Second annual Dementia Conference a success

Published 10:07 am Friday, May 13, 2016

The Cass County COA welcomed more than 75 guests for the organization’s second annual Dementia Conference Wednesday.

The program covered various aspects of dementia care for professional and family caregivers.

Attendees heard from speakers including gero-psychiatrist Dr. Nadeem Mirza of Bronson Lakeview Hospital; Erin Van Groningen, southwest region program coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association of Kalamazoo; Elder Law Attorney Mike Walling; and Sue Wilson, corporate clinical educator from Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.

Currently, 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease. In 2015, more than 15 million Americans provided 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Through the Dementia Conference, the COA aimed to provide caregivers with a wealth of information and resources to support them. Additionally, the conference served to connect caregivers to a supportive community of people with similar experiences.

“[The conference] helps the people that are going through this with a family member to get support so they don’t feel so all alone,” said conference attendee Kay Walker.

The COA will host featured speaker Teepa Snow for its third annual Dementia Conference on May 10, 2017.

Snow is an occupational therapist with over 33 years of clinical experience in the field of geriatrics and dementia care.

For more information on the services offered by the COA for families affected by dementia, contact Keryl Conkright, R.N., at (269) 445-8110 ext. 222 or

The Cass County COA is a community organization dedicated to enhancing life through programs and services for adults in all life stages. For more information, visit