Our own Director of Development and Licensed Assisted Living Director at Arthur’s Senior Care, Deb Nygaard, was the first presenter at the University of MN’s Caring for People with Memory Loss Conference on June 3, 2023. The conference is an annual event put on by Dr. Joseph Gaugler and his team. Joe Gaugler, PhD, Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair in Long-Term Care and Aging & Professor, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. Dr. Gaugler’s research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease, family caregiving, and long-term care. You can find out more on their website if you are interested in attended in the future. https://www.sph.umn.edu/events-calendar/caring-for-person-with-memory-loss-conference/
Deb jokes that her greatest credential is that she is a Professional Learner from Mistakes! So much of our knowledge comes from lessons learned, and she was able to share many stories of successes over the years that resulted from a past failure. Deb has over 30 years of experience, has been a trainer of the Positive Approach to Care and the Virtual Dementia Tour, was a charter member of the Roseville Alzheimer’s and Dementia Community Action Team https://www.cityofroseville.com/dementiainfo, and is currently a part of the Dementia-Friendly Airports Working Group. https://www.dementiafriendlyairports.com/
Deb presented on the topic “Practical Tips for Avoiding Power Struggles” to help the attendees learn how to interact with their loved ones with dementia more effectively to reduce challenging behaviors. There were over 200 people in attendance that day, with an additional 500 online through hybrid technology. The audience was primarily family members, but there were professionals as well. Deb briefly covered an overview of dementia, gave an overview of what they can expect to see as the disease progresses, then quickly got into the tips to help them succeed. Deb engaged them in practicing different techniques, reminding them that some techniques work 10% of the time, some work 50% of the time, and some never work. Also, techniques work more successfully at different stages of the disease.
A link to her presentation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3Jsff3FClMRKQAsIPfHOnbgkz1itdH6m