My wife, Virginia, and I moved from the small town of New Castle, Colorado to the Denver metropolitan area to have access to more
advanced medical care, especially memory care. Virginia became a patient of Dr. Samantha Holden, one of the leading dementia physicians in the country. Through her office, we met Jill Lorentz, who runs monthly classes for patients and their caregivers. Jill has been an excellent teacher, and we have reviewed pertinent classes, even the introductory one, several times. We add to our ability to deal with our situation with each contact. Jill’s personal and professional experiences have made her an excellent teacher and advisor; we now consider her a special friend. Following an in home evaluation, she was instrumental in securing for us an appropriate living situation. Because of her we are positioned to be accepted into one of the top three memory care units in the state. Had we followed our own plan and stayed put an extra year or so, we would still be in our own home and overwhelmed by the changes she saw coming. We are now where we need to be. Jill is one of the most dedicated health care individuals that I, as a physician, have ever encountered. Her empathy and joy in helping persons and families dealing with dementia are unsurpassed.
Jill is an honorary member of our neuro-palliative team and run a consultancy program for families and care partners of people living with dementia. She has an informative website, holds frequent free webinars, and does 1:1 consulting. Jill has helped many family members of our patients with helpful strategies for managing behaviors, maintaining safety, and planning for the future.
Dr. Christina Vaughan – University of Colorado Hospital Department of Neurology Chief, Section of Neuro-Palliative Care
Jill Lorentz has performed an almost miraculous service for our family. She was recommended to me by the University of Colorado Behavioral Health Center when I called them desperate for help. Communication had completely broken down in my family. My 90 year old blind mother and my 62 year old sister, who both suffer from dementia and live together, were no longer speaking to me or letting me into their house. I was urgently concerned about their vulnerability and their safety. I had no idea what to do. In two phone calls and two family visits over one month’s time, Jill taught me new communication skills and brought our family back together. She also managed to get them both to give me power of attorney so that I can begin to really take care of them and plan for their future. Her communication skills are delicate and nuanced. She has a remarkable ability to navigate challenging and fraught family Dynamics. she brings families together in cooperation and love.
Dear Dr. Holden, (Medical Director UCH Memory Disorders Clinic)
Thanks to the inclusion of Jill Lorentz’s presentations in the After Visit Summary, I contacted Jill. She performed an In-Home Service Assessment. She met with Elsie and performed her evaluation while I left the house. When I returned, it was apparent that she had bonded with Elsie. I hadn’t seen Elsie that happy in quite a while. We all sat together, and Jill informed me of what transpired and made recommendations. She then sent a thorough report with her findings and recommendations. This gave me insight into why Elsie performed in what I considered an irrational manner. Her recommendations hopefully will increase Elsie’s quality of life as well as mine.
Jill is an absolute gem. If we had met her two years ago, it would have made Elsie and my lives a lot easier.
I want to publicly thank Jill Lorentz for her unwavering and unselfish help she rendered me during a most troubling time. Jill served as the Alzheimer’s counselor for the Univ. of Colorado Hospital. This where I first met her as my doctor referred me to her group. I could tell Jill was dedicated and motivated for the subject matter and her analytical knowledge of her craft I was indeed grateful for being a part of her group. It was during this time that I was battling between my health and keeping my love one at home. As time passed, it became apparent that I needed to find suitable housing for my love one. I asked Jill if she could help me. Because of her vast resources, I was able to obtain suitable housing for my love one at a reasonable cost. It was because of Jill’s good judgement and her logical and practical approach I was able to secure such housing.
I continue to attend her classes because there is still so much to learn from her. I thank God for Jill and anyone needing her services, will too.
Sorry for the delay of this email to you! It has been nuts since you were here on Monday! Any way, we sincerely appreciate your kind & caring visit to meet with us. We will be in touch in the future if we have any other questions, etc. that you might be able to assist us with.
You are one of the kindest, caring, thoughtful people we have ever encountered in our lifetime. It is really great that a few people like you exist!!
Thanks so much, Beth and Hal
We are fortunate to have Jill Lorentz in Littleton. She has helped countless people on this journey. She is an exceptional resource, very tapped in to what is happening in our community and a fountain of information. When someone is diagnosed with dementia they are often left to navigate the waters on their own, which can be very complicated. The person with the diagnosis and their friends and family frequently struggle with the question “what do we do now?” Jill has many years of experience helping on a personal level, in her own family, and professionally. Her background with the Alzheimer’s Association and her connections to neurologists, caregivers, memory care homes in our area make her a resource we are fortunate to have in our midst. I recommend Jill to people often, and I also pick up the phone and call Jill when I need her professional opinion. She is reliable, friendly, has a heart of gold, and a treasure chest of knowledge about all things dementia.
Mary Archer – Director of Out & About in Denver
Dear, Dear Jill,
Where do I begin? You have been a gift and a blessing into my life. You taught me how to navigate through this disease- dementia- and to seek to remain whole. Even with all your own sorrows with dementia you have found and continued to find ways to help others. You are a very special gal and I am so grateful to you. People who were at Richard’s funeral are still asking me who that beautiful singer was who sang Amazing Grace! Richard was very happy to hear you, I know!
God Bless You,
I could write a book but here it is…
you really are remarkable!!! ❤️
Jill Lorentz was referred to me by my husbands Neurologist. She was there for me and my family during the most difficult times of our lives. Her knowledge of the very horrific disease, Frontal Temporal Dementia provided the guidance and support we needed during this very difficult time. I can’t say enough good things about this amazing woman who gives her heart and soul to so many. Jill provides so many services to families, Caregivers, Doctors, 1st Responders and more. Her knowledge and caring personality are truly invaluable. Having experienced Dementia first hand with her own mother, Jill learned everything she could to be able to help others on this journey! I highly recommend Jill for this very deserving award. She is truly a remarkable advocate!!
Debbie Gardiner and Family
Jill is a breath of fresh air when families are dealing with diseases of dementia. Her ability to assess and communicate practical, actionable steps that can be taken to provide a loving and supportive environment for the individual and their caregivers is nothing short of divine. Highly recommend Jill to anyone dealing with dementia, Alzheimers, or Parkinsons.
Jill Lorentz first spent individual time with me 5 years ago teaching me about how to be an effective dementia caregiver and has continued to be an amazing teacher and comforter. She never fails to be involved in most of the educational and supportive missions in the Denver Metro area. I can’t think of a more self-sacrificing, helpful person in our dementia community.
Jill as you know my husband was diagnosed with bvFTD in September, 2017 and prior to the diagnosis I knew something was not right but I had no idea what to do. You were so supportive and knowledgeable and was very generous in sharing your resources with me at a time when I had no idea what to do. Not only was I losing my husband, but I also lost my business partner of almost 25 years and my dance partner of 30 years. Today I have access to so many resources and have had the opportunity to study the disease more in-depth, however you are still one of my key “go to” persons when I need support. Thank you for doing what you do.
January 10, 2019
If anyone wants to learn more in depth about Dementia and Alzheimer’s, whether for family or for professional care, I would highly suggest taking a class with Jill. She is interactive, fun, and teaches in a way to help you understand each kind of cognitive impairment. The more knowledge we have about an issue the better equipped we will be to handle it and Miss Jill can most assuredly help with that. Keep up the great work Jill. You are a blessing to us all! Thank you.
December 4, 2018
Last week, I had the privilege of being a part of the Summit Resilience Training with Jill Lorentz. The information provided was an eye opener, before the class I had no idea there was a difference between Alzheimer and dementia, now i can confidently understand the needs of folks experiencing this life changing disease. Jill makes each class fun and engaging, her one of a kind approach is the key to making families and caregivers successful at properly caring and understanding their loved ones better. I can not express the gratitude I have for my agency for caring to provide such vital information to help me be the best caregiver possible.
Sincerely Michelle G
October 22, 2018
Jill- I went through your training last week and I cannot thank you enough. When the training started I was rethinking my choice to become a professional caregiver. I could not imagine how I could create nurturing relationships with Alzheimer’s patients and was, frankly, afraid of them.
Listening to you speak, those fears began to fall away. I started to see how I could respond in challenging situations with respect and compassion. But, more than that, I began to understand the disease and how to look beyond it to the person. I am now excited and inspired to contribute what I’ve learned from you and make a difference in the lives of the people I am lucky enough to care for. Again, thank you so much.
Sharon Schmedeke – Professional Caregiver
Family Caregiver Testimonials:
July 25, 2018
Jill, I just wanted to send a little thank you your way for all the help you were able to provide for our family in dealing with mom’s dementia. So little we knew about Alzheimer’s until we attended your support group, your have given us the tools to make this journey less painful and a better knowledge of how to deal with the changes as the disease progresses. Spring Ridge Park continues to provide very loving care for mom, your praise of this facility is confirmed almost daily.
Hope your summer is going well, we know you are busy but hope you take some time for you! Time well deserved. Kindest Regards, The Bowen Family.
March 14, 2018
I met Jill at one of her monthly support groups. She was kind enough to invite Mom to sit with me as the meeting was in the care facility Mom was in. Each month I came away with a better understanding of the journey I am on with my Mom. My Mom is my best friend and the better informed I am, the better my chances to act positively and not just react because I was blind-sided by the changes in Mom. I could be prepared better. The first time Mom didn’t know me I didn’t react in front of mom thanks to Jill’s teaching. However, I didn’t know how to process this in me and was this a permanent state now? I called Jill and she spent time helping me process this step and gave me assurance that this didn’t have to be Mom’s permanent state, it could just be, and indeed was, a temporary stage for us. Jill’s reassurance, time of sharing with me and help to process this was invaluable and calmed my fears and tears.
In the 9 months that Mom and I have been in this season of life, Jill has been the most compassionate and knowledgeable advocate for families dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia that I have met, including the staff at the memory care facility. Her seemingly endless energy and positive attitude is impossible to come away from without a more hopeful outlook and knowing we don’t have to walk this journey alone and without better understanding.
Jill not only has the education to do her job well, but her life experiences has given her a love and respect that is so evident for the entire family whether being the care-giver or when you can no longer do that job and you need to know what options you have. I wish I had known her when we started this journey!
She has my respect for being honest about what to expect while at the same time being loving and respectful. She is the ‘spoon full of sugar that makes the medicine go down’ .
I am looking forward to taking her class and fill in the information that will make a more complete picture of this journey now that my health permits. Thanks Jill for all you are and all you offer the transitioning memory care families.
March 28, 2017
Dear Dr. Jonathan H. Woodcock:
My name is Christine L and my mother Stevie has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s for about one year now. I am so grateful that my friend introduced me to Jill Lorentz with Summit Resilience Training.
We immediately signed up to take her course “Alzheimer’s Resilience Training for Family Caregivers” and my daily life with Stevie has changed dramatically! I learned about the different types of dementia and how they affect the body and mind.
Now I understand the beauty of redirection and we can giggle about some of her new ideas instead of me getting frustrated with her.
Jill also led us through a hands on exercise that opened my eyes to how Mom is perceiving her world now. I understand that her senses aren’t as sharp as they had been and that simple steps are much harder for her to follow. These new insights have given me the ability to empathize with how Mom is perceiving and understanding the world around her with Alzheimer’s.
I highly recommend Jill Lorentz for your training resource at the clinic. She is incredibly passionate about teaching others how to take care of their loved ones suffering from dementia with love and respect. Her training was eye opening for me and has lead to a much more pleasant and loving home life with Mom.
Christine L (excerpts from a letter written to the Rocky Mountain Alzheimer’s Research Center on my behalf)
I would highly recommend Jill Lorentz, president of Summit Resilience Training, to anyone seeking education and support in dealing with a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
I learned so much by attending Jill’s class, Dementia For Caregivers. She thoroughly explained the behaviors my mother was exhibiting, and what is happening in the brain of someone with memory issues. In this class Jill taught important redirection skills to try in daily activities, and how to reduce caregiver stress.
I asked Jill to do an in-home assessment on my mother. She did a very comprehensive evaluation, and determined what stage of dementia she was in, and that it was no longer safe for her to be living at home.
Jill was instrumental in helping me find a wonderful memory care facility for my mother that provides her with a loving home, and healthy quality of life. She explained the adjustment issues that my mother would have and how to cope. This process was made so much easier by having Jill’s expertise and guidance through each step of the way. This brain disease is devastating on friends and family, and I am so thankful I found Jill to help me through the process.
Thank you so much for the incredible class, Jill! I am now more confident in how I take care of Mom. I love your “person centered” approach. I was just trying to get tasks done in the past and both of us were getting terribly frustrated. Now everything is so much more fun! I think your class should be a requirement for every person on the planet.
– Christine L.
Jill, Thank you for the time, energy and expertise that you have put into your Alzheimer’s workshop. I became thoroughly educated and enjoyed myself along the way! I loved the information that I learned about the biology of the Alzheimer’s brain, what to expect with each stage, solid advice about how to lovingly deal with challenging behaviors and what to expect from caregivers/care facilities that will ensure my loved one has the best quality of care. I never thought I needed this kind of knowledge when my mom had Alzheimer’s, and now that my dad has been diagnosed, I find that I am relieved to be more informed and I wish that I would have taken your workshop long ago.
– Linda Niederman
Lily and I attended the Summit Resilience Training 8-hour class in January and found Jill’s training to be extremely worthwhile for families. Jill is a professional who has lots of hands-on experience working with people with dementia. She offers real-life examples of do’s and don’ts and I think Jill is an invaluable resource to our community. I would highly recommend her class to any family who needs help understanding dementia and specially to give them fresh ideas about how to be the best caregiver you can be for a loved one.
— Phil & Lily Hotaling, www.answersforseniorcare.com
September 14, 2018
Jill, Yesterday, the training that you provided us was extremely insightful and helpful. It was an experience that truly opened my eyes to the ways that I may alter my speech to better aid in allowing people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia to still feel relevant, important, and that they are valued. Skills that I may use not just professionally but personally and for that I thank you. The work that you do truly educated me to a point where I was able to grasp these concepts, in a way that was meaningful yet fun. Learning nowadays has become quite monotonous, for sake of testing.
Before your training I came into it thinking that Alzheimer’s and Dementia were seemingly interchangeable as doctors have led me to believe. But also, that it only affected older people. When that is not the case. Alzheimer’s is under that dementia umbrella and dementia is not a blanket diagnosis. There are various forms of diseases under that dementia umbrella. Like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Lewy Body, and so much more. Your training allowed me to understand these distinctions and begin the realization what Alzheimer’s and Dementia actually means.
Meeting you was a pleasure and it was a pleasure to be given this information going forward in my professional career. As I hope to one day become a civil rights attorney that specializes in assisting seniors and children. As seniors are being stripped of their independence, dignity, and respect from those that do not understand the extent of how such diseases can change their mindset. Furthermore, clouding people’s minds to viewing these seniors as defective for having a disease or any issue for that matter. When they are someone who has lived a part in our history. Something of which we can all gain value and knowledge from. I appreciate all that you have given me and look forward to my being a caregiver and helping make this difference for these seniors.
It was a great pleasure meeting you yesterday at the Home Instead training. I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Although Alzheimer’s is clearly a heartbreaking degenerative condition for an alarmingly increasing number of people, you educated me greatly and opened up a completely new perspective on the disease. To treat those suffering from the condition with dignity, patience and compassion is clearly the approach required by all (family, friends, caregivers and medical personnel) despite how challenging it can be for all those affected, but personally not suffering from the disease. I found your presentation to be not only highly informative and eye opening but uplifting and encouraging, especially in light of the exciting new research breakthroughs seen by Dr. Huntington Potter at Anschutz, here in Denver. As someone who has had family members with the disease, you’ve no doubt experienced tremendous heartache and loss. The fact that you’ve turned your personal experience into a passionate, energetic and dedicated quest to not only educate others but find solutions and a possible cure is commendable. Not only are you a credit to all those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, you’re an example to all of us for how we should approach the disease. Again, I thank you for a most enlightening and interesting afternoon of training and I share your hope that the new research from clinical trials will soon provide relief for millions of those suffering, and eventually a cure!
I hope we have a chance to meet again at some point in the future. In the meanwhile, I’ve signed up for your blog, and look forward to the latest news and discussions from you on Alzheimer’s. Thanks again Jill, and have a great day!
Michael Hodges – Professional Caregiver August 23, 2017
I hope you are doing well. My name is Jenny, and I attended your class at Home Instead Senior Care last Thursday, May 11. Your presentation was fantastic and inspiring, and I wanted to thank you. Despite being material I am sure you have delivered numerous times, it is clear you have never lost your dedication or ability to inspire others, and with Alzheimer’s advocation, you are a really needed force.
I refer specifically to what you said about bringing awareness on your show to deplorable conditions in Denver-area nursing homes vs. those three nursing homes getting it right. I wish people choosing nursing homes for their loved ones experienced a day in the life, like actually spent a day as a patient going through the daily living rounds before they sealed the deal.
If there is anyway I can offer help to you through volunteering, I would love to offer whatever help I can to your cause. I have 20 years of professional writing and editing (10+ medical) experience which may be helpful, and I can also stuff envelopes and do all kinds of clerical fun stuff as well . Please let me know because I absolutely would love to volunteer with you. If you don’t need any volunteer help, no worries, but please know that I am so grateful you are out there fighting. 🙂
Jenny – Caregiver May 11, 2017
Thank you so much for your wonderful work on the training you did for our facility In April 2017! I have heard many amazing things from our staff on the things they learned. We will definitely keep you as one of our preferred trainers if you wouldn’t mind. I would be honored for you to use my quote for your website/testimonial. You gave our staff understanding and application to what they do on a day to day which is invaluable for them and us as a facility. It allows our staff to be more successful and aware in taking care of our residents.
Director of Social Services, Life Care of Stonegate
I LOVE this class! This is the best Alzheimer’s Class I have ever taken! I loved learning about the brain and how the lobes function and learning how they are affected by AD. I was surprised by many things in the class today, especially about what researchers think causes this disease. I truly feel called to do this type of work and now I have even more tools to do my job. From know on I will LIVE for the glimpses-that moment when a person with advanced Alzheimer’s communicates with me and I read what they are trying to say to me!
Good Evening, Ms. Jill Lorentz,
Believe me when I say I have never been more inspired by an instructor in all my sixty years, which includes nursing school!
You are the “real deal”, and I absolutely loved everything you taught and shared with us today, especially the relationship you shared with us about your beloved Mom and family. I cannot tell you enough how much you have helped me in understanding our clients, especially with dementia-related illnesses and Alzheimer’s disease. I will do my very best to use this new knowledge in caring for our clients. I have realized I’ve made many mistakes and will probably make many more mistakes; but by being in your class, I have a much renewed understanding of the complexities of the care our clients (not just “clients”, but very special people)! With much appreciation to you and HISC,
Billi Jo Iacovetta, CAREgiver
I learned in the class today that paying attention, closely, can help tremendously to avoid triggers and symptoms related to Alzheimer’s. The small things are important; making them feel loved and cared for, is important to developing a trusting relationship and that will help you be the best you can be in caring for your clients and their family. Helping to engage the client, even when they are non-verbal; to help them communicate is to help them to continue LIVING!!!!!! They are not surviving, or suffering when they are in my care – They are LIVING!!!! – Veronica Fendley
I would recommend your training to anyone in the future whom I run into that needs it!!! You conducted THE BEST Alzheimer’s / dementia training that I have ever attended, and I’ve had a lot! — Sheila Brown – Professional Caregiver – Home Instead
I was dreading today. I don’t like classes. Sitting there all day. Taking notes. Tests. Yuck! As much as I did not want to go, it was truly enjoyable and enlightening. I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Your care and concern for Alzheimer’s patients comes straight from your heart and it comes through in all your teaching and to all those you help along the way. You are being used in a mighty way to enlighten a whole generation on how to reach the seemingly unreachable. The stories of your mom and brother made it interesting and real. You are a good teacher and you teach with passion because it comes from your heart. Thank you for your heartfelt passion. You are a true blessing to the Alzheimer’s community and Home Instead. You truly are….the Alzheimer’s Whisperer.
Blessings, Debbie Duerksen, Caregiver HISC
I love every minute of the class from start to finish… You inspire the way you teach the class … I think the most I got from this class is how passionate you are about Alzheimer’s and how we all can help with this disease!!! I would love to come to more of your classes !!! Renee L. Dammann
Thank you so much for sharing your family struggles. Isn’t it wonderful how life can be bitter sweet. We learn so much from our pain and it is people like you that can turn that pain into helping others understand Alzheimer’s. Your delivery was from the heart. I learned new skills today that I can only hope are delivered by my heart as well. Thank you Jill!
I found your class very informative. I was up with a client most of last night and you managed to keep me very interested.
Thank you for making it fun. – Juanita Moya
I liked your class! It was interesting and informative. I learned some new things too. Thank you Jill! – Debbie A. Martelon
Here is a speaker recommendation from Smoky Hill Rotary Club. The following is a summary of her presentation which was published in our newsletter after Jill Lorentz was our speaker last week. Our members found the presentation informative. – Susan Aubin (January 18, 2016)
Jill Lorentz, President of Summit Resilience Training, was our speaker today. Summit Resilience Training was created for families and professional caregivers who have family and/or patients with dementia and other associated diseases. Jill became involved and certified for training after her own mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Jill says that there are over 400 professionals affiliated with patients of one kind of dementia or another who are untrained as to how to cope with these patients. Her courses are designed to help caregivers as well as individuals learn and utilize best methods to be able to interact with issues caused by the behaviors of dementia. She says this training also creates the processes that promote well-being and greater understanding for the caregiver and family members. Jill is very familiar with the research group at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and lauds their work.
Jill I’m so glad you’re sharing resilience strategies with the world! We need them, and coming from your shining self, they’re especially good.
-Tryn Rose Seley
Jill I really got excited with your teaching methods as I watched everyone get involved in an active exchange of information and ideas. Jane M. Smoak
Home Assessment Testimonials:
“Geez, Jill…this is a wonderful and thorough report…thank you so very much! You are so knowledgeable!”
“Thank you so much for your assessment! It was great having you here — asking questions and getting to know this wonderful man. It is heartbreaking this has happened but we all know we can make his life better. Your suggestions will help me in helping him
Big hugs to you,