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The Alzheimer’s Association is hosting its second Dementia Care Conference in Highlands County, called Think About It. The goal of this conference is to engage the community in topics such as advances in research, how to effectively communicate, how to identify pain in people with cognitive impairment and legal and financial planning. Lunch will be served and conference attendees are also able to visit a health and community resource fair.

Conference speakers include Stefanie Wardlow, M.A., Senior Program Manager and research champion, Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast, Jason Pedrod, Elder Law Attorney, Carol White, MSW, CADDCT, CDP, learning and training specialist and Alzheimer’s community educator and Andrea Miller, MD, medical director at Good Shepherd Hospice, Chapters Health System. Additionally, there will be a panel discussion, where Patricia Henderson, Outreach Manager and Community Liaison at Senior Connection Center Inc., Stefanie Wardlow, M.A., Senior Program Manager and research champion, Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast, Danielle Valery, BS, CDP, Program Manager, Memory Disorder Clinic, Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Nell Hayes, Florida Elder Care Practitioner, Sergeant Kimberly Gunn, Crime Prevention Practitioner, Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, Ingra Gardner, Executive Director of NU-HOPE Elder Care Services Inc. will discuss and inform those in attendance of the local programs and services offered and how the Alzheimer’s Association supports the community.

The Alzheimer’s Association Brain Bus, a statewide mobile outreach initiative that raises awareness of Alzheimer’s and related dementias and addresses the benefits of early detection, early diagnosis, and risk reduction will also be at the conference for attendees to visit. The Brain Bus is funded in partnership with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Area Agency on Aging Pasco/Pinellas.

This educational and supportive event is targeted to help guide and inform family caregivers, people with early stage dementia, as well as professionals within the community on Alzheimer’s disease, the journey one faces once receiving a disanogiss, and how this diagnosis affects the entire family.

“We are always happy to have the chance to work with our great community partners to put on events such as this one,” said Syliva Leddy, program manager for the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “Our hope is that by providing much-needed care, support and education to the community, they will know that they are not alone in their struggles and that they have the resources to turn to when needed.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and in the State of Florida. There are over 560,000 Floridians living with Alzheimer’s disease and over 1.1 million people providing them unpaid care. There are more than 5.8 million Americans living with the disease. Additionally, more than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for those struggling with the disease.

The Think About It Dementia Care Conference of Highlands County will take place on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at First Presbyterian Church/Genesis Center, located at 218 East Belleview Street in Lake Placid. The conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. and is expected to conclude at 3 p.m and is sponsored by Family Elder Law, Senior Connection Center, Inc., and Highlands County Health Facilities Authority. This conference is free to attend but there will be limited seating. RSVP by February 11, 2020.

For additional information, please contact Stefanie Wardlow, Alzheimer’s Association Senior Program Manager for the Florida Gulf Coast region, at

About the Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s 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. For more information, visit or call 800-272-3900.