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WALA’s 20th Annual Spring Conferencewala MakingMemoriesLogoCreating a Dementia Friendly Culture

There is still time to REGISTER!

I hope you can join us!

 Wednesday, March 18, 2015

12:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Everyone Is Welcome To Attend!

Creating a Dementia Friendly Culture – One Community At a Time: A Panel Presentation

Every person with dementia has the right to live well in their community and everyone- from governments and communities to businesses and individuals – has a role to play in making this a reality. It is now the time for action to improve the lives of people living with this condition. Creating a Dementia Friendly Community focuses on improving inclusion and quality of life for people with dementia through a high level of public awareness and understanding of dementia.

Dementia Friendly Communities are popping up in every corner of Wisconsin – each with unique characteristics that tap into local interests and talents. While this is a larger cultural issue, learn why assisted living providers are seeing increased census through participation. During this session, panel experts will discuss the barriers people with dementia face in their community and provide you with detailed methods on running a DFC from a global, national, state, and local perspective.

Sponsored by Senior Living University

Meet & Greet Reception – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Let’s play “Memory”! This meet-and-greet will put you in front of more industry leaders and decision makers in one night than you would normally be able to connect within a month. Attendees will not only have the chance to reconnect with colleagues and make new connections, but will also participate in a networking game of “Memory” for a chance at a prize!

Networking reception sponsored by Wipfli LLP

Cash bar service sponsored by M3 Insurance

Download a registration form or register at the WALA Store!

For more information on Dementia and Caregiving

Click Below

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Join Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Today

Learn About Another Dementia Friendly Initiative

030315 ASR MEmory MAtters

Click Above To Listen

Live Today at 11am EST, 10am CST, 9am MST, 8am PST and 4pm London time.

Or listen later at your convenience.

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio™ believes in giving voice to those afflicted with the cognitive impairment and their care partners while empowering them to live purpose filled lives. Our goal is to raise awareness, give hope, and share the real everyday life of living with dementia. We look forward to you joining us for great conversation, learning, and laughter as we maneuver this roller coaster called memory loss.

Edwina Hoyle Headshot (2)Today will will hear from Edwina Hoyle about a Dementia Friendly Initiative started by Memory Matters.  Memory Matters is a community-based, non-profit organization which strives to be a center of excellence for persons with Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia and their families.  They provide daycare programs, support services and education in a compassionate and dignified manner.

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Join the conversation

Tell us about your dementia friendly ideas and projects!

Us the Chat box or call in live at  (714) 364-4757

 For more information on dementia and caregiving

visit Alzheimers Speaks resource website below.

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Full Circle -

The Cycle Of Death and Life

2013-04-18 07The loss of a brilliant woman who lived life beautifully, even when dementia knocked on her door over 30 years ago.  Mom I so miss you and thank you for being in my life.

One Year Later

I never expected my life would be so impacted and drastically change due to illness, any illness.  I never really gave it thought to be honest.  I was too busy living my own life.  Those kinds of things always happen to “others.”

Then one day, none of us really know which day, dementia knocked on my beautiful mother’s door.  As always my mother open the door and greeted the stranger with grace.  Not knowing, not judging, just interested in what was before her. And soon as she watched and listened closely, she figured out what this stranger had brought into her life.  Initially, she did not share her findings with anyone, not my dad.

As time wore on, she could no longer hide or be in denial of the guest who came knocking.  Things were changing and impacting her life. They were impacting others lives too. Independence as she knew it was gone.  She couldn’t remember things.  She had difficulty completing everyday routines.  Driving stopped as she was terrified of getting lost or hurting someone. She withdrew socially, fearful of misspeaking.

Others started to notice the changes too. Many friends and even family reacted by pulling away not understanding or not interested in learning about why the changes were occurring.  As a one of her primary care partners, I must also say I was not good in the beginning with being honest with others as to her diagnosis or symptoms.  I think this is common as care partners are so worried about people rejecting them for being ill.  We disguise our nondisclosure by saying we are “protecting them” or “helping them maintain their dignity.

Bottom Line -

No One Should Feel Less Of A Person Because They Are Ill

In a perfect world, no one should feel less of a person because they become ill, but as we all know there is no perfect world.  I found by hiding the disease it created a false world.  One which frustrated all of us.  There was no true understanding. Authenticity was lost.  There could be no honest compassion as others were not allowed in.

Like in any relationship when trust is gone, the relationship changes.  We may not know why but things shift and usually that means breaking apart or falling away from one another.

Through the lack of understanding and the loss of compassion I saw, it changed my life.  This horrible disease ignited a passion in me to make life better for not only my mother but any one, anywhere in the world who wanted to believe better way of living with dementia was possible.  This was the start of a beautiful journey for both my mother and I down the road of dementia.  As mom always taught me from childhood …

Always Be Prepared

And so I tried my very best to be prepared for just about anything, anytime.  To have alternative plans, to be spontaneous and be open to new ways.

Living with dementia gave all of these teachings a new depth and meaning.  Each wrapped in unconditional love and acceptance.  It was no longer about being prepared to control things as much as it was to be prepared to find joy and peace and to learn to create it in any environment at any time, no matter how crazy and out of control things may seem.

The Shift In The Tornado

aging_dementia_tornado_giftDuring this 30 year journey with mom and dementia there was a shift in the tornado.  Instead of feeling like I was being sucked up and into a turbulent and destructive wind storm, I started feeling and seeing the amazing gifts of life I had been missing prior to her illness.  The velocity of the storm rewired me.  I saw things through new eyes.  I heard things with new ears.  I felt things on a level I didn’t know was possible.

Gifts Appeared Before Me On A Regular Basis

The gift of simplicity.  The gift of stillness.  The gift of a smile or giggle.  The gift of a simple glance that melted my heart.  The gift of deeper connection and consciousness. The gift of unconditional love which unfolded in many levels which I didn’t even know existed. Life became peaceful and filling.  Judgement and guilt left the building and it was amazing what this shift did to my soul.  How it affected everything I did even though sometimes in a very subtle fashion.

Joy Is Possibledan_me_mom_laughingUncontrollable laughter is a good thing!

One year after mom’s death I was shocked to not still feel a great sense of deep loss, but to my surprise more often then not I am just filled with gratitude of having the privileged to live life with her, disease and all.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still have aching pains of loss which can overcome me at the strangest times and crocodile tears can stream down my face and my stomach turn to knots, but they have dissipated greatly.  Now these times that once made my soul feel as it were drowning have been replaced with overwhelming sense of gratitude, peace and love.

The Cycle Of Death and Life

charlotte new born wide awakeDuring this year of loss my daughter Danielle gave birth to her beautiful daughter Charlotte RuthAnn.  (Charlotte’s middle name came from my mother’s middle name “Ruth” and mine “Ann”)  So touched by the gift of this precious little grandchild who we all feel strongly mom picked out just for us.   So many loving things have come into my life during this past year.  I would foolish not to recognize and embrace them.  They help fill my heart where emptiness once stood.

The Legacy Of Life

braceletMy daughter Danielle and Steve gave me this lovely bracelet which had rings for my mother and father who have passed, and my grandchildren Charlotte and Mickilah.  The circle of life continues and brilliance of life lessons is passed on.

My Wish For You

May you all find joy in our lives no matter what comes before you.  May the life lessons you have learned you pass onto others as gifts.  May you find peace in your soul and feel a true sense of belonging and engaging to all who come into your your life. I thank you each for your support and love in my life and my work.

My Mom And I Raise a Glass And Toast You And All Life Has To Offer

Enjoy Life

Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks

wine_glassesquilt patch moms 3Join The Purple Angel and Help Change The World

SocialMedia081114_purpleangel_carousel TMFor more information on Dementia and Caregiving

Click Below

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Recorded Webinar For Dementia Chats

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Click Above for General Information on Dementia Chats

Tues Feb 24th, 2015

Click Below For The Recorded Session With Our Experts:

Harry Urban, Michael Ellenbogen, Dena Dotson and Robert Bowles

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Today we discussed a variety of topics, from the Oscars with “Still Alice,” to interactions with doctors to advocacy and more.

Dementia Chats FREE Webinar Tuesday, Feb 24th 

3pm EST, 2pm CST, 1pm MST, 12pm PST and 8pm London time

DC_HQ_062714_solidyellow2 color photosTalk To the Experts Living With Dementia

Ask Your Questions and Get Insights

Log in as a guest.  No password is needed

For More Resources on Dementia And Caregiving

Click Below

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Two Hour Special On Frontotemporal Dementia

on Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

022415 ASR FTD specialMark Your Calendars for Tuesday Feb 24th!

Live at 11am EST, 10am CST, 9am MST, 8am PST and 4pm London Time!

If you can’t listen live, listen later.

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio wants all voices to join together in the conversation to share knowledge, research and insights from all angles.  There is no better way to raise awareness than being inclusive.  Let’s join forces and win this battle together!

Our guests will include:

???????????????????????????????Sharon S. Denny, Program Director

AFTD-logo-updatedHoward Glick who is diagnosed with FTD

howard glick picLisa Griffin a Care Partner for her husband John who is living with the disease

Lisa Griffin FTD caregiverDr. Alvin Holm

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Dr Holm bethesda-logo-blue Heidi LaMeyer- Prelude Wellness Director at

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Judy Berry

Judy Berry picwithJudyn Berry logoWho is consulting with Prelude Memory Care 

We encourage anyone who is dealing with or interested in dementia to join the conversation by

calling in live at (714) 364-4757 or using the chat box!

For Additional Resource And Information

Check out Alzheimer’s Speaks Resource Website Below

alzsnap_serv_072413For More Resources Check Out Our Friends!

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Dear Mr. President

and Congress…

Are you Listening?

Watch Below

Please share far and wide.

It’s time the US government hear from those diagnosed with Dementia.

thank you Michael Ellenbogen for taking the time to make this video.

For information on

Dementia and Caregiving

Click Below

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For More Resources Check Out Our Collaborators Below

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