- 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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Feb. 8, 2011
Caregiver shares words of inspiration
By Angela Lunde
I'm a caregiver, but not in the same way as most of you. I'm a caregiver for my two "children" ages 18 and 22 (who, by the way, still seem to need an incredible amount of "care"). I haven't (yet) provided ongoing care for an elderly parent, spouse or other individual with dementia. Therefore, I gain an incredible amount of knowledge, insight and inspiration from what many of you share through this blog and from the men and women in the Alzheimer's support groups I facilitate.
Last week in the support group, Theresa, a caregiver for her mother, offered the group an insightful perspective into the role of Alzheimer's support groups and an inspirational view of caregiving. Here is my remembrance of what she shared:
After my mother's abrupt and unexpected diagnosis of Alzheimer's, I attended my first support group meeting. I was overwhelmed. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I couldn't look at anyone in the room. I didn't want to hear what was being said. After all, I was only there to figure out how to "fix" my mom's condition. I intended to get the answers and then go home and implement the solution. That did not happen. I left in tears convinced that attending a support group was not going to help my mother. I vowed never to return.
Three years later I returned to the support group. I was still feeling overwhelmed, as well as angry, scared, and uncertain. But something was different this time. I realized that when I came three years ago, I was coming for my mom. This time, I'm coming for me. At some point on this journey I accepted that my mom's disease would continue to progress and even her dutiful daughter could not change that. I on the other hand, had a choice. I could choose to care for me and about me. I could choose to take care of my emotional and physical health. I could choose to participate in life and find joy in something every day.
I am still a full time caregiver for my mother just like I was three years ago, but now I love (almost) every minute of being there for her.
"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.
The amount of work is the same."
- Carlos Castenada, American writer, nagual (shaman)blog index Next page
(1925 - 1998)