Family facing dementia lives with joy and purposeBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dementia/MY01255
- 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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March 30, 2010
Family facing dementia lives with joy and purpose
By Angela Lunde
On March 20, the Annual "Meeting of the Minds" Conference took place in St. Paul, Minn. The conference this year gathered approximately 1300 individuals made up of professionals in the field of dementia, along with caregivers, families, and persons with mild cognitive impairment or the early stages of a dementia.
It was a conference that inspired hope and a sense of community. We learned how leading researchers are looking for ways to predict Alzheimer's disease, improve diagnostic techniques, identify high-risk individuals, and ultimately develop preventative treatments and an eventual cure. There were breakout sessions, service vendors and advocacy opportunities.
The conference introduced us to the DeMoe family from North Dakota. The DeMoe family is made up of six children, five of whom carry a gene mutation that has resulted in younger-onset Alzheimer's. Several members of the DeMoe family took the stage and while firmly interlocking hands, shared their journey. You may think that what we heard was a story of tragedy and heartache, but quite the contrary. What we heard and felt was a family in a place of acceptance and love. The family reminded me that none of us get to live this life without grief and loss. The DeMoe family understands this and lives each day with joy and purpose by participating in research, sharing their story, hugging any one who needs it, and with lots and lots of humor.
For me, the annual conference is like coming home after being away for a year. I see familiar faces dedicated to their work, I reconnect with families who I have met and supported over the years, and I stand proudly beside my colleagues who share my passion for making a difference in the lives of anyone impacted by dementia. I am certain the energy generated on this special day drenched us all with an undeniable feeling of community and oneness.
Until next year.blog index