The 64thannual conference of the Georgia Gerontology Society attracted 260 aging care providers, professionals, educators, and businesses to Lake Oconee in July.
Fully seven of the 30 sessions addressed the challenges, treatment and support of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses. One of the newest and most ambitious initiatives to be showcased at the conference is Georgia Memory Net, a statewide program created to focus on early diagnosis. The first five memory Assessment clinics will be in Atlanta, August, Macon, Columbus, and Albany. The program’s goal is to shorten what is now a six-year average delay in memory-loss diagnosis in Georgia.
The wide variety of sessions included such topics as deepening the practice of cultural humility in working with diverse older adults; educating senior living communities on older adult LGBT history; end-of-life doulas; and the growing need for addiction therapy for older adults.
“We’re seeing more conversation around depression and substance abuse in the aging population,” says Babs J. Hall, current GGS president. She noted that GGS and the Southern Gerontology Society are working together on a task force to conduct surveys and report on older adults’ knowledge of opioids.