how some seemingly small factors can be affecting them visually, sonically and emotionally and in doing so, can better provide the highest quality of care.
Throughout the day, attendees were asked to partake in writing or illustrating what brings them JOY everyday on a mosaic tile. After the adjournment of the conference, Azura collected all of the MOSAIC artworks and gave them to our Azura of Eau Claire residents to use to adorn their very own MOSAIC garden in the backyard. Thank you to all who helped contribute to the JOY and smiles seen in the photos!
A huge thank you to our Azura of Eau Claire team members, our phenomenal speakers, our Forget-Me-Not and Purple Ribbon Community Resource booths and attendees who helped make this year’s conference such a success!
Azura invites you to save the date for the 9th Annual Dementia Symposium on Thursday, May 24th 2018!
We hope to see you!