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University of Iowa News Release

 

Sept. 19, 2011

Renowned Alzheimer's awareness advocate to tour UI, local community Oct. 3-7

September is World Alzheimer's Month. On the heels of this global outreach and awareness campaign, the University of Iowa College of Nursing, the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, and Hills Bank have jointly sponsored a series of Iowa City-area speaking engagements by Richard Taylor, a retired psychologist and distinguished champion for individuals with early-stage and early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Author of the book "Alzheimer's from the Inside Out" (Health Professions Press, 2006), Taylor was diagnosed with Alzheimer's-type dementia at the age of 58. He currently serves on the board of the Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and has started more than 50 chat rooms worldwide for people who suffer from, and are affected by Alzheimer's disease. Now 68, Taylor is a passionate advocate for people living with the disease.

College of nursing professor Janet Specht, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, director, John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, first heard about Taylor at Dementia Day Camp, which is an organization of interdisciplinary researchers interested in dementia.

"Now we collaborate on research projects that will move the care of persons with dementia forward," said Specht. "We are always looking for ways we can work together to improve their quality of care."

Specht added that in 2009 she and Taylor collaborated on an article in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing titled "Partnering for Care: The Evidence and the Expert."

This will be Taylor's third speaking engagement and tour of the Iowa City area. He last visited the college of nursing in February 2010. Scheduled visits include:

-- UI Medical Education and Research Facility, Monday Oct. 3.
-- The Iowa City Senior Center, Tuesday, Oct. 4.
-- The Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, Wednesday Oct. 5.
-- The UI College of Nursing Building, Thursday, Oct. 6.

Specht considers Taylor "remarkable" for many reasons, one of which is that he remains quite capable of expressing his feelings and works tirelessly on his goal of changing how persons with dementia are treated.

Despite being diagnosed more than ten years ago, Taylor has written two books, produced a DVD and publishes a monthly newsletter.

Taylor was a moving force in the establishment of the Dementia Advisory Committee of the U.S. Alzheimer's Association. He now serves as the chair of a similar committee he helped to establish for the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. He continues to be a sought-after speaker at various professional conferences, assisted living and memory care communities, and public programs.

Hundreds of caregivers have used his insight to help communicate what might be going on inside the mind of a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia. Many Alzheimer's chat rooms, across the United States and worldwide, were created with his support. Taylor also recently worked with the World Alzheimer's Association to help create a new website (www.alz.co.uk). For more information, visit www.richardtaylorphd.com.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Jamie Nicpon, UI College of Nursing, 319-335-9917, james-nicpon@uiowa.edu