On April 11, 2019 over 230 long-term care professionals gathered at the Westin Hotel in Mt. Laurel, NJ for a full day of learning and networking at the 2nd annual Rothkoff Law Group Eldercare Symposium entitled, “Person Centered Elder Care: Transitioning Theories into Practice”.

The day started with an esteemed panel of experts on “Research, Clinical Trials and Their Impact on Participants”, a discussion facilitated by Jerry Rothkoff.  The panel consisting of Anna Brocco, Pharm.D., MBA, Director of Operations & Clinical Research, Advanced Memory Research Institute of NJ, Sanjeev Vaishnavi, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Univ. of Penn, Perelman School of Medicine, and  William Reiter, M.A., Manager Physician Outreach, Alzheimer’s Association, Delaware Valley Chapter. The panel updated the reasons for the recently cancelled Biogen clinical trial as well as the lessons learned from the clinical trial, including the need to concentrate future Alzheimer’s clinical research on prevention and early detection. Also, Jeff Borghoff, Alzheimer’s Early-Stage Ambassador, prepared a video in which he discussed his personal perspective regarding his three year participation in the Biogen clinical trial.

The keynote address, Understanding People with Alzheimer’s Disease: a Bio-Psycho-Social Approach, then followed given by Steven R. Sabat, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Georgetown University.  Dr. Sabat spoke about the need to view the person with Alzheimer’s beyond the disease. He stressed the importance of understanding the underlying reason why an individual with Alzheimer’s and related dementia reacts in certain ways.

During the luncheon, Rothkoff Law Group announced the 2019 New Jersey Caregiver Award winner. Caregiver professionals throughout Southern New Jersey had the opportunity to nominate an outstanding caregiver in their community who offers exceptional service to an elderly person. The selection process was difficult with many heartfelt nominations of worthy caregivers.  We congratulate Mary DeSimone of Cardinal Village as the 2019 NJ Caregiver award winner.

After lunch, four breakout sessions were held including “The Spiritual Gift of Caregiving”, The Gift of Being Right”, “The Diversity of Person-Centered Care: Greeting our LGBT Elders”, and “The Impact of Palliative and Hospice Care: Fulfilling the Promise of Person-Centered Care”.    We thank Rabbi Richard Address, Rebecca Rosenau, Nancy Alterman, Terri Clark, and Dr. Stephen Goldfine for their insightful presentations.

The day ended with a plenary presentation on music therapy by Kathy Pucell and Mary Cate Carr of Music Therapy Associates, LLC.  Kathy and Mary Cate inspired the attendees by emphasizing the value of music as a therapeutic benefit.

Throughout the day, an art exhibition, sponsored by Artz Philadelphia, was on display.  All art on display was made by individuals with dementia. Attendees were inspired by the creativity of the artists irrespective of their dementia diagnosis.

It was a very meaningful day of learning and camaraderie.  We want to thank all of our speakers, sponsors and exhibitors for their valuable participation in a wonderful day.  We look forward to seeing you next year. If you missed the above presentations, including the keynote, you can hear them in person at our 2nd annual Pennsylvania Elder Care Symposium on October 24, 2019 in Langhorne, PA.