Hey there! Kim here, just back from the 9th Cognitive Symposium with the Allen Cognitive Network. People from around the world gathered to learn from and network with other leaders who are expert at using the Cognitive Disabilities Model in their practice.
Claudia Allen, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA, founder of the Cognitive Disabilities Model and the Allen Cognitive Levels, a leader in the field of helping people with cognitive disabilities to thrive, was among the presenters, and we all shared our passion for making life better for individuals with cognitive challenges.
I had the honor of presenting "Promoting Best Ability to Function and Positive Outcomes in an Assisted Living Memory Care Community" together with Alyssa Ford, MOT, OTR/L, a Dementia Capable Care Certified Instructor and the Area Rehab Clinical Specialist for Indiana, Ohio, and Southern Illinois at Legacy Healthcare Services, as well as Terra Osbourne, DCCCP, a Certified Instructor and the Director of Well-Being at The Summit at Park Hills in Fairborn, OH.
Additionally, our Dementia Capable Care Global Professional Instructors Sharon Host, OT, DCCT, and Chris Ebell, OT/L, DCCT, presented "Reducing Antipsychotic Medications in Persons With Dementia."
The entire event was super exciting because it came on the heels of the lawsuit that overturned the Medicare Improvement Standard. As a result of that lawsuit, therapists can now assist even more in the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia, further enabling those who need our help to get the services that they need in order to thrive. I'm thrilled by this, energized by the symposium, and eager for you to check out the video below in which I tell you more about all this excitement!
Check out more photos from the symposium on the Allen Cognitive Network's Facebook page.
Here’s a transcript of “Caring for Dementia: Allen Cognitive Network's 9th Cognitive Symposium”:
Hi there, Kim Warchol here, president of Dementia Care Specialists. I’m in San Diego, California, where I’m attending the Allen Cognitive Network 9th Cognitive Symposium. And it is a place in which people from around the world gather to learn and to network with other leaders who really are expert in utilizing the Allen Cognitive Disabilities Model in their practice.
It always feels good to be at a conference like this—there are so many leaders: Claudia Allen herself, the originator of the model, made a wonderful presentation on the first day in which she spent some time going over the historical picture of the model—how did she develop it; why; and how did it evolve over the years?
It was very impactful because not only is Claudia Allen an amazingly brilliant woman, but she is so inspirational. She created this model 30–40 years ago around the concept of helping people who have cognitive impairment to lead a quality life—whether that cognitive impairment was related to a mental health issue, or, in our case, our specialization is helping people with Alzheimer’s—she truly is passionate about, as she says, all of us with this knowledge and information “getting off of our butts” and doing the hard yards, making the change we need with our knowledge to help people with cognitive impairments to thrive.
So it was just wonderful to hear Claudia give that historical perspective of her model, but also, as always, inspire us to work harder.
In addition, Cathy Earhart, one of the original people who really helped Claudia develop this model, was here. Claudia and Cathy, in the early days, helped to create what’s known as the ACLS, or the Allen Cognitive Level Screen. They, along with others, have evolved that tool. Also, Cathy Earhart is the author of the Allen Diagnostic Manual, and those projects. So, again, very exciting to be here in the presence of the original founders and developers of the model.
Also really exciting to be here with some of our strategic partners who have taken a lead in utilizing this model in their practice, like Legacy Healthcare Services, Provision Living. Many of our DCCTs, Dementia Capable Care Therapists, are gathering at this conference.
There are so many leaders here, and it’s just great to learn with them, to share with them—we did have the opportunity to present twice at the conference—and then, most importantly, to network. We gather every night and talk about what we heard and how we can use our shared knowledge and passion to really make life a better place for individuals with cognitive challenges.
So it’s just been wonderful, and I think it’s super exciting because it comes on the heels of this new lawsuit that overturned the Medicare improvement requirement [Medicare Improvement Standard], meaning that therapists can intervene now, even more, in the lives of people with chronic, progressive disabilities like Alzheimer’s, now that that rule that used to be in place for improvement is going to be overturned.
So I’m just excited, getting ready to come home now, and wanted to tell you that spending a couple days here in San Diego, gathering with leaders in the Cognitive Disabilities Model, brainstorming, has really inspired me as always, and I’m just so grateful to be in the presence of Claudia Allen, Cathy Earhart, and so many other leaders. Have a great day!