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Rethinking Dementia, Accelerating Change

June 24, 2015

Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids, Michigan is determined to reimagine dementia supports and services to enhance and ensure the quality of life for those diagnosed, their caregivers, and their families.

On June 9-11 at Michigan State University‘s Secchia Center, Clark spearheaded a summit, “Rethinking Dementia — Accelerating Change,” an educational forum dedicated to creating a national dialogue among dementia thought leaders, innovators, and researchers. With the expressed goal of co-creating new models of care that accelerate transformative dementia supports and services, nationally known experts and advocates gathered to learn about innovative developments in dementia and to dialogue about opportunities and challenges in the field while envisioning future possibilities.

Eleven content experts shared their wisdom with attendees, including cutting-edge programming and new and inventive technologies intended to support positive aging in community. Among the presenters were:

  • Lisa Eason, Executive Director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute of Caregiving,
  • Stephen Johnston, Co-Founder of Aging2.0,
  • Kimberly Brennsteiner, Director of Programs at Older Adult Technologies, and
  • Michelle Barclay, President and Co-Lead for Minnesota’s ACT on Alzheimer’s.

ACT on Alzheimer’s is a volunteer-driven, statewide initiative focused on preparing Minnesota for the impact of Alzheimer’s disease.  Barclay and others inspired thoughts about how best to make West Michigan dementia-friendly and ready for the wave of aging boomers.

Among the invited attendees were PHI Organizational Change Consultants Anna Ortigara and Cean Eppelheimer. Ortigara and Eppelheimer have done extensive coaching work with the Clark Retirement Community and are proud to work with and support their implementation of the PHI Coaching Approach® and Clark’s innovative approaches to improving the field of aging.

A small group of thought leaders will take the information gleaned from the presenters and encourage attendees to craft a replicable plan for Grand Rapidsand beyond to make supportive, dementia-friendly communities a reality for those diagnosed with dementia, their caregivers, and their family members.

A complete list of presenters, an overview of the summit agenda, and updated action regarding the initiative are available online.

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