- With Mayo Clinic health education outreach coordinator
Angela Lunderead biographyclose window
Angela LundeAngela LundeAngela Lunde is a dementia education specialist in the education core of Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the Abigail Van Buren Alzheimer's Disease Research Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The transfer of information about dementias, as well as understanding the need for participation in clinical trials, is an essential component of the education core.
Angela is a member of the Alzheimer's Association board of directors and co-chair of the annual Minnesota Dementia Conference. She is a member of the Dementia Behavior Assessment and Response Team (D-BART), a multidisciplinary outreach service assisting professional and family caregivers in understanding and managing difficult behaviors often present in dementia. She facilitates several support groups, including Memory Club, an early-stage education and support series, and more recently, helped to develop and now deliver Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking (HABIT), a 10-day cognitive rehab and wellness program for people with mild cognitive impairment.
Angela takes a personal interest in understanding the complex changes that take place within relationships and among families when dementia is present. She is particularly interested in providing innovative and accessible ways for people with dementia and their families to receive information and participate in valuable programs that promote well-being.
"Amid a devastating disease, there are tools, therapies, programs and ways to cope, and it is vital that families are connected to these resources," she says.
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Dec. 4, 2007
With Alzheimer's, you can still have a good life
By Angela Lunde
Here at the Mayo Clinic, I, along with my colleague from the Alzheimer's Association, facilitate "Memory Club," a group for persons with early Alzheimer's disease and their care partners. Here is what one of our former participants shared:
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I worked as a computer engineer for 35 years. Several years ago I was having some problems. Things were not right. I had tests to see how my memory was. I was told I had Alzheimer's disease. I was 64 years old. I wondered if they could fix my Alzheimer's disease. I wondered how many others were like this. I wondered why me, I was too young.
Things have changed for me over the past couple of years. I spend more time looking for things. I get more frustrated. When I start to say something the words float away — that's the hardest.
I don't mind telling others about my disease. I want them to know why I am struggling. Telling others helps me cope.
I have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. I have 2 sisters. I have good friends. Being with others who accept my disease helps me cope.
When I am around people I usually have a good joke. I can't change the past, and I can't change what the future brings, so I choose not to worry about it. Humor helps that.
I participate in an early stage support group with others going through a similar situation. I find it helpful to be with others like me and see how they are handling it. Alzheimer's, from what I can tell, is not going away anytime soon. My support group helps me cope.
Most of all, my wife makes it possible for me to cope even though I know it is hard for her. She worries about the future.
Someday they will fix this disease. People are working hard on it everyday. I don't let this disease get the best of me. You can have this disease and still have a good life. It is important for people to know this.