Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | April 9, 2012

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to Host Free Educational Conference in New York
Entertainer David Cassidy, Nutrition Expert Joy Bauer Will Address Caregivers  

NEW YORK, NY —As government leaders increasingly acknowledge the need for greater education about Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) will provide an understanding of the disease and practical strategies to handle daily challenges at a free, care-focused conference on May 18 in New York City.

The all-day “Five Boroughs Concepts in Care Conference” at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Times Square will include separate sessions specifically for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, family caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Award-winning entertainer and multi-platinum recording artist David Cassidy, well-known for starring in TV’s “The Partridge Family” and numerous roles on other TV shows and Broadway, will share “A Son’s Story” as the keynote luncheon speaker. Cassidy’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease seven years ago, and he has since become a spokesperson and activist for the cause.

The conference will also feature Joy Bauer, nutrition and health expert for the “Today” show and a best-selling author, who will discuss smart lifestyle choices for brain health.

Also on the agenda is Teepa Snow, a renowned dementia care expert whose engaging presentations are packed with practical tips. Snow will present strategies to manage challenging behaviors, and to ensure better communication and safety.

Among other experts, Max Rudansky, M.D., chief of neurology at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, NY, will present a medical update on Alzheimer’s disease.

Currently, as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain disorder that results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions. The number is expected to triple by mid-century. It is estimated that more than 450,000 New Yorkers have Alzheimer’s disease, according to a report by the New York State Coordinating Council for Services Related to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias.

In the report, council members emphasized that “one of the greatest challenges is debunking myths and demystifying Alzheimer’s disease,” and identified the immediate need to provide accurate information and outreach to the public and healthcare professionals.

Eric J. Hall, president and CEO of the New York-based AFA, noted that the upcoming educational conference meets that need.

“Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s disease reaches crisis proportions, more families are buckling under the stress of daily challenges,” Hall said. “By giving caregivers the right tools and resources, our hope is that we will empower them to effectively handle this disease and improve quality of life for themselves and their loved ones with dementia.”

The conference, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., will also include an exhibit hall and interactive activities.

Addressing the emotional toll of dementia, attendees will participate in a candle lighting ceremony to pay tribute to individuals with the disease. Also, AFA will display about 40 heartfelt panels from its AFA Quilt to Remember, the nation’s first large-scale quilt that portrays life stories of people affected by the brain disorder.

Focusing on symptoms of the disease, AFA will offer confidential memory screenings—a non-diagnostic tool that can signal a need for further evaluation; and the Virtual Dementia Tour, an interactive tool developed by Second Wind Dreams that helps people better understand what it feels like to have dementia.

The conference will also include breakfast and lunch, as well as respite care for individuals with dementia who need supervision while their family members attend the conference.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals is the presenting sponsor of the professional track, and Forest Laboratories, Inc. is a sponsor of the family caregiver track . For more information or to register, call 866-AFA-8484.

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, based in New York, is a national nonprofit organization that unites more than 1,600 member organizations nationwide with the goal of providing optimal care and services to individuals with dementia, their caregivers and families. Its services include counseling and referrals by licensed social workers via a toll-free hot line, e-mail, Skype and live chat; educational materials; a free quarterly magazine for caregivers; and professional training. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484