On June 25, 2017, I opened the show addressing a recent report regarding ways to stay healthy according to DR. John Torrez from ABC news and Dr. Barry Peterson Of Mayo Clinic. Both Doc’s were a bit critical of some computerized apps that focus on speed rather than memory and they were concerned they are not helpful in the long run. I then inserted some 5-10 ideas of my own to help you retain your memory by playing little games, and trying to remember phone numbers and email addresses. The second and third segments on the show are addressing early and late mid stage. I describe real issues surrounding the decline in impairment, and how it affects both the person with diagnosis and their caregivers. I also try to keep my suggestions for the caregivers lighthearted so we don’t get overwhelmed!
This week June 18, 2017, my guest was Sharon Stokes, Owner of I AM STILL HERE! Sharon facilitates a dyad, support groups for the person with diagnosis and across the hall in a nearby room is a support group or the primary caregiver. We have a wonderful conversation about what the people with diagnosis need in terms of understanding from their care partner and the world. We also discuss the beautiful way they share their feelings and empathy towards each other.
This week’s show (May 28, 2017) focused on BATHING WITHOUT A BATTLE and I have a wonderful plan for all of you! I also talked about the rising number of people with ALZHEIMER’S grew 54% more than experts expected from 1999 – 2014. the report was just released. It also rose 55% in the 1st quarter of 2017. I go over statistics that will blow your mind and hopefully scare you in to participating in trying to find a cure!
The show on May 14, 2017 is dedicated to those living with Frontal Temporal disease, one of the dementia’s that does not come initially or if ever with memory loss, unless it is a mixed diagnosis. My brother Dave was diagnosed with this disease in 2009 through Mayo Clinic. We talk about our families’ journey and how he is living well and with RESILIENCE with this disease.
2017 This week the show is about strategies to communicate better with a person with Alzheimer’s. We look at innovative ways to keep that person and the friend/family member from getting overwhelmed. Jill offers ways for the person with AD to stay viable and help to chart their own course so they are not remembered as the disease, but rather as the person they were.
This week 4.30.17, I talked about Music Therapy with people who barley speak, speak with “word salad” or are mainly nonverbal, and how we are able to connect the communication process. In addition, we talk about entering the Alzheimer’s World and as caregivers, accepting a new reality of a changed communication journey. A very candid conversation asking caregivers to own that they must live in the Alzheimer’s world, not their own perception of reality.
Today’s show was very personal and special for me. My guests were Heather Goldberg and her mom Suzanne, who is 67 and recently diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s. Their personal journey is heart warming and informative. They discuss learning there was outside discovery of early warning signs, adjusting to a new life which includes a loss of job, driver’s license and even her home; yet rounding the corner with peace of mind, activities, and being able to speak freely about this disease with resilience. We discuss the new living arrangement, the love her family is showering on her, and what still frustrates her.
May 23, 2018
Amelia Schafer, Interim Chief Executive Office of the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association and her team, presented a very prestigious award to Division Chief Jim Lorentz of the Wheat Ridge Police Department. Calling him their HERO, Amelia presented the award, Alzheimer’s Hero Award to Jim in front of his peers at the Wheat Ridge Police Annual Award ceremony for their officers.
Jim was honored for his continued commitment to training not only his own police officers, but others around the state, in Critical Incident Training. This training focuses on best practices while approaching those with memory loss and impairment of the brain, when encountering them in public and private situations. He began facilitating classes for Wheat Ridge officers nearly 12 years ago when his wife Jill Lorentz, President of Summit Resilience Training, mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s type dementia. Approximately 10 years ago he pushed for the Colorado Life Track to be offered for Wheat Ridge citizens and worked with his team to obtain the sponsor, Lutheran Hospital, to pay for the program, which is still running today. It is free of charge for their residents and offered upon qualification, to the community.
For the past thee years Lorentz has created his own training statewide for law enforcement officers (LEO’s) which he facilitates under the critical incident training program. He instructs them how to assess a person with dementia that presents memory loss and confusion, when they are approached on a traffic stop. He also teaches them how to approach them in shoplifting or wandering issues, and especially domestic violence calls. The law requires that in a domestic violence call, if there is danger of any kind, someone is hurt or property destroyed, or someone is not allowed to call for help (like the person with AD taking someone’s cell phone and not letting them call for help), then one of the parties must go to jail. Jim teaches the officer’s a way to access culpability of the person displaying cognitive loss, which will allow the LEO’s to make a determination whether that the person needs to be arrested, essentially creating a loop hole in the law. Division Chief Lorentz has trained: All Denver officers – 1700 (and continues with new LEO’s hired) over 2 years and counting, Vail, Eagle County, Avon & Edwards, City of Englewood, Wheat Ridge, Douglas County Sheriff Department, Arapahoe County Sheriff Department, and Lakewood Police. This is nearly 4000 LEO’s in the metro area and counting.
For more information on this program or to ask about this training for 1st responders call 303-240-6988 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This show’s guest was Niki Gewirtz, Executive Director at Belleview Heights, Alzheimer’s Special Care Center who discusses Person Centered Care and its beneficial effect on those living with different types of dementia.
Coming up June 9, 2018, Denver Colorado Alzheimer’s Association will host a magnificent event called Memories in the Making Art Auction. It will be held at the Denver Broncos Training Field House in Englewood. Tickets available for the event can be found at www.alz.org/co or call 303-813-1669 X 217. Listen to this podcast to learn more about the program which encourages those with various dementia’s to draw and paint art which represents their thoughts and ideas from within. Out of 4000 pieces of art, nearly 100 are chosen for auction, with the proceeds supporting programs and services at the local chapter.