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Learn more and help find a cure: County Alzheimer's forum, local research both want you

News Tribune - 9/18/2018

Sept. 18--There are multiple opportunities coming for those dealing with Alzheimer's (both patients and caregivers) to gain more medical insight, or to volunteer for research to help find a cure about the degenerative brain disease.

The 2018 Pierce County Alzheimer's Caregiver Conference will feature Dr. Mimi Pattison, regional medical director for CHI Franciscan Hospice and Palliative Care in Tacoma. She will present the keynote address, "Recognizing Your Strengths While Making Hard Decisions," at the Sept. 29 gathering.

Pattison was appointed to the state Alzheimer's Disease Working Group to develop a plan for the care of patients with Alzheimer's and other dementias, and is a member of the Dementia Action Collaborative Advisory Group.

The conference also will feature sessions on:

-- Strategies for managing challenging dementia behaviors.

-- Physical movement: music, movement and having balance.

-- Interactive activities: tools to stimulate memory support.

-- Disability planning, advanced directives and guardianships.

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'Long overdue' Alzheimer's planner helps anyone figure out next steps

At an interactive forum at the end of the day, individuals with Alzheimer's and their caregivers "will share their experiences and engage in discussion with the audience," according to the event's release.

Those connected with the conference make clear you can never start preparing too soon.

"Most researchers now believe the disease begins as much as 20 years before symptoms appear," the release states. "Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from Alzheimer's increased by 123 percent, and the numbers are still rising."

The conference is sponsored by Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources in collaboration with the Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County. It will be at Rainier View Christian Church,12305 Spanaway Loop Road S., in Tacoma.

Doors will open at 8 a.m. and the conference will run through 1 p.m. The event is free, but tickets must be reserved online or by calling 253-798-8787.

You might want to arrive early.

Last year's event drew a standing-room only crowd to see author Laura Wayman, who at that time said, "Everyone should be dementia aware because this is a national pandemic."

Volunteers still sought for local research

Local researchers are still seeking volunteers for its Alzheimer's Generations study, which is looking at treatment to prevent the disease.

The research is limited to those with a specific genetic profile and no current dementia symptoms or memory-related medical issues.

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Want to help find a cure for Alzheimer's? Researchers seek volunteers here and nationwide

The research group is taking part in a new study that casts a wider net for volunteers.

The new study seeks individuals newly diagnosed or diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, said Mohsin Alagi, director of Clinical Research at Universal Research Group in Tacoma.

For more information, contact Universal Research Group at 253-882-1070.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell


(c)2018 The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

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