The Living Well With Dementia Conference: Bringing Humanity and Genuine Connection to the Forefront

July 27, 2022  |  By: Sophia Fowler

Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN, has always wanted to work with individuals living with dementia. From the moment he knew his path was to become a neurologist, he also understood the importance of studying dementia in that field. “Through [my father’s diagnosis] and then after that, I’ve really wanted to focus on people living with dementia and their care partners,” Potts said.

Dr. Potts currently works at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and as Founder of the Cognitive Dynamics Foundation, a foundation focused on helping individuals living with dementia through art therapy. He has been an enthusiastic partner with Dementia Action Alliance (DAA), including as an attendee of past conferences. According to Dr. Potts, DAA’s conference offers an experience like no other with its focus on bringing humanity and genuine connection to the forefront.

“What makes DAA stand out primarily is the lives and the voices of those who are living with dementia,” Potts explained, “In other conferences that I have attend as a neurologist that may be dementia specific or not, research is highlighted, treatment is highlighted, future treatment options are highlighted, but there are not many people there that are living with dementia speaking from the first person perspective. To hear those voices and know what the lived experience is like, to develop empathy is one of the main things that the DAA conference offers.”

From the point of view of a healthcare provider, Dr. Potts says attending a DAA conference changed the way he practices and has altered what caring for people living with dementia means to him.

Registration for DAA’s Living Well With Dementia Conference is open now! Learn more on our Conference page:

“I attended a general session where there was a panel discussion with people living with various kinds of dementia.” Dr. Potts reflected, “The things that were said impacted me greatly, they continue to impact me. Primarily it was hearing about how people were treated by healthcare professionals. Specifically, the day they were diagnosed was a terrible day. I still remember those stories. That is the most powerful conference experience I’ve ever had.”

According to Dr. Potts, DAA conference sessions are impactful for anyone involved in the community, including healthcare providers, care partners, and those living with dementia themselves. These sessions open up the opportunity for real people with their own stories to talk about how dementia impacts them with an audience of people who genuinely want to help improve the lives of those living with dementia now.

“[You should attend the conference] If you are struggling at all either as a care partner, a person living with dementia, a healthcare provider, or an ancillary role.” Dr. Potts explains, “And what I mean by struggling is, you’re struggling with ‘how do I communicate with people living with dementia?’, ‘how do I show support?’, ‘what will help them live well?’, ‘how can I be a good friend to them?’, etc. If any of these are something that [you] struggle with, then you definitely need to attend the DAA conference, because there’s not another place or another event that can teach you as much about those things”.

“Life is about relationships, and the relationships I’ve made with people through DAA are some of the most powerful in my life, some of the most beneficial to me, and mutually beneficial.” Dr. Potts concluded, “One of the main reasons I want to go this year and my wife wants to go this year is so we can build upon those relationships, enjoy those friendships, and learn how to be better people by attending this conference.”

Registration for DAA’s Living Well With Dementia Conference is open now! Learn more on our Conference page: