2012 Plenary Sessions
Tuesday August 7 Morning Plenary
is a small-town social worker with big ideas. The film Alive Inside
documents his ambitious effort to ensure that personalized-music becomes a standard in palliative care. A vivid and surprisingly candid exploration of the world of nursing homes, the film shows caregivers empowered to change patients' lives, and brings hope and light to an otherwise dark and heavy conversation.
Alzheimer's and dementia are a reality for an increasing and often unseen population. Though well intentioned, many nursing homes are not equipped to fully meet the needs of these residents. We are left with several questions without any real or comforting answers: How do I want to age? What can we do for our loved ones? Can we do better? Alive Inside investigates these questions and the power music has to awaken deeply locked memories.
The film follows Dan Cohen, a social worker, who decides on a whim to bring iPods to a nursing home. To his and the staff's surprise many residents suffering from memory loss seem to "awaken" when they are able to listen to music from their past. Alive Inside
focuses on one man's journey, but it raises many deep questions about what it means to still be alive inside. It questions when we stop being human, and what it takes to re-start a life that has faded away. It asks questions about how we see our elderly, and how we are going to treat an epidemic of these degenerative diseases. LEARN MORE
Wednesday August 8 Luncheon Plenary
The Legacy Project
The Legacy Project, led by Dr. Karl Pillemer
, a professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, and Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College, has systematically collected practical advice from over 1500 older Americans who have lived through extraordinary experiences and historical events. They offer tips on surviving and thriving despite the challenges we all encounter.
The Legacy Project began in 2004, when Dr. Pillemer started collecting the practical advice for living of America's elders. Using a number of different methods
, his research team has systematically gathered nearly 1500 responses to the question: "What are the most important lessons you have learned over the course of your life?"
At our closing luncheon plenary, Dr. Pillemer will share lessons from people from across the country in their 70s and beyond who shared their wisdom for living. Their advice ranges from how to be happy on a day-to-day basis, the secrets to a successful marriage, tips on raising children, ways to have a fulfilling career, strategies for dealing with illness and loss, and how to grow old fearlessly and well.
Dr. Pillemer book on the project, 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans
, was recently published. It was named to the list of "Best Self-Help Books of 2011″ by Library Journal. Dr. Pillemer will be doing book signings at the conference as well.
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