Like many of you, I was a caregiver and resource information officer for my siblings as we took care of my mama who lived with a type of dementia, which presented as Alzheimer’s. One of the first things I had to do was to learn how to understand and read her emotions, stay calm, and listen to what she was saying. Her unmet needs generally came out as repetitive questions. She operated from a place of fear in the beginning, and I realized quickly that if I spoke to her with a slow rate of speed and lower tone, she responded well. Because she could not follow new conversations or learn new material, I learned to keep things simple. I asked yes or no questions to limit what she had to do to respond. I also had to make sure that I kept her engaged with social activities. I focused on what she could still accomplish, instead of what she had lost with memory impairment.
I worked with the Alzheimer’s Association for over 20 years before starting my own company, Summit Resilience Training in 2015. The Alzheimer’s Association decided to discontinue the Savvy Caregiver Class for families in June of 2014, and I felt a void for people who still needed one on one assistance. As a trainer for several years of this program, I decided to write a more comprehensive curriculum to replace this antiquated lesson plan. My new company would also offer in-home assessments, which would offer an in-depth report to clients on the stage of their loved ones’ disease, ways to make their home safer, and strategies and techniques to help them live peacefully with this disease. I utilize a person centered approach with a non medical focus.
I named my company Summit as a nod to my mama and the street she lived on. Resilience is about finding ways to overcome obstacles and adversity to find a positive outcome. I facilitate training classes for families and professionals, as well as giving lectures surrounding all issues that people face while living with different types of dementia.
I host a radio show on KEZW Crusin’ 1430 am every Sunday at 10 am Mountain Standard Time. It is called Dementia Resilience with Jill Lorentz. I offer strategies and techniques for working with memory loss and other types of dementia which don’t have memory loss, such as Frontal Temporal Disease. I often have guests on my show which can offer information on a variety of topics my listeners may need to learn about. If you miss a live show, you can catch my podcasts on my website under the tab “Radio Podcasts” or go to www.Cruisin1430.com and listen when it is convenient for you.
In weeks to come I will post on Monday’s. Feel free to read or comment by clicking on the heading of the post!