Dementia Conference and Cruise Brings
Hope, Fun and Education to Families
Caribbean vacation for those living with early memory loss accompanied by families and friends
Participants will find this week-long Caribbean cruise an empowering retreat rich in hope and filled with fun, all while learning tips to live graciously with their “new normal” in life.
Lori La Bey, Radio Host and founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks is the brain child behind the event. Her own mother lived with dementia for 30 years. La Bey said, “Our conference is designed to encourage open conversations, raise awareness, and build a sense of comradery while rejuvenating souls. We want to help people expand the depths of their relationships while functioning as caregivers and care receivers. Our goal is to show people how to live graciously with dementia, not become it.”
Kathy Shoaf, RN, Accessible Travel Advocate became La Bey’s perfect partner. Shoaf owner of Elite Cruises and Vacations, LLC, is helping La Bey bring people together to share insights, reduce fears and eliminate feelings of isolation often caused by dementia. Shoaf has been overwhelmed by the gratitude expressed by those inquiring about the conference. “People are excited and simply surprised that this opportunity to get support actually exists,” she said.
Most people don’t realize how many families are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, a person develops dementia every 3 seconds in the world. It’s rare to find someone who has not been touched by the dementia.
La Bey’s unique team includes both professionals in the field as well as what she calls the “True Experts.” Four international advocates living with a dementia diagnosis will play a large role in the conference sharing their profound insights and coping strategies. They are: Michael Ellenbogen, Mary Read, Laurie Scherrer and Harry Urban.
As Harry Urban, a man living with dementia for 13 years said, “I’m finally going to meet my family. The one I’ve never met.” Harry refers to his “social media family” as a major source of support to him. Like so many living with dementia and those caring for them, these social media platforms can be lifelines.
Professionals Cyndy Luzinski and Becky Watson bring their passion and superior skill sets to the conference. Luzinski is an advanced practice nurse and dementia practitioner, along with being the founder of Dementia-Friendly Communities of Northern Colorado. Watson is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and Founder of Music for Wellness, a company that provides engaging, energizing and empowering music wellness programs and services to enrich the mind, body, and spirit.
La Bey, reminisces with us about a family cruise with her mom with dementia and her dad with brain cancer. “What a beautiful experience it was for my parents, all siblings and our children.” She goes on to say, “To be able to offer a supportive atmosphere where others understand the dementia experience and are in the trenches side by side with one another — well it’s just beyond words.”
This conference will provide a fun and hopeful environment to share life stories and lessons learned which in turn builds a strong sense of comradery. Participants will be given resources, tips and tools to help them live better with and alongside dementia. Alzheimer’s Speaks is seeking sponsorships and donations to provide scholarships for those who can’t afford to attend.
Johns Hopkins University Press has donated a couple of their best-selling books on dementia for the conference, “The 36 Hour Day” and “A Loving Approach to Dementia Care.” La Bey encourages individuals and organizations to donate services, products or tools to enhance this experience. La Bey is also seeking sponsors through cash or frequent flier miles… at any level to provide scholarships for those who can’t afford to attend on their own.
The group will set sail November 11th, for the Eastern Caribbean and return to Fort Lauderdale, on November 18th, 2017. All interested in this amazing conference and cruise must book their cruise through Kathy Shoaf who can be reached at 219-608-2002 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Alzheimer’s Speaks is an advocacy group making an international impact providing education for those dealing with dementia. Dr. Oz and Sharecare recognized Alzheimer’s Speaks as the “#1 Influencer online for Alzheimer’s.” Maria Shriver recognized La Bey as an “Architect of Change for Humanity.”
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