2022 Conference Schedule & Speakers

Caregiving with hope and inspiration November 9-11 2022


10:00 am to 10:15 am – Opening Remarks

10:15 am to 11:15 am

Peter Rabins

Peter V. Rabins,

The 36-Hour Day

Based on his book, The 36-Hour Day, which has helped millions of families through their dementia caregiving journeys, Dr. Rabins will discuss the process of diagnosing dementia; the latest information on treatment options for Alzheimer’s and dementia; identifying specific behavior problems associated with dementia such as wandering, sundowning, and the I want to go home syndrome; managing challenging behaviors; and the emotional and physical impact of caregiving on caregivers.

Peter V. Rabins, MD, MPH is an emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was the founding director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and the first holder of the Richman Family Chair in Alzheimer Disease and Related Disorders. His career focused on the psychiatric and behavioral symptoms of neurological diseases including the dementias, and on geriatric mood disorders and serious mental illness in the elderly. He has published more than 300 articles and book chapters and is an author or co-author of eight books including The 36-Hour Day, Practical Dementia Care, The Why of Things, and Getting Old without Getting Anxious.

The 36-Hour Day
Is it Alzheimer's?

11:20 am to 12:20 pm

Mary Fridley,
East Side Institute

Let’s Improvise! Navigating dementia (and life) with creativity, humanity, and joy

Mary Fridley

Mary Fridley is co-creator and leader of The Joy of Dementia (You Gotta Be Kidding!) and coordinator of Reimagining Dementia: A Creative Coalition for Justice. An accomplished teacher and workshop leader, Mary practiced social therapy for 12 years and uses the social therapeutic approach as an Institute faculty member. She is author or co-author of several articles and chapters on the Coalition and on The Joy of Dementia, including a chapter published in The Applied Improvisation Mindset. Additionally, she is a guest blogger for agebuzz.com, a playwright and theater director. She makes her living as a non-profit fundraising consultant.

Resources related to Mary’s talk:

The Joy of Dementia (You’ve Gotta Be Kidding!)

Introduction to social therapeutics

Improvisation and Play

Websites suggested by Mary

12:20 pm to 12:30 pm – Closing Remarks


10:00 am to 10:15 am – Opening Remarks

10:15 am to 11:45 am

Kathleen Johnson

Kathleen Johnson,

Unmasking Alzheimer’s: Evaluation, Treatment, and Clinical Trials

Kathleen Johnson is a Nurse Practitioner in Neurology working with the Georgetown University Medical Center Memory Disorders Program since 2001.  She evaluates and provides ongoing clinical care for patients with memory loss, and functions as a lead clinician for many of the program’s research trials. The current therapies under study aim to evaluate new medications to prevent the onset of memory loss in high-risk populations, and to slow the progression of disease in those who are diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.  She has a Masters in Nursing from the University of Southern California and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.  Kathleen has also served as a clinician at the Washington VA and an instructor in the graduate Nursing program at Georgetown University. 

11:55 am to 12:25 pm

Leanne Belasco,
Director of Music Therapy,
Levine Music

Meaningful Music

Leanne Belasco

In this presentation, participants will explore ways in which music can impact and assist in the daily lives and emotional well-being of those with dementia and their caregivers. Through case examples and interactive music experiences, participants will gain practical insights into how to engage their loved one in music in meaningful and functional ways to support activities of daily living, emotional regulation and support, stress reduction, cognitive stimulation, and connection with others.

Leanne Belasco, MS, LPMT, MT-BC is the Director of Music Therapy at Levine Music. Levine Music is the Washington, DC region’s preeminent center for music education and is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Levine offers extensive music therapy services for individuals and groups of all ages at each Levine campus in DC, Maryland and Virginia, as well as at numerous partnership locations throughout the community. Belasco earned her BS in Music Therapy from Duquesne University and her MS in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe to Profound Disabilities from Johns Hopkins University. She has worked extensively with older adults with neurologic diagnoses such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well as with children and adults with intellectual, cognitive and/or developmental disabilities.

12:25 pm to 12:30 pm – Closing Remarks


10:00 am to 10:15 am – Opening Remarks

10:15 am to 11:15 am

Pam Ostrowski

Pam Ostrowski, CSA®, CDP®, CEO, Alzheimer’s Family Consulting

Communicating With a Loved One With Dementia

Ever feel as if your loved one with dementia isn’t listening or is just being stubborn? No doubt, communicating with a loved one with dementia is a new skill! In this presentation, you’ll learn about both verbal and non-verbal communications, what to say and not to say, and what’s most important to preserve a good relationship with your loved during their dementia journey.

Pam Ostrowski is the founder of Alzheimer’s Family Consulting, a speaker, a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®, and Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) ® , and is Certified in Dementia Care (CDC) ®. She is also the author of the highly rated Alzheimer’s guidebook, It’s Not That Simple: Helping Families Navigate the Alzheimer’s Journey, which is based on Pam’s 14-year dementia and Alzheimer’s journey with her parents.

Pam works nationally to educate healthcare professionals and senior living communities as well as one-on-one with family members to help address the emotions, confusion, and overwhelm that comes with dementia caregiving.

11:20 am to 12:20 pm

Gary Glazner, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Poetry Project

Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care

Gary Glassner

Award winning poet, Gary Glazner, will give a talk on Creative Aging and share from his over 20 years work as founder of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. He gives examples of evidenced-based, dance, music, storytelling and visual arts programs highlighted in his book Dementia Arts: Celebrating Creativity in Elder Care, Health Professions Press, 2014. This fun, high-energy talk is packed-full of simple techniques to help create high-quality arts programs. The talk builds communication skills and helps increase the ability to connect with people living with memory loss. The methods are useful with all audiences and transferable to working with other disability communities and cognitively well elders.

Gary Glazner is the Founder, Lead Artist and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, (APP.) The APP was the recipient of the 2013, Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Award and the 2012, MetLife Foundation Creativity and Aging in America Leadership Award in the category of Community Engagement. Glazner was co-recipient of the International Leadership in Arts and Health Award in 2018.

12:15 pm to 12:30 pm – Closing Remarks

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