Nonprofit organizations collaborate on educational dementia conference


Members of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Medical Legal Committee gathered July 31 to map plans for the October 25 program on dementia. Among those pictured (l-r): Alexander Lebedinski, chair of the committee; Jean Barnas, program services manager of the Alzheimers’s Association – Greater Michigan Chapter; Suzanne Lewand, vice chair of the committee; Cindy Dady, executive director of the Oakland County Medical Society; retired Oakland County Circuit Judge Fred Mester; and Libby Carpenter, social worker with CNS Homecare, Inc.

Photo by John Meiu

On Friday, October 25, at Walsh College in Troy, three nonprofit organizations will collaborate to present an all-day conference, “Preserving Dignity: Identifying the Types of Dementia and Providing Care.”

The conference was created to bring awareness to the different types of dementia and how those involved in the process of care can make the appropriate decisions regarding finances, living arrangements, and more to help preserve the dignity of the individual.

Representatives from the three nonprofits – the Oakland County Medical Society (OCMS), the Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA) and the Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Michigan Chapter – have worked together to develop this valuable conference.

Retired Oakland County Circuit Judge Fred Mester is the chair of the OCBA Medical/Legal Committee that initiated the idea for the conference.

“We need to recognize that the Boomer Generation, along with the Silent Generation, will have more than one hundred million, or one-third of our population, in senior status, with all of the life issues that we will have to confront,” Mester said. “This will call into question the maintenance of the dignity of our loved ones – issues that go beyond medical to the closeness of medical facilities, pharmaceuticals, nourishing food, transportation, and especially community involvement to ensure dignity.”

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Bruno Giordani, Ph.D., from the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan. Dr. Giordani has spoken extensively on promoting research in Alzheimer’s and dementia. His keynote address will be “Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease – Science, Research Discoveries, and How to Get Involved.”

Other speakers/panels include:

Andrew Morton, TimeSlips, “Bringing Meaning & Purpose Through Creative ?Engagement” ?

Sami Barmada, M.D., Ph.D., University of Michigan Medical School, “Non- Alzheimer’s Dementias” ?

Conference Panel—Caregivers and Early Stage Perspectives ?Peter Lichtenberg, Ph.D., Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology, ?“Financial Exploitation & Cognitive Impairment” ?

Jen Hunt, Alzheimer’s Association, “Federal and State Public Policy Update” ?

Wendy Jones, Next Steps 4 Seniors, “Senior Living Placement & Care” ?

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Walsh College, 3838 Livernois, Troy. Registration is now open at