Sitting underground, in magnificently overstimulating New York City, waiting for an overnight train headed South.
But, first…Word Association Time…
…Railroad…Tobacco Road…..Dementia Road…Road to Nowhere?…Nowhere Man?…No Way, Jose!!
Jane and I have the good fortune to have signed up for the North American conference of DAA, the Dementia Action Alliance. http://daanow.org/ This is a group advocating for the continuing Personhood of people living with dementia [what an idea!].
“Re-Imagine Life with Dementia!" is the theme of the two-day conference, staring tomorrow in Atlanta.
We expect to hear the perspectives of fellow people living creatively with Alzheimer's, as a care partner, one experiencing the condition directly, or community advocate. We do NOT expect to hear much of the words: “patient,” “sufferer,” or “victim."
Below are some random excepts from a few of the workshops and plenary sessions:
OPENING SESSION KEYNOTE
Dementia is fast becoming recognized around the world as a disability condition necessitating attention to overall well-being. This keynote presented by an internationally recognized geriatrician, educator and specialist in caring for people with changing cognitive abilities will share insights into new global paradigms of living with dementia.
POSITIVITY IS LIFE AFFIRMING
Through candid, heartwarming and funny stories, hear one individual’s journey not to let Alzheimer’s define him. Thinking, feeling, understanding and loving are still parts of everyday life as before — now with Alzheimer’s added. Learn how positivity can make a significant difference in one’s life from a cognitive psychology perspective.
LIVING WELL WITH DEMENTIA
Through video clips, personal experiences and audience interaction, discuss issues of stigmatization and the prevalence of a deficit-based approach to dementia care rather than a strengths-based approach. Explore ways to effect changes.
IT’S NOT TIME TO STOP LIVING – TIME TO CONNECT AND LIVE FULLY!
Meaningfully supporting and participating in the lives of individuals with dementia takes care partners out of traditional roles. This interactive session explores balancing needs and wellbeing, rewards, risks and challenges, and provides useful strategies to stay connected and live fully.
I AM MORE THAN MY DIAGNOSIS: MOVING FROM ISOLATION TO INCLUSION
Led by the play performers living with dementia, audience members, working in small groups, will brainstorm and create prototype activities to support and encourage dialogue between individuals with dementia and those around them to bring back and share with their communities.
REMARKABLE EXPERIENCES: MUSIC & MEMORY AND A FAMILY’S CREATIVE JOURNEY
Learn about the transformative responses triggered by meaningful music from the internationally recognized Music & Memory program, and a family’s amazing experience using creative arts to support self- expression and joy for their loved one with dementia
TRANSCENDING THE BIOMEDICAL STATUS QUO TO SUPPORT LIVING WITH DEMENTIA Members from the DAA’s Scientific Advisory Board will engage the audience in candid discussions about the challenges and barriers created by traditional, biomedical practices faced by people and families living with dementia and ways to transcend the status quo.
Stayed tuned for our report!
All Aboard !!