On April 16, 2015, the Western & Central Washington Chapter hosted our 30th Annual Discovery Alzheimer’s Regional Conference. Nationally and internationally acclaimed dementia-experts shared the latest advancements in Alzheimer’s care, research and resources. Here are our Top 5 Moments of Discovery from 2015.
1. There are 5 Alzheimer’s prevention trials currently underway.
Research has found that changes in the brain related to Alzheimer’s occur 15-20 years before patients experience symptoms. Dean Hartley, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Initiatives Medical and Scientific Relations at the Alzheimer’s Association, shared how these prevention trials are changing the future of Alzheimer’s research and treatment:
- LEARN — Longitudinal Evaluation of Amyloid Risk and Neurodegeneration
- The A4 Study
- Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative Trials
- The TOMORROW Study
- DIAN Observational Study
2. Caregiving is all about serenity, not perfection.
Dr. Anne Lipton reminded us that we can find the most perfect beach in the world, but the palm trees might still be blowing in the wind. Just like we can’t control the weather, we can’t control dementia behaviors. And that’s ok, because we can find ways to address them.
3. Anyone can use music to engage people with dementia.
Music therapy can help individuals tap into memories not lost in dementia and improve quality of life. Chaplain Michael Byrd shared how the Music and Memory program helped Wesley Home residents feel happier, more social and reduced agitation. Families felt more connected to their loved ones and staff were reenergized by the program. Anyone can use Music and Memory, learn how here.
For every case of elder abuse that is reported, 23 cases never come to light. It’s not your job to investigate abuse, but if you suspect abuse is happening, report it to Adult Protective Services, 911 or the non-emergency line immediately.
5. Environments can be a tool to address dementia symptoms and behaviors.
Dr. Lena Smith Ernst shared that just like music therapy, aromatherapy, geriatric touch, and engagement are used to address dementia behaviors, so can environmental design. This approach focuses on improving the overall environment by reducing stressors and aspects that stimulate irritability while offering the important moments of joy patients require. Read more about Environmental Design.