Help from Alzheimer’s conference: ‘Now more than ever’

A day of guidance for people grappling with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in their daily lives is planned for the 2022 Pierce County Alzheimer’s Disease Conference.

The conference will be held live and in-person on Oct. 1 at Rainier View Christian Church, located at 12305 Spanaway Loop Road S. in Tacoma. The doors will open at 8 a.m. for visiting vendor resource tables, followed by conference presentations from 8:45 to 1 p.m.

The event is free but requires advance registration at the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources website ( or by calling 253-798-4600. Caregivers can request 1.5 hours of Continuing Education credits.

The conference, sponsored by Pierce County Human Services in partnership with the Health Care Providers Council of Pierce County, has a theme of “Busting the Myths and Misinformation of Dementia.” Attendees will be able to ask questions of speakers, panelists, and vendors. The scheduled speakers are Laura Wayman, author of the book “A Loving Approach to Dementia Care” and known as the “dementia whisperer,” and John Finke, associate professor of science at University of Washington-Tacoma.

“Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has created incredibly challenging times for families caring for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Human Services Division manager for the county’s Aging and Disability Resources. “Now more than ever they need support, information and resources.”

That support can come from the conference’s combination of expert advice and time for family caregivers “to share their stories about living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias day in and day out,” Van Valkenburg said.

Dementias can cause cognitive impairment, including memory loss, frequently repeating questions or stories, not recognizing familiar people and places, trouble exercising judgment, changes in mood or behavior, wandering, and difficulty carrying out tasks, such as dressing properly or keeping track of monthly bills.

More information about the conference is available from Aging and Disability Resources at 253-798-4600 and