Memory Garden will hold a symposium on curbing the Alzheimer's epidemic, dementia and other age-related, degenerative neurological diseases.
Nicholas Ferreri, owner of Tanglewood Manor and Memory Garden, has organized the symposium, which is scheduled for Aug. 6 at noon at the Louis Ferreri Memorial Park of Tanglewood Manor in Jamestown.
The symposium will feature three doctors from Florida, Todd E. Golde, M.D., Ph.D.; David G. Morgan, Ph.D.; and Russell M. Bauer, Ph.D., who specialize in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. According to Ferreri, they will discuss the progress that has been made in developing novel treatments, the challenges that they still face and the conviction that in the foreseeable future they can translate their enhanced knowledge into therapies that benefit patients.
Memory Garden is located at the Tanglewood Manor, 560 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown. A Alzheimer’s symposium will be held at the location on Aug. 6
"I believe we are the best facility in the area that on a clinical basis deals with memory care," said Ferreri. "I built this (Tanglewood Manor and Memory Garden) because my father was in a skilled facility. What happens, and what happened to my father, is they just drug them. Then they die, and it's the most disgusting, without-dignity scenario that you'll ever see.
"The public thinks that when a person has dementia or Alzheimer's that they belong in skilled facilities. But, people don't understand that you can't put people with Alzheimer's or dementia with people who don't have it. So, when I built this I said I'm not doing that. And, this (symposium) is going to another phase."
According to Ferreri, the next phase is to be on the cusp of developing treatments that slow the progression, with the eventual goal of stopping it altogether. However, one of the problems researchers face is that currently most of the funding goes towards care, and not to research.
"It's like the horse before the cart," said Ferreri. "You have to deal with research because you've got to find some way to slow the buildup of the plaque. Once they do that, they can progress towards clearing it up."
Researching a cure isn't the only focus of Ferreri's; care of the patients is just as important. That's why he first developed Memory Garden as a place where patients could live in dignity while a treatment is synthesized.
"There is no such thing as 'no' here," said Ferreri. "If they say, 'I've got to go see my sister,' and they were dead years ago, we're going to take them by the hand and say 'okay, let's go see if they are in your room.' So, we redirect them."
Ferreri believes that although a cure is close, there are still those who are suffering. And, Memory Garden is a place where living is a good chapter of life, not the last chapter of life.
"Everything here is peace," he added. "They get up when they want to get up, and we serve them what they want to eat; it's a very unique and different place. There is no real structure here other than that we're activity based. We have them always doing things so that we don't have a lot of sun-downers who stay up all night because they are active and tired."
Ferreri hopes that the skills acquired through the symposium will further improve the quality of life for the patients at Memory Garden.
"We will be the center of the Alzheimer's and dementia nation," said Ferreri. "I want more, and I want the best. So, we're inviting people (to the symposium) who can make a difference for those who have it."
In addition to the experts, an Alzheimer's support group will be present, as well as families of the residents, academics, physicians and more.
The symposium is free and open to the public, and registration is required by Friday. Call 488-9434 ext. 219 for more information or to register.
Tanglewood Manor and Memory Garden are located at 560 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown. For more information visit tanglewoodmanor.com or call 483-2876.