On May 15th Freedom Home Healthcare hosted, caregivers, family members, and nearly 100 professionals in geriatrics at a seminar on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The keynote speaker was Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis, who spoke on the challenges and rewards she faced while caring for her mother who long suffered from dementia. This heartwarming and emotional talk was followed by a clinical update on dementia presented by Dr. Michelle Papka of the Cognitive Research Center.
Ms. Dukakis spoke first, talking about how the slow onset of dementia overcame her mother, recalling emotional out bursts and frightening lapses that led to her mother requiring higher levels of care. Dukakis was unaware of the amount of time, energy, and money that would soon be needed to care for her mother.
In her experience she found that, “a lot of people are walking around stupid.” She urged members of the audience to prepare early just like you would plan for college, because when you need care it is generally too late. Ms. Dukakis ended with her mother’s favorite poem Ithaca, and while holding back tears delivered a recitation that pulled at everyone’s heart strings.
The second presenter Dr. Michelle Papka, founder and manager of the Cognitive Research Center of New Jersey, focused on the clinical research being done and what treatments are available. She also presented the numerous studies being done at the Center to which professionals and/or individuals may refer.
The program was highly received by all who attended and Freedom Home Healthcare was once again touted as a thought leader in the home care and geriatric communities.