Providers & Caregivers Gained Valuable Info at Special Dementia Symposium at CenterLight’s Margaret Tietz Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

There wasn’t an empty seat in Margaret Tietz’s Main Floor Recreation Room and Dining Room this past Wednesday morning, March 19th, as a crowd of providers and caregivers of individuals with dementia gathered for an eye-opening symposium by experts in the field. “Dementia: Research, Treatment and Caregiver Support”, presented by Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in conjunction with Samuel Field YM/YWHA and the Queensboro Council for Social Welfare, was a vital community event that provided attendees with the latest facts, studies, programs and resources. While the crowd enjoyed a delicious breakfast spread, Yoel Lichstein, Executive Director at Margaret Tietz, opened the program and introduced the first speaker – Jed A. Levine, MA,  Executive Vice President and Director of Programs & Services of the Alzheimer’s Association. The rapt audience attentively took notes as Jed outlined the hard hitting numbers, current research,  and the assistance and support provided by the NYC chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. With one American developing Alzheimers’s every 67 seconds, this is one of the largest health crises facing our nation. Also, he encouraged everyone to sign up as an advocate to help make Alzheimer’s research and support a national priority. Jane C. Bardavid, LCSW, Director of the Community Advisory Program for Elderly (CAPE) at Samuel Field YM & YWHA, focused on caregiver stress and the coping skills needed to shoulder this lonely and overwhelming burden. She poignantly described the grieving process one undergoes as one mourns a relationship that once was. To combat the tremendous risk of anxiety, depression and social isolation that caregivers face – she delineated various ways to develop resilience and manage stress. In addition, Jane shared the Y’s expanded programs and resources, noting how important it is to implement routines that are extremely soothing to those with dementia. Executive Director of the Queensboro Council on Social Welfare, Joan Serrano Laufer, LMSW, concluded with underlining the importance of caretakers taking care of themselves, and that even though it’s hard, one should never refrain from asking for help. She encouraged everyone to “Keep fighting, keep advocating . . . Coming together as we did today is part of the solution.” The program wrapped up with the panel taking questions from the audience. With more and more baby boomers entering the age of greatest risk for dementia every day, the challenges nursing facilities and families face keep growing. To enhance the many programs already in place to support residents with dementia and their loved ones, Margaret Tietz will be partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association on future projects and setting up a caregiver support group. This vital symposium spearheads Margaret Tietz's new Health Education Initiative, a program featuring quarterly seminars to educate and inform the community about best health practices. For more information about the Health Education Initiative, or to view the complete symposium online visit  Margaret Tietz is a member of the CenterLight Health System.

Pictured left to right at Dementia Symposium: Joan Serrano Laufer, Linda Spiegel, Jane C. Bardavid, Jed A. Levine and Yoel Lichstein