Apr 4, 2012


Alzheimer's Reading Room

I'll be speaking for the first time in public on April 25th in New York, at the Pace University Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts. Previously, I limited my speaking to television and radio for reasons that most of you already understand.

I'll be hosting a Workshop at 3 PM. The broad title of the workshop is "Communicating in Alzheimer's World: The Path from Burden to Joy."

At 7 PM, I'll be speaking along with Richard Taylor at the first symposium session titled, "Caring for Yourself, Caring for a Love One: Adopting a Positive Mindset".

Both session are free, open to the public, and readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room are welcome to attend.

At the same time, and in the same location, there will be an exhibit of the photographs that Cathy Greenblatt compiled for her new book, "Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer's Differently". The photos in the book are really impressive, and I can't wait to see the much larger versions in the exhibit (for the first time). I am especially fond of pages 44-45 in the book.

You can see some sample photos here, and you can buy the book on Amazon.

See the details below.


Free and Open to Caregivers and General Public
Symposium Preceded by Free Afternoon Workshops

A symposium at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts on April 25 at 7pm will present a cross-section of viewpoints challenging the commonly held perception that people with Alzheimer's are "empty shells" who are "no longer with us" and must be humored, medicated, and parked in front of TV sets.

This event reflects a growing worldwide movement to recognize the abilities that people with dementias have left, rather than those they have lost, and to build a positive new approach to care. It is open to the general public, families of people with Alzheimer's, and professional caregivers.

Leading experts on this ground breaking philosophy will gather to present and explore ways of "seeing Alzheimer's differently" and infusing dementia care with "love and laughter." The evening symposium will be preceded by small, free workshops requiring advance registration that will take place from 3:30pm-5pm. More information on both is at www.pace.edu/lovelosslaughter.

The springboard for the presentations is a photography exhibition on view in the Schimmel Center lobby at Pace (Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12Noon-6pm ending April 28). The poignant but positive images of the new approach to care are drawn from the recently-published book, "Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer's Differently" by the sociologist Cathy Greenblat (Globe Pequot Press).

The Pace campus is just east of City Hall. Participants should use the entrance at 3 Spruce Street between Park Row and Gold Street. Further information is at http://www.pace.edu/lovelosslaughter. The events are being jointly presented by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), The NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, and Pace University's College of Health Professions.


The symposium will kick off with a brief presentation by Greenblat titled "Changing People's Minds about People's Changing Brains." This will be followed by four discussions:

Dialogue 1 - "Caring for Yourself, Caring for a Love One: Adopting a Positive Mindset"

Participants in this first conversation are two nationally-influential figures. Richard Taylor is a retired clinical psychologist who for 11 years has lived with the diagnosis of dementia and is author of several videos, the book "Alzheimer's from the Inside Out," and a monthly newsletter in several languages. Bob DeMarco has been the caregiver for his mother Dotty for eight years and is creator of the celebrated "Alzheimer's Reading Room" blog that has 7,600 subscribers and 50,000 unique monthly users.
Dialogue 2 - "Developing Care Partnerships and Psychosocial Interventions"

This will be a conversation with Mary Mittelman, a researcher and author who is an expert on music for dementia patients (including the New York City concerts by Alzheimer's patients) and is director of the Psychosocial Research and Support Program of the NYU Center of Excellence on Brain Research and a professor in the Langone Medical Center Department of Psychiatry; and Kerry Mills, a former regional manager for a major East Coast Alzheimer's care organization who is now a program developer and "trainer/dementia coach" for families and professional caregivers through her company, Engaging Alzheimer's.

Dialogue 3 - "Dementia as a Public Health Priority: Awareness and Advocacy"

The third dialogue shifts to domestic and international public policy, with Michael Splaine, a consultant to US and international organizations including the US Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization and the president of Splaine Consulting, who for 20 years was director of state government affairs for the US Alzheimer's Association. He will be joined by Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer's Disease International, a frequent speaker at international conferences and other events on fundraising, raising awareness, public policy and ethical issues related to the disease.

Dialogue 4 - "Making New York a More Dementia Friendly Community"

The final discussion will include Harriet Feldman, a national innovator in solving the nursing shortage who is interim Provost of Pace University; Sharon Wexler, an expert on preparing people for care of the elderly who is a professor at Pace's College of Health Professions; Lin Drury, also a professor at the College of Health Professions who is an expert on care for homeless people, and Matt Kudish, vice president and director of education, outreach and caregiver services for the Alzheimer's Association New York City Chapter.

FREE WORKSHOPS - 3pm - 5:30pm

Before the symposium, families and professional caregivers are invited to free afternoon workshops with symposium participants. Facilitators include Bob DeMarco, Richard Taylor, Kerry Mills, and faculty members from Pace's School of Health Professions.

Workshop topics are "Communicating in Alzheimer's World: The Path from Burden to Joy," "Highlights of an Effective Care Partner," "Finding Purpose in the Lives of People Living with Alzheimer's," and "The Impacts of Alzheimer's and Other Dementias on Older Adults who are also diagnosed with Intellectual Disabilities."

The evening will end with an informal discussion with the presenters in the lobby and further viewing of the exhibit. More information on the book and other related activities is at http://www.lovelossandlaughter.com/

Media Contacts:
Publicist for Author: Andrea Smith, andreasmith202@gmail.com; 646-220-5950
Pace: Christopher T. Cory, Public Information, ccory@pace.edu; 917-608-816

More Insight and Advice from the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room