Alzheimer Tri-County Caregiver Conference Offers Education, Support and Networking Opportunities

Santa Barbara, CA. — The more than 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease require vigilant care to keep them safe and healthy. But caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or another dementia is often very difficult. That care carries with it high levels of emotional, physical, and quite often, financial stress. And while the jobs of paid caregivers may often be rewarding, the work is frequently difficult, poorly paid and involve little or inadequate training.

The Alzheimer’s Association recognizes the critical role of caregivers in the quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients and the concurrent and ongoing need for training, education and support of those caregivers. To that end, the 2011 Alzheimer’s Association Tri-County Caregiver Conference, “Dementia: Current Trends and Future Directions,” May 12 at the Santa Barbara Mar Monte Hotel will offer two tracks: One for eldercare professionals, and one for unpaid family or friend caregivers and the person with early-stage dementia. The day-long event will bring together family and professional caregivers for a day of education, networking and support.

Experts from around the country will present keynote addresses and workshops. The speakers include Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association director of medical and scientific relations in Chicago; Dr. Linda Hewett, clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco at Fresno and co-director of the Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Center; and Kenneth Kosik, M.D., Harriman professor of neuroscience research, co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Some of the topics being covered at the conference include the latest developments in Alzheimer research and development; the changes in sexual behavior of dementia patients; genetic risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease and the ethical questions surrounding genetic testing; Alzheimer medications, drug interactions, and medications to avoid for dementia patients. A complete list of speakers, conference activities and breakout sessions is available at

The conference is 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, May 12, at the Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara. Participant registration is $95 per person, if registered by May 1 — $105 after May 1 — and includes breakfast and lunch. Grants are available to those who wish to attend but who cannot afford it.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. The California Central Coast Chapter of the association covers San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Kern counties.