Alzheimer’s symposium was helpful to attendees
Organizers of the sixth annual Alzheimer’s symposium that was held April 21 should be commended for the excellent program they offered the hundreds who attended. The speakers and exhibitors did a wonderful job of addressing the concerns of professionals, care partners and those diagnosed with various forms of dementia.
One theme that stood out for me was the importance of keeping focus on the whole person and not falling into the trap of defining individuals solely in terms of their disability. In a talk titled “Dementia Capability,” Dr. Maureen Matthews discussed how individuals living with the disease have much to teach us. She urged the audience to engage individuals and create opportunities for them to share their experience of living with dementia.
In keeping with this recommendation, Matthews expressed the hope that the day would come when we would not only be talking about people with dementia, but that we would be having such individuals serve as guest speakers to educate us from their own experience.
Hopefully the organizers of next year’s symposium will look favorably on this valuable suggestion.
Judith G. Martin, Ph.D.