We kicked off a rousing 2-day dementia seminar for the Arkansas Innovative Performance Program in Little Rock with 350 attendees. In spite of the crowd which overwhelmed the space reserved for the talk, everyone was incredibly engaged and added valuable input throughout.
People shared their experiences as professional staff as well as family care partners–their triumphs and struggles. One woman told me through tears that she cared for her mother through the end of her life with dementia, and that in spite of the challenges, it was the most powerful and rewarding experience they had shared.
We finished the session with a bang: a torrential downpour and tornado sirens serenading my return to the hotel. But the evening is much calmer and no funnels appeared.
Of course, no trip to Little Rock would be complete without catfish, crawdad rice and lots of stories about local history and their famous former Governor.
Tomorrow, we will take the principles we explored today and look deeper into how culture change brings them to life. We will also practice team approaches to decode distress, find unmet needs and improve well-being.
Arkansas has had a history of collaboration between providers and regulators which is a model for other states to follow. It’s a thrill to be able to speak here, because I know this is one place that has the drive and talent to take new ideas and give them wings.