Circles of Hope: Alzheimer’s Association Discovery 2018 Conference

poster image for the Alzheimer's Association 2018 Discovery Conference

We still have a long way to go to fully understand Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

While research confirms that staying socially engaged, intellectually challenged, creatively enriched, and physically active; not smoking; getting plenty of sleep; reducing stress; and eating an anti-inflammatory diet all contribute to brain and heart health, and reduce our risk of developing a cognitive impairment, we still don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia.

We also know that a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia means that life does go on, and there are a growing number of opportunities for individuals living with dementia and their care partners to have a voice, to stay engaged, and to not be alone.

Research continues to search for cause and cure. Until there is a cure, there is a need to understand how best to support, include, and engage individuals living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia and their care partners. There is also a need to engage family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, health care, housing, aging services, and other professionals.

Learn together at Discovery

One of the best annual events at which to learn, network, and share is the Discovery 2018 Alzheimer’s Regional Conference, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association Washington State Chapter. Now in its 33rd year, this year’s conference will be held on Friday, April 27 (8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.) at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

The Discovery 2018 conference program is built around the theme of “Enhancing Community Well-Being.” No matter how you define community, if you work with or care for older adults, especially individuals living with dementia, you’ll want to attend this conference.

Keynote speaker and workshops

Photo of Dr. John Zeisel

John Zeisel

Dr. John Zeisel, author of I’m Still Here: A New Philosophy of Alzheimer’s Care, returns as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Zeisel first spoke at Discovery in 2013. He has long pioneered evidence-based, person-directed, strengths-based approaches to supporting the well-being of individuals living with dementia. The true heart of Dr. Zeisel’s work and presentations is hope.

Hope is powerfully reflected in the description of Dr. Zeisel’s Discovery keynote presentation: Those living with Alzheimer’s disease and those who care for them can feel like a diagnosis means everything will be downhill from there. There is nothing to do but wait in despair. But, the neurosciences inform us that a lot is taking place in our brains—even when someone is living with cognitive challenges. In this presentation, Dr. Zeisel will share his hopeful, empowering message called “Circles of Hope” and inspire organizations, every care partner, and every person with dementia to work together to truly make a difference in the lives of all people living with this challenge—that’s where hope lies.

Read more of this story in the April 2018 issue of AgeWise King County (click here) …