Raising Dementia Awareness at #MACoCon

During the 2017 MACo Summer Conference panel “Smoothing the Rough Road: Addressing Dementia Challenges” attendees learned about the impacts of dementia, the challenges facing family caregivers and those with a dementia diagnosis, and the practical actions government, individuals, businesses, and community stakeholders can take to improve the day-to-day well-being of residents.

Michael Buckley, Vice President, Public Affairs, BrightFocus Foundation and Nora Super, Chief, Programs & Services, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging,  began the session by giving a brief overview of Dementia. They also discussed resources available at the local, state, national levels, including Dementia Friendly America, an initiative on a mission to catalyze a nationwide movement to foster dementia friendliness.

Celene Steckel, Bureau Chief of Aging and Disabilities, Carroll County, discussed some of the innovative strategies being utilized by Carroll County to provide citizens with the highest quality of services, programs, and assistance to promote choice, dignity, and independence for older adults and those who care for them.

Jay Kenney, Chief, Aging and Disability Services, Montgomery County, talked about Montgomery County’s Dementia Friendly Initiative has helped the jurisdiction become a more supportive and empowering community for people and their families who are experiencing dementia.

Gloria Lawlah, Former Maryland Secretary of Aging and Dementia Friendly Lead, Prince George’s County, highlighted some of the support services available in Prince George’s County to support older adults so they can maintain the highest possible quality of life with independence and dignity, and to assist seniors and their family members with the many challenges of the aging process.

The session was moderated by Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and was held on August 18. The MACo Summer Conference was August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. This year the conference’s theme was “You’re Hired!”.