- 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.
- Alzheimer's support group gets lift from humor, sharing
May 14, 2013
- As caregivers, support each other without judgment
May 1, 2013
- Alzheimer's individual living in the moment — in happiness
April 16, 2013
- Take the time to find gratitude: You'll be happier, healthier
April 3, 2013
- Gratitude is the one pill everyone should be prescribed
March 19, 2013
June 3, 2010
'Letting go' can empower caregivers
By Angela Lunde
Last week, the support group I facilitate included a small group of veteran caregivers — a mix of husbands, wives and daughters caring for a loved one with dementia.
They shared ideas about creative ways to keep their loved ones safe, engaged, and generally well cared for. They spoke candidly about navigating the horrendous legal and financial challenges that are imminent for many in this situation.
Near the end of this hour long conversation, one of the caregiving daughters (I'll call her Fern) said, "By default, most of us have become adept in this area of caregiving, but in the end, we all just have a house of cards right?"
These caregivers, like many of you, have become artisans in the ways of crafting their "house". They've found the tools and resources they need to methodically construct each piece of the caregiving journey. Along the way, they've taken on new roles and responsibilities and the game is in constant motion — all in an effort to keep the foundation strong and their lives balanced and stable.
Yet, it takes just one card too many, one windy day, one unanticipated nudge and the whole house comes falling down.
I think the lesson in Fern's words reflect that no matter what we do, life is beyond our control. In a sense, we're powerless. We all know this at some level, but the way we think, act and feel many times contradicts this basic truth. However, if we can accept imperfection, lighten our expectations, and let go of the steering wheel we can become empowered. With this empowerment, we (or you as caregivers) begin the real work of taking care of ourselves.
"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us." — Author Joseph Campbellblog index