Memory Matters: Across the Continuum: Issues of Memory and Aging

Memory Matters
Across the Continuum: Issues of Memory and Aging
Annual Caregiver Conference in Western Maryland

Memory and aging, dementia and Alzheimer's disease--these are words that are increasingly talked about, especially among baby boomers. You forget a name or an appointment. When is forgetting normal? When is it Alzheimer's disease? When do I need to be concerned for the health of my client, my family member, or myself? When cognitive loss is the result of a progressive disease process, how can I help maintain the highest level of function? When someone doesn't understand who you are, how do you preserve your relationship?
The Alzheimer's Association Annual Conference, Across the Continuum: Issues of Memory and Aging, addresses these questions, plus areas of research, diagnosis, and caring for the person with dementia. Topics include: strategies to decrease your risk for Alzheimer's disease or help protect against the onset of Alzheimer's disease; understanding the difference between a decline in memory and a disease process; the clinical characteristics of, and the areas of the brain affected by some atypical dementias; techniques to maximize self-care functions in persons with dementia, while enhancing self-esteem and dignity; and methods to help caregivers preserve relationships in the face of cognitive loss.
Scheduled speakers are Ann Morrison, PhD, RN, CS, a clinical nurse specialist coordinator for the Information/Education Transfer Core at the John Hopkins School of Medicine, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRD). Dr. Morrison will present "Identifying Preventative Strategies for Combating Alzheimer's Disease." At ADRD, she is responsible for conducting several clinical drug trials for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Morrison is a nationally recognized expert on Alzheimer's disease and caregiving issues.
Matthew Wagner, MD, is board-certified in Geriatric Psychiatry with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a staff psychiatrist with Behavioral Health Services of Washington County Health Systems in Hagerstown, Maryland. Dr. Wagner will outline some of the differences between age-related forgetfulness and mild cognitive impairment.
Jason Brandt, PhD, is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Division of Medical Psychology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he is also an investigator in the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. His research is focused on the analysis of memory and other cognitive disorders. He is studying differences in the cognitive profiles of degenerative brain disorders, primarily Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and cerebellar degeneration. Dr. Brandt is presenting an overview of some atypical dementias, "It's not Always Alzheimer's Disease." Dr. Brandt is also the author of two tests: Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status, and Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised. Dr. Brandt is also the immediate past president of the International Neuropsychological Society.
Sue Heitmuller, MA, is the residence director for Somerford Assisted Living and Alzheimer Care in Frederick, Maryland, where she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of dementia specific assisted living residents. Ms. Heitmuller has more than twenty-five years of professional experience in health care and social services, and holds a Master's degree in Management and Gerontology.
Merle Wexler, M.Ed., Vice president of Resident Services and Alzheimer's Care for Somerford Corporation, is responsible for the development and implementation of staff training, residential programming, and family education and support. Ms. Wexler has extensive experience in the field of chronic illness, gerontology, and services for the aging and their families. Ms. Wexler presents nationally on dementia care. She has a bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology and a master's degree in Counseling and Development.
The conference is being held at the Kepler Theater, Hagerstown Community College Campus on Tuesday, June 7, 2005, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $49 for professionals and $25 for family members. Continuing education credits are offered for nurses, nursing home administrators, activity directors, social workers, psychologists, therapists, and counselors. Application has been submitted to the Maryland Board of Occupational Therapy for CEU credits for this program. Determination is pending. Contact Mona Butala, 301-797-4892 or Angie Stoops, Hagerstown Community College, 301-790-2800, ext. 397, to register or for additional information.

The Alzheimer's Association is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. The Association enhances care and support for people with Alzheimer's disease, their families, and caregivers and encourages support for research. Local office: 5 Public Square, Ste. 307, Hagerstown, MD, 301.797.4892; fax, 301.797.0150; email, Joyce.Heptner@alz.org, www.alzgmd.org.