Dementia caregivers celebrate the imperfect usBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dementia-caregivers/MY01963
- 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. 24, 2011
Dementia caregivers celebrate the imperfect us
By Angela Lunde
For the past several days I've been contemplating (more than usual) what to say as we leave this year behind. I've read every one of your comments from the last 4 weeks and re-read some from months past. Your words are filled with every imaginable experience, opinion and emotion. In a sense, you shared your "secrets".
Yet, the truth is, in our day-to-day interactions, we rarely express our secrets, all of our true emotions, or let people see our real life or self — for acceptable reasons. But it happens here on this blog — many of you boldly admitting, owning and sharing thoughts, desires, insecurities, pain, embarrassment, vulnerability, alienation, fear, dreams and more.
As a caregiver to someone with a dementia, most of you will have many of these emotions and it can be the negative ones that consume us. So, the question isn't whether or not you (we) experience fear, pain and other emotions. The more important question is: How do you move through these emotions in an honest way so they don't paralyze, break or keep you from being who you really are?
The way we transform our insecurities, sorrow and other difficult emotions is by admitting them, owning and expressing them. This is what takes place here by so many of you. When you open up and reveal fear and pain, or the ways in which you feel flawed or imperfect, a piece of the struggle goes out of life. A door is opened for hope, joy and relief to enter.
Something else extraordinary happens — you make it safe for others to reciprocate and share their own stories of struggle. You reclaim what's important in our life — to be a part of the (imperfect) human family. Through this blog community I witness a beautiful synergy between the sharing of our truth and space for compassion and happiness to enter. I see a place where we learn about others, and at the same time we learn more about ourselves.
So, I decided what I want to say as we leave 2011 is best expressed by Bonnie (blog contributor):
"Cheers to each of you ... some of the nicest people I would love to meet"blog index