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Posts Tagged ‘Death’

In Honor of Susan Suchan

One voice that has been significantly missed this past year is Susan Suchan.  She lived her life fully even when diagnosed with dementia. We continue to celebrate her birthday and the love, compassion and dear friendship she brought into our lives.

Through Death,

Our Connection Remains

It was an honor to work with Susan on Dementia Chats.  Her insights were brilliant and her laughter contagious.

A few of us gathered to honor what would have been Susan’s 62nd birthday.  Please watch and feel free to share Susan’s life and the impact she had on others.  Remember each one of us have the opportunity to lift and inspire others by sharing our authentic self with one another, just as Susan did.


For poems by Mary Radnofsky read on the above video Click Below: https://www.alzheimersspeaks.com/images/Poetry/2_poems_mary_R_about_susan_suchan.pd

To see Truthful’s blog on Susan Click Below: https://truthfulkindness.com/memoriam/susan-suchan/

You never knew what would happen next….

A Bit More About Susan

Susan Suchan was the mother of two grown daughters and five beautiful grandchildren. She was a nurse for 23 years and was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (EOAD) at the age of 48; an additional diagnosis of Frontotemporal dementia(FTD)/Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). Susan advocated for and about the “lived experience”, working to change perceptions, stigma and help bring to life, and the realness of her disease process. She has had the opportunity to speak Nationally and locally. Susan was awaiting the release of a documentary featuring her life, showing the effects on friends and family relationships, finances and end of life discussions. The film is called, “Susan’s Story” and is still in need of funds to complete.

Here Are Some of Our Dementia Chats Sessions Featuring Susan

Help Make “Susan’s Story” a Documentary, a Reality 

In honor of what would have been Susan Suchan’s 62nd birthday, her family and the producers of the documentary, invite you to help complete the film.  The documentary is in post-production and the final $125,000 is still needed to complete the film. 

Please contact Russ Kirkpatrick, the Producer/Director of the film, if you have questions or would like to make a contribution. Tax deductible contributions can be made to one of two 501(c)(3) organizations associated with the film. 

Contact information: russ@kkp.film

Link to the trailer of Susan’s Story: https://vimeo.com/302739507

Looking for a Keynoter, Consultant or Trainer?

See what LeadingAge has to say about Lori La Bey

 “Feedback from the conference planning committee and our leadership team was extremely positive. Many attendees commented that she was one of the best speakers they had heard.” 

Pat Sylvia, Director of Education & Member Development LeadingAge Washington

For More Testimonials

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Thoughtful Life Wishes For The Dying Process

 Thoughtful Life Wishes

For The Dying Process

on Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

2pm EST, 1pm CST, 12pm MST, 11am PST and 7pm London time

Join Lori La Bey, Host of Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio and her guest Jon Braddock on Tuesday.  Jon is the founder and CEO of My Life and Wishes, an education and digital planning platform with a mission to help families become “thoughtfully prepared” for the inevitable, their own death.

Contact Jon Braddock at:

https://www.facebook.com/jon.braddock

https://twitter.com/jonbraddock

https://www.facebook.com/mylifeandwishes/

Get Jon’s Free Checklist

 

A Big “Thank You” To Our Sponsors of

Our Dementia Friendly Cruise

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Find a Memory Cafe & Get Resources

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A New Perspective After Tragedy Hits – Dementia and the Golden Thread to Live Life Fully

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

with Kristiane Cates

A New Perspective After Tragedy Hits –

Dementia and the Golden Thread to Live Life Fully

Dementia: The Golden Thread to Live Life Fully

Thursday we are lucky to have the passionate and powerful speaker Kristiane Cates who is the Author of “The Golden Thread, A Memoir.”In the book you will hear her tragic story of how and when thirty seconds changed everything in her life.  Kristiane will share with us her journey with dementia and how her path to healing after her son’s death has helped her prepare for the effects dementia has had on her life. Her mission is to demonstrate brave, audacious grace when dealing with life’s challenges.

Contact Information For Kristiane Cates:

Website: KristianeCates.com          Twitter: @KristianeCates

InstaGram: Kristiane Cates              FaceBook: Kristiane Cates

Dementia Cruise of Compassion & Camaraderie

We are honored by your response to our offering of the Dementia Friendly Symposium and Cruise and we are encouraging people to book their cabins before we are sold out!

For more details on the symposium and cruise go to https://alzheimersspeaks.com/cruise-with-us

Click here for the Symposium Program

Kathy Shoaf the travel agent handling the symposium and cruise can be reached at: 219-608-2002 or email her at Kathy.Shoaf@CruisePlanners.com

 

Today we discussed the impact of humor and laughter as perceptions of both change as the disease progresses. I think you might be surprised at some points made by those living with dementia during this conversation.

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Insights from Arthur’s

Here is One of Many Free Video Tips

Define What “Quality” Means to You

Open To All In The U.S.

University of Minnesota PhD candidate Heather Davila describes a survey to get input from people age 55+ family members, and professionals who work in the field of aging services about which aspects of “quality” in aging services matter most.

To take the survey go here: www.tinyurl.com/Qagesurvey

Contact: Heather Davila,

Email:  wood0132@umn.edu

Find a Memory Cafe & Get Resources

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Push Research Forward. Join the A-List

An Important message from our friend Meryl Comer:

We want what you want when it comes to figuring out solutions to the challenges we all face on our personal Alzheimer’s journeys. Take the critical issue of recruitment for clinical trials. How do you figure out whether you or a loved one is eligible, or if there is even a trial or study close to home? These simple online tools from two trusted A-List partners will help you get started, so just click below to get started.


Roobrik: click here to take a free, 4-minute assessment to learn more about clinical research and decide whether participating in a research study is right for you. You will be asked a series of questions to help you understand how factors such as age and health can affect which studies you might be eligible for, and what exactly is involved in clinical studies.

Antidote: click here when you are ready to look for a clinical trial. You will be asked a series of questions to determine which trials may be right for you.

Please give us feedback on your experience and look out for the next round of decision tree tools on issues like “Is It Still Smart To Drive” and “Is Homecare Right For You.”

Meryl Comer, A-List Team Member & 20-year Alzheimer’s care partner

 

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Valentines Day: The Side Not Talked About

Valentines Day  –

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The Darker Side

Most people think of love, happiness and joy on Valentines Day. The day is wrapped around those currently in our life as we celebrate our relationships.  Tokens of love like flowers, chocolate and jewelry allowing those feeling to linger, but for many others Valentines Day can be extremely painful.

The loss of a loved one in our life can trigger thoughts of longing for what once was.  Grief can take hold as tears roll down ones face and and the heart longs for the precious connection it once had. The longing of physical touch; a kiss, a hug or just holding hands is no longer possible.

For some, the pain of loss lingers way past the day marked on the calendar as Valentines Day.  For some, each and every holiday triggers the loss of the physical presence of the one they loved.

Earlier this week, I was in Indiana and Illinois at three Clarendale properties doing screenings of “His Neighbor Phil.” At the last screening, a woman in the audience can up and gave me a beautiful poem about love and loss. I wanted to share it with all of you.

The Poem is Titled

“Grief is the Price of Love”

The Author is Unknown

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May this poem give those grieving some peace of mind and heart knowing the greatest gift one can receive in a life time, comes with two price tags…. grief and gratitude.

May we all be lucky enough to love so deeply and completely to feel both “grief for a great love” knowing it’s “sister gratitude” will help fill the holes in our heart and help us find peace in our life once again.

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Whats Does Father’s Day Feel and Look Like From Heaven?

What Does Father’s Day

Feel and Look Like

From Heaven?

By Lori La Bey, Founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks

Dear Dad,

You have been gone now for 15 years and my heart still sinks at the thought of the loss of you.  This Father’s Day was even harder as I was up at the lake, preparing your beautiful home for sale. As packed and organized things this weekend I thought… What Does Father’s Day Feel and Look Like From Heaven?

Do you feel my loss?

Do you feel how much I love you?

Do you know how much you meant to me and still do?

Do you realize all you taught me?

Do you see the tears run down my face?

Do hear me sniffling as I talk to you wanting so badly your advice or a comforting hug?

Do you watch me struggle?

Do you see me succeed?

Do you smile when I am joyful?

Do you miss me as much as I miss you?

Do I make you proud?

Does your soul ache to be together at times, like mine does?

Do you experience emotions like we have here on earth?

Are you peaceful and content where you are?

Is heaven really as wonderful as they say?

Do watch down on me or have your flown away?

I hope you know what a wonderful Dad you were to me.  So Dad, what does Father’s Day look like and feel like from heaven?

Your loving daughter,

Lori

 

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Life, Changes, and Family

Life, Changes, and Family

By: Michelle Remold

We all know life is one big learning experience. As I was preparing to write this post, I sat down and re-read the papers I wrote in college for my “Perspectives on Death and Dying” class. While sifting through papers I came across the paper I wrote after reading The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. In this paper we had to pick a quote from the book that stood out to us and state why. The quote I chose was from page 18 and it was: “Life is like going to school. You are given many lessons. The more you learn, the harder the lessons get.” This quote spoke volumes to me last week when I read it, the same way it did back when I read it for the first time.

As kids we are sometimes blissfully unaware of the things that are happening around us. However, as we grow up we start to learn lessons that shape who we will become and everyone experiences something different. My first “lesson” I learned was Alzheimer’s. Being young when my grandpa was diagnosed, I didn’t understand the disease. I just knew that I wanted to connect with my grandpa and I would eventually, as I got older, educate myself as much as I could on the disease.

The “lesson” that followed Alzheimer’s was change, which can be a hard lesson to learn. Everything changes, it doesn’t stay the same. Alzheimer’s has a way of progressing in ways you never imagined. Growing up, I knew Alzheimer’s was changing my grandpa, but everything else appeared to remain static. Suddenly you realize that things aren’t actually static and you wonder how you missed all the changes that were happening. People moving, getting married, hitting life milestones, and then you realize that you are not the only one getting older, everyone else is too which leads to the ultimate change in life, the death of a loved one. Death….it is the hardest lesson I have learned to date. I still remember the first death that truly had an impact on me like it was yesterday. It changed me, it changed my life, and it taught me a lesson I needed to learn. My grandpa’s death was the second close death I experienced. Through this I learned that while Alzheimer’s had robbed me of a grandfather growing up, it taught me so much more. Most of all it taught me love, compassion, and understanding in a capacity that I believe was greater than anything else I could have faced growing up.

Now I will touch on the third part of the title, family. I have written before about how important my family is to me. My immediate family is very small, but I have a very large extended family. My extended family is a family I am beyond grateful to have. A lesson that many people learn at some point is the importance of family and for me it has always been important. Growing up I was one of the few kids in my class who had a great-grandma and many great-aunts and uncles, I felt lucky because I had these people in my life. Fast-forward a few years and my dad’s mom now has dementia. Dementia has impacted my life once again. At some point last year it hit me that once my grandma passed away; my great-aunt will be her only living sibling. I realized that I needed to make more of an effort to visit her and her family; to make my own memories with them. I have now been to Iowa to visit them six times in the last ten months. It is time that I have come to cherish and made me realize I needed and still need to spend with them.

Truthfully, I started writing this post over a week ago and it really made me think, especially after one of my cousins passed away. This family was the same family who rallied around us when my grandma passed away in January and I watched it happen again this past week. While saying good-bye to someone you love is tough and heart wrenching, it also made my heart smile seeing the amount of love they all have for each other. Another example to me of why family is important.

Alzheimer’s brought a change into my life that I never would have expected, not only once, but twice. It helped me become the person I am today in ways that I can’t begin to describe. Change is inevitable; it might not always be wanted, but we often learn from it. As I wrote at the end of my paper, “We can take away from each experience what we are supposed to or we can decide to not accept it and miss out on what might be one of the biggest lessons we learn.” I definitely want to take away from each experience as much as I can.

So I want to thank Alzheimer’s for teaching me some of life’s toughest lessons on a larger scale; thank my family for being there through every change life has thrown my way and for being my support system as I chase my dream of helping those impacted by Alzheimer’s; and finally I want to thank anyone else who has been in my life and who has helped shape who I am today. As Flavia Weedn said, “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.” Whether it has been people or a disease like Alzheimer’s, everyone and everything has some impact on our lives and for those impacts on my life, I am truly thankful.

???????????????????????????????Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Aging from Minnesota State University Mankato.

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