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The original item was published from 8/4/2020 9:54:11 AM to 8/5/2022 2:00:00 AM.

News Flash

Human Services

Posted on: August 4, 2020

[ARCHIVED] 15 annual Alzheimer's Conference goes virtual

2020 alzheimers conference

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, but many more are living without knowing they have the disease. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s come on gradually, often without notice, contributing to the disease killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. 


Individuals and families dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementia are invited to the 2020 Alzheimer’s Conference, hosted in partnership with the Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County. This virtual conference will provide useful information and practical skills during presentations from 1-2 p.m. every Thursday in September. This conference is free and open to the public, but attendees must register online or by calling the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600.


Topics and presenters include:

  • Sept. 3 – Isolation During the Pandemic
    • Presenter: Marysusan Gibson-Iotte, certified dementia educator
  • Sept. 10 – Dementia Friendly Activities
    • Presenter: Benjamin Surmi, director of people and culture at Koelsch Communities
  • Sept. 17 – How to Handle Challenging Behaviors
    • Presenter: Laura Vaillancourt, licensed mental health counselor and geriatric mental health specialist
  • Sept. 24 – Legal and Financial Planning
    • Presenters: Meredith Grigg and Bryana Cross Bean, attorneys


The event link and instructions to join the conference by phone will be provided upon registration. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions throughout the presentations. This conference will be recorded and made available online, along with supplementary resources, for guests unable to attend.


“These are incredibly hard times for families dealing with Alzheimer’s and other dementia,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “Now more than ever they need support, information and resources. The 2020 Alzheimer’s Conference has moved online to be safer and more accessible for the thousands of residents who live with the disease day in and day out.”


Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia can cause cognitive impairment including memory loss, frequently repeating the same questions or stories, not recognizing familiar people and places, having trouble exercising judgment, changes in mood or behavior and difficulty planning and carrying out tasks, such as following a recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. The information provided at the 2020 Pierce County Alzheimer’s Conference will be appropriate to all forms of dementia as well as Alzheimer’s.


For more information about the conference call the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 253-798-4600 or 800-562-0332.



# # # #


MEDIA CONTACT:      

Bob Riler, Outreach & Education Specialist

253-798-7384

[email protected]


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