Topics: Education, Lecture, and Conferences

Foundational Understanding

  • These lectures provide an in-depth overview of dementia, and more specifically Alzheimer’s disease, to help caregivers understand the changes that occur and how to adjust and respond to them. These topics can be discussed from the perspective of the person with memory loss and/or from the caregiver perspective, about communication, behaviors, and other important topics.

  • Emphasis can be placed on developmental theory and the psychological overview of each stage, with information about how dementia reverses these milestones.

  • Other options would be to place more emphasis on the caregiver’s experience with more tips for resilience and ways still spend time together in positive ways.

  • Each of the talks provides information and support for the family and professional caregiver in their broader understanding and objectivity.


Successful Communication and Adjusting Our Approach

  • These lectures provide practical and helpful tools to support more positive communication with the loved one you care for. These lectures can stand alone, and are also the perfect follow up to a Foundational program, which provides an in-depth discussion of the stages.

  • The specifics of communication changes are covered for each stage. The importance of caregiver wellness is also covered.   

  • These are dynamic, engaging lectures with exercises participants can do with a partner. The feedback is always positive with participants feeling they leave with great tools, improved skills and reminders, which they can immediately use.


Behavioral Side of Communication and Creating Success

  • These talks provide a comprehensive overview about human behavior related to the behaviors of dementia, and how to assess what the person with dementia is communicating through their behavior. For caregivers the quality of life for the person with dementia, as well as their own quality of life caring for this individual is greatly impacted by behaviors the person has and how they can be handled.

  • Many non-pharmaceutical approaches are highlighted, but also best practice standards when medications are used.

  • These talks broaden self awareness and present the concept of becoming the therapeutic tool through a mastery of skills which can support you navigating behavior concerns in more successful ways. The lectures use teaching stories from real life situations, data based on Alzheimer’s research and draw on group participation to help create better outcomes for the person with memory loss, and for those individuals that provide care.


Memory Care Settings and Inspiring the Professional

  • These lectures provide valuable information to caregivers, anyone working in assisted living, or memory care professionals.

  • The content is more clinical, covering the umbrella term of dementia, reversible and nonreversible types, review of the most common forms of dementia, understanding changes in condition and how to assess them.  Also presented are the warning signs of memory loss and how the diagnosis is made, and  different types of cognitive and behavioral medication we commonly see prescribed.

  • There is an overview of the stages and how care needs change at each stage, followed by current research about these diseases and brain health.

  • Ultimately, we want our skills to match the needs of our elders with memory loss, and this talk provides essential knowledge to be able to do that.


Understanding the Structure and Environment

  • This group of lectures are meant for professionals working in memory care environments. Each has a slightly different emphasis, format and group or one-on-one exercises.

  • In one program, we cover the history and evolving best practices of memory care starting with The Guidelines for Dignity (Alz. Assoc. 1991-2), the history of person-centered care, and what innovations and advancements have occurred in memory care settings. Participants get a chance to evaluate where they are as an organization, and work with their own feelings of pride and frustration around what they do well, and what needs to improve. There are tools to help with this process, chances to interact and some clear guidelines to help refine and recommit to providing ever improving levels of care, as well as current innovations to help update the audience. This is very affirming and refreshing for professional caregivers.

  • Another set of lectures focuses on Enhancing Programming and Activities.  This group of lectures can be for family caregivers as well as professional caregivers, and they focus on what we do together, what is still possible, how can we create success and joy as the disease continues to progress. Whether you are running groups on a memory care unit or caring for an individual one-on-one, it is always helpful to explore creative ideas and what works well. Understanding what is behind the therapeutic concepts of these interactions and how to enhance their benefits has a direct impact on the quality of life of the person with memory loss as well as those that care for them.  


Personal Growth and Spiritual Opportunity

  • In the life of a caregiver, there are many challenges, yet within these experiences are opportunities to learn about ourselves and those we love. In this process, we are growing in our understanding and honoring the gifts of those we care for.

  • This is an inspiring exploration of this role through examples and stories that will leave both professional and family caregivers empowered and uplifted. These talks all highlight the positive aspects of this experience, acknowledging the profound understanding these poignant and difficult challenges bring. These talks can end a conference day on a high note.  


Practical Matters of Emotional and Physical Care

  • Specific topics for caregivers:  Practical Tips for Assisting Care; Legal Matters When Memory Matters, Navigating the Maze of Senior Care Settings , How to Get Beyond  Simply Surviving to Thriving, Research and Brain Health, Navigating the Medical and Health Changes through the Stages, How to Know When It’s Time to Seek Help

  • All of these lectures tune into particular family caregiver needs and questions. These areas come up and need to be traversed in particular ways that work for each family and each caregiver. The breadth of these talks can help affirm where families are and prepare for where they are heading. It can help family also avoid or redirect some of their efforts to more useful and helpful approaches.


Lectures for Specialized Fields

  • This group of lectures are designed for clergy, congregations, architects, designers, educators and volunteer organizations, medical teams and hospital staff, lawyers and elder law attorneys.

  • Topics for these groups may include: Caring for a Patient with Dementia in a Hospital Setting, First Responder Training, What is Helpful in Memory Care Encounters, Legal Needs and Concerns in Memory Care, Memory Care Late Stages; Did We Make All the Right Decisions? Attending to Spiritual Wellbeing in Dementia Care,  Supporting Congregational Life in the Face of Dementia, Companions on the Journey, Visiting and Volunteering with Individuals with Memory Loss, Designing Memory Care Spaces, Designing Environments that Enhance Abilities, Best Practices in Memory Care.

  • These lectures have specific focuses, but all of them help create more confidence, self awareness and give participants tools to connect with individuals with memory loss.

If you are interested in having Megan provide a lecture for your staff or organization, please contact us today!