FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 26, 2006
Alzheimer's Foundation of America to Host National Conference for Family Caregivers, Professionals
NEW YORK, NY — When actor Kene Holliday first realized that his mother had Alzheimer's disease, he was shocked at the changes he witnessed. Determined to do the best he could for his mom, Holliday lovingly thrust himself into a 24/7 caregiving role—and learned the ropes as he went along.
Holliday, who co-starred in “Matlock” and has extensive TV and movie credits including “The Josephine Baker Story” and “Law & Order: SVU,” will give a feature presentation about his family's personal story at an upcoming national conference sponsored by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA).
AFA's first National Concepts in Care Conference for family caregivers, healthcare professionals and physicians will be held on October 21 and 22 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. A slate of the nation's top experts will address the latest medical treatments and prevention strategies, and best practices in behavioral and care issues.
As part of the conference, presenters will also uniquely demonstrate hands-on care techniques in a home-like setting outfitted with a bathtub, bed and other furnishings. These bathing, dressing and communication skills can help minimize challenging behaviors and maximize safety.
Based on his own experience, Holliday is encouraging family caregivers to become educated about Alzheimer's disease.
“Education would have saved my family considerable distress. You can help yourself and your family by learning as much as you can about this disease,” said Holliday, who is also serving as spokesperson for the event.
Other speakers include Dr. Gary Small, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and author of the best-selling book “The Memory Bible”; Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, director of clinical trials in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University; Dr. Richard Powers, chief of the Bureau of Geriatric Psychiatry at the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation; Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, president and medical director of the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation; and Joann Koenig Coste, author of “Learning to Speak Alzheimer's.”
In addition, individuals with Alzheimer's disease, including those coping with it at a young age, will speak out about their concerns and needs.
For f amilies and professionals, sessions will include managing sexual aggression; communication strategies, including laughter; dealing with natural disasters and other emergencies; music and art therapies; and brain exercises.
Topics on the physicians' track include multi-faceted approaches to preventing dementia; neurobehavioral manifestations of Alzheimer's disease; recognition of mild cognitive impairment; memory screenings and brain imaging, and their implications for clinical practice; and new mind-body research.
The national conference comes as the incidence of Alzheimer's disease is escalating across the United States, with the number of cases expected to triple to an estimated 16 million by mid-century.
“This disease poses enormous challenges, and it's essential that both families and professionals are kept abreast of medical and care techniques that can help improve quality of life,” said Eric J. Hall, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, a national nonprofit organization based in New York.
Among other features of the conference, AFA will provide free on-site respite care for individuals with dementia. Applications are pending for continuing education credits for nurses and social workers, and continuing medical education credits for physicians. An exhibit hall will feature the latest products and services. The conference's gold sponsors are Elan and Wyeth.
For more information, call 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.
Contact: Carol Steinberg