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Meeting Of The Minds Conference Draws 400 To Tarrytown

Dan Cohen of Music and Memory speaks at the conference.
Dan Cohen of Music and Memory speaks at the conference. Photo Credit: Darryl Bautista

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- The Second Annual Meeting of the Minds Dementia Conference held May 13 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Tarrytown drew nearly 400 guests.

Attendees networked and explored the exhibitor booths before the conference began and in the breaks between the scheduled presentations. More than 33 exhibitors were on hand.

“The conference was a huge success. Attendance and sponsorships were up from last year, and I’ve had several people tell me great things about how much they got out of it,” said Meg Boyce, vice president of programs and services for the Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter.

The Alzheimer’s Association Hudson Valley Chapter also had tables at the event promoting advocacy opportunities and upcoming fundraisers, including The Longest Day on June 20, and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s scheduled at five Hudson Valley locations in September and October.

The program began with keynote speaker Dan Cohen, founder of Music and Memory, who described his organization’s goal of providing nursing-home residents with iPods and showed a clip from the documentary “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory.”

Morning breakout sessions followed. Gary Glazner, founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, discussed techniques for using the arts to connect with people who have dementia. Lawyer Martin Hersh gave a presentation on elder law, occupational therapist Andrea Sullivan spoke about driving and dementia and social worker Licet Valois gave an overview of dementia in Spanish.

During the lunch break, Dean M. Hartley, Ph.D., of the Alzheimer’s Association gave an update on the latest research, and attendees viewed a film about the Trial Match program, in which anyone can sign up to help scientists engaged in Alzheimer’s research. The afternoon breakout sessions included a talk on living with Alzheimer’s by longtime journalist and author Greg O’Brien. There was also a program on relieving caregiver stress by musician and writer Carole Brill. A talk on Medicaid and long- term care options was offered by social worker Colin Sandler and a presentation in Spanish on managing difficult behaviors by Valois.

David Troxel, author of “The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care,” closed the conference with a discussion of his method of dementia care.

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