The Alzheimer’s Association’s greater Dallas chapter hosted “Knowledge & Expectation: Living with Memory Loss” Wednesday at The Claridge in Turtle Creek. The event was held to discuss key goals gleaned from the association’s recent three-part series called Alzheimer’s Community Conversations, which discussed ways to improve the lives of those diagnosed with the disease.
“Knowledge & Expectation: Living with Memory Loss” incited discussions among 40 community leaders from local hospitals, Texas Women’s University, and hospice care organizations on ways to help patients living with Alzheimer’s and help caregivers improve care delivery.
Dr. Stephanie Woods, associate professor and associate dean for Texas Women’s University’s center for global nursing, served as keynote speaker for the event. She spoke about progress made from the recent series community conversations and future goals she has for community leaders in Dallas serving patients with Alzheimer’s.
“The Community Conversations in Dallas have shown a bright light on the numerous resources available in [the DFW] area,” Woods said. “It has also helped us to pinpoint, in laser fashion, the interventions that can make the greatest difference.”
Woods also acknowledged how Dallas healthcare providers are “failing miserably in the area of early diagnosis. … It begins with all healthcare practitioners doing a mini-cognition assessment during the patient’s annual visit,” she said. “It is a simple but effective tool to first assess [Alzheimer’s and dementia] and can be administered by anyone trained to do so. Once cognitive impairment is identified, getting that patient to caregivers who are expert in this area is imperative.”
Woods ended her talk by stating that while the challenge of Alzheimer’s and dementia is great, there are many local resources practitioners can utilize to improve care for patients. “Prevention and early assessment are key,” she said. “Care overseen by experts will ensure best outcomes and support of caregivers must be relevant to their needs and continuous.”