Kentuckians invited to take part in virtual conference on Alzheimer’s


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is hosting a free virtual Alzheimer’s educational conference for Kentucky residents.

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), the conference is part of the National Educating America Tour and will bring in medical, elder law, and dementia care experts to discuss a variety of Alzheimer’s and senior-related issues, provide tips and strategies, and information on local resources.

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AFA reports more than 75,000 people in Kentucky live with Alzheimer’s disease.

The virtual conference will take place Oct. 29 from 10 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. EST and is free and open to anyone. Registration is available HERE.

“Knowledge is a useful and powerful tool that can help make any situation easier to navigate. That’s especially true now as more than 75,000 Kentucky families are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s President & CEO.  “We want individuals who are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s to know about the resources available to help them and steps that they can take to improve their loved one’s care and quality of life. This conference will bring that information directly to families without having to leave their homes.”

According to AFA, Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show, will be a guest speaker and share his family’s personal Alzheimer’s story regarding the diagnosis of his mother, Suna Oz, last year. Dr. Oz will describe how the diagnosis impacted his family, as well as share tips to promote good brain health and healthy aging.

Sessions during the AFA virtual conference will include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease: Past & Present Perspectives – Frederick A. Schmitt, Ph.D., will describe how our knowledge and concepts about Alzheimer’s disease have advanced over the past century.  He will also familiarize attendees with other dementia-related disorders.  Dr. Schmitt will discuss current Alzheimer’s therapeutic trials and help caregivers understand the current approaches and recommendations for risk reduction.  Dr. Schmitt is a Professor in the Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Behavioral Science and Psychology at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky and a member of AFA’s Medical, Scientific and Memory Screening Advisory Board.
  • Legal Documents You Can’t Live Without – Letha Sgritta McDowell, a Certified Elder Law Attorney with the National Elder Law Foundation who is a Board Certified Specialist in Elder and Special Needs Law, will talk about legal documents which are critical to have in place in order to be able to effectively care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.  She will discuss the terms of a durable power of attorney, care agreements, shared expense agreements, HIPAA waivers, and more.  Letha will review which documents are essential for care planning, asset protection, and planning for the future.
  • Prepare to Care– Deborah Turner, from AARP Kentucky, will provide caregivers with a good framework to guide them and their loved ones in order to make the caregiving process easier.  She will talk about connecting with other family caregivers, exchanging tips and advice, and learning about available resources.

Those who can’t participate in the virtual conference or have immediate questions about Alzheimer’s disease can connect with licensed social workers seven days a week through AFA’s National Toll-Free Helpline at 866-232-8484 or via an online web chat system (available in 90+ languages) HERE by clicking the blue and white chat icon in the right hand corner of the page.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!