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By the year 2025, more than 160,000 Tennesseans are expected to have Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

UT’s College of Nursing will host “Aging and Dementia in the 21st Century: Insights and Innovations in Care” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, November 10, at the Holiday Inn, 525 Henley Street.

Roberto Fernandez, medical director of the Pat Summitt Clinic at UT Medical Center, will be the keynote speaker. The clinic is dedicated exclusively to the care, family support, and advancement of new treatments for those with Alzheimer’s disease. The clinic serves 3,000 patients and their families but projects that number will double to 6,000 in the next five years.

“Alzheimer’s disease has a uniquely devastating impact on patients and caregivers, and the number of people being diagnosed is rising at an astounding rate,” said Patrick Wade, executive director of the Pat Summitt Foundation. “This symposium will be an excellent learning opportunity and resource for our community as almost everyone is touched in some way by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.”

The event will focus on nonpharmacological approaches to the care of persons with dementia and support of their family caregivers. This is the first year UT has hosted the conference, which is part of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the International Dementia Scholars Collaborative. The collaborative is an international group of researchers whose research, practice, and policy interests are focused on the issues of persons with dementia and cognitive impairment.

Additional speakers include experts from UT’s College of Nursing, Georgia State University, MGH Institute of Health Professions, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Stavanger in Norway.

Topics include dementia caregiving, grief and mood disorders in caregivers of persons with dementia, experiences with crisis and coping, and digital tools to empower persons with dementia.

Karen Rose
Karen Rose

“Sharing information from experts in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is a great way to support families and clinicians, as we are all on the same team,” said Karen Rose, the McMahan-McKinley Endowed Professor in Gerontology in the College of Nursing. “We must continue to work together and find solutions to challenges people face when dealing with these diseases.”

The symposium is open to researchers, clinicians, community stakeholders, patients, and families. Attendees must register by November 6. The cost is $40 per person to attend.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,

Emily Kissel (865-974-2755,