Reporting on MidAmerica Institute on Aging

Playing catch-up after a crazy busy summer. Right on the heels of the Pioneer Network Conference was The MidAmerica Institute on Aging and Wellness where I presented two creative engagement sessions as well as “Finding Emilou” as the endnote concert for David Troxel’s Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care pre-conference. I met a lot of amazing people at the conference, several which are pictured above (David Troxel of The Best Friends Approach, my Emilou puppet and me, and conference committee and/or staff members involved with MAIA including Katie Ehlman, Mary Ann Allen, and two other lovely individuals whose names I've forgotten - apologies!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the conference which featured keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Gregor, author of “How Not to Die.” He explained how nutrition and life-style interventions, specifically emphasizing a plant-based diet, can sometimes trump pharmaceuticals. I’ve been eating a lot more salads since returning home, by the way, thanks in particular to another wonderful presenter, Robin Mallery of Heart Matters. I later discovered her chocolate mindfulness Ted Talk which I highly recommend, this coming from a person who tends to inhale food. Thanks to her, I’m savoring my food and losing weight at the same time!

I also enjoyed two playful sessions facilitated by Ginny Hunneke and Jennifer Maurer of The Fun Conspiracy, reminding me that adults (who laugh much less often on a daily basis than kindergartners) need more play in their lives!

And, of course, I enjoyed meeting David Broxel who shared his journey and practical approaches in treating people with dementia. I can tell he and I are of kindred spirit as we both agree that the best treatment is YOU and ME!

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention Greg O’Brien’s moving presentation on what it is to live with Alzheimer’s.

And finally, I must add that this conference is planned and hosted by the kindest, most considerate, and most hospitable individuals I have yet to experience in the world of conferences! I highly recommend this conference which happens annually in Evansville, Indiana.