- 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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A few favorites for caregivers during this season of giving
By Angela Lunde
We all have our favorite things — favorite color, vacation spot, article of clothing, movie, memory. In this giving season, I thought I'd share with you my list of favorites in the category of caregiving.
I'm including books, guides, gifts, affirmations and even my favorite words to live by. Some of these have remained on my favorites list for more than a decade, others are more recent. And of course there are those favorites I've yet to discover, so I'm hoping you'll share yours.
My favorite books
- "Your Name Is Hughes Hannibal Shanks: A Caregiver's Guide to Alzheimer's," Lela Knox Shanks. (The most worn book on my shelf, first came out in 1996, Second edition in 2005).
- "Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey Through Alzheimer's," Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle
- "Passages in Caregiving: Turning Chaos into Confidence," Gail Sheehy
- "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope while Coping with Stress and Grief," Pauline Boss, Ph.D.
- "Inside Alzheimer's: How to Hear and Honor Connections with a Person who has Dementia," Nancy Pearce
- "Through the Wilderness of Alzheimer's: A Guide in Two Voices," Robert and Ann Simpson
- "A Dignified Life: The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer's Care, A Guide for Family Caregivers," Virginia Bell and David Troxel
- "Forget Memory: Creating Better Lives for People with Dementia," Anne Basting
- "Speaking Our Minds: What It's Like to Have Alzheimer's, Revised Edition," Lisa Snyder
A few weeks ago, I received a copy of the "The Alzheimer's Prevention Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Boost Brain Health," by Dr. Marwan Sabbagh and Beau MacMillan. I may not call this my new favorite book, but the recipes look incredibly delicious and full of the stuff that is good for all of us (antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and omega-3's).
Booklets and guides
- "Living Well: A Guide for Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) & Early Dementia."
- "Pressure Points: Alzheimer's and Anger," by Edna Ballard, Lisa Gwyther and T. Patrick Toal. A booklet about sources of anger and strategies for families and professionals.
Both booklets are available at the Alzheimer’s Association website.
Favorite gifts for family caregivers
- The gift of time and respite. This might be a gift certificate (or handmade coupons) toward house cleaning, homemade meals, shoveling or other lawn care, or for providing respite time that allows the caregiver time off to focus on what they want or need. Gift certificates for restaurants, laundry/dry cleaning services (consider those that deliver), computer/technology support. Definitely consider personal pampering services such as massages, facials and manicures/pedicures.
- Books. In addition to an enjoyable fiction or nonfiction book, see my list of favorites above.
- A DVR/TiVo with a year's worth of services that will allow caregivers to record favorite shows they may not be able watch in real time but can enjoy later during downtime.
- A journal for writing down thoughts and feelings about being a caregiver. Journaling is a healing way to process thoughts and emotions.
- Candles, lavender oil for the bath, music — anything to create a calming space.
Favorite caregiver affirmations
- There are no perfect solutions and there are no perfect families.
- I can only do my best and be dependable. I can't do it all.
- The person living with dementia is not unhappy or upset simply because of their disease or me. They are living with unwanted dependency and loss. They need to feel useful, dignified and loved.
- Acceptance is not liking or agreeing with my situation. It's simply making peace with the way things are today.
- There are many things I can't control.
- I made the best decision I could at the time.
- I can forgive myself.
- I get angry and feel guilty because I love.
Some of my favorite words to live by
- "We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." — Joseph Campbell
- "Care-providing presents us with the challenge of a lifetime, and the hardest task many of us will ever face. But the extraordinary circumstances in which it places us are also opportunities to open up new frontiers in human development and understanding." — Lela Knox Shanks, author of "Your Name is Hughes Hannibal Shanks."
- Note to self: You are enough, you have enough, you do enough.
Yours in support,