Will I Be Next?

Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Ohio Chapter hosts “Will I Be Next”  Night of Innovation and Research

Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Ohio Chapter hosts “Will I Be Next” Night of Innovation and Research

Keith Fargo, Director of Scientific Programs and Outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association and Kimberly Mueller, a researcher for the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute were two keynote speakers at a community science and education event hosted by the Miami Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in Dayton last week. A short work-in-progress clip from Will I Be Next? kicked off the event by offering participants a glimpse into the world of Alzheimer’s disease research. Dr. Fargo, who manages the Alzheimer Association’s scientific publications including the Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures, brought the audience up to date on AD research. He summarized progress on several important studies, including the A4 study, which is being conducted at 67 sites across the county. Kimberly Mueller, MS, summarized key findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, including lifestyle factors that may be helpful in building resilience to the disease. Some of the factors she shared included the WRAP team’s research into controlling diabetes, and the impact of exercise, sleep, and socialization on resilience. Both speakers emphasized the importance of getting involved in clinical trials. Dr. Fargo, who leads the Alzheimer Association’s innovative TrialMatch® program, invited participants to fill out a card to learn more and possibly get matched up with a trial. Then a panel of research doctors from the Dayton and Cincinnati region spoke about their studies, challenges, and observations. The panelists were: Neurologist Dr. Lawrence Goldstick from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Dr. Meenakshi Patel, Principal Investigator for Valley Medical Research in Centerville, Ohio, and Dr. Kenneth Pugar, President and Founder of Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders. All three are...
Meet the Scientists

Meet the Scientists

  New from Will I Be Next – a short video to meet the film’s research scientists. Why do they do what they do? How does a team of people with diverse experiences, backgrounds, and ideas play to their strengths? How will they unravel the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease? Also, here’s a recent article from Healthline News about the necessity of human research subjects to research scientists. Without dedicated people in clinical trials and studies, scientists cannot do their work. The article features some of the subjects and scientists from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center who appear in Will I Be Next? –Melissa Godoy, Director...
Making Mischief: Spiritual Care in Advanced Dementia

Making Mischief: Spiritual Care in Advanced Dementia

As a Memory Care Chaplain, I see my role as providing comfort, meaning, dignity, worth, and—yes—fun to the lives of friends who are living with advanced dementia. Most of the conversations I participate in are decidedly non-linear but thoroughly enjoyable. It is a deeply spiritual role, but it requires a very broad understanding of what constitutes spirituality. It means affirming connection and relationality. It means helping persons to speak through the arts when they no longer have access to words. Sometimes it means offering prayer or sacred readings, and sometimes it means singing “She’ll be coming ‘round the mountain” while playing a ukulele. It means being present in love and joy. Recently a resident asked me, “What do you do here?” “I make mischief,” I answered. With a big grin she offered to help me.  It is as good a job description as any.1-3 I am certified in TimeSlips creative story telling (www.timeslips.org), and take great pleasure in facilitating group interactions as we create a story together. But my TimeSlips training is also invaluable in my care for individuals, helping me to enter into the world of dementia in a creative, playful manner. My friend and I can go on an imaginative journey together, with neither of us knowing where it may lead but each finding pleasure and meaning in that journey. The pleasure of conversation with any friend lies not in the topics discussed, but in the manner in which we connect with one another, and therefore my conversations with my friends living with dementia bring me as much pleasure as any other. Leading worship services for persons...
Simulated Alzheimer’s Offers Empathy

Simulated Alzheimer’s Offers Empathy

I knew where I was, approximately, but the room was dark and unfamiliar. I knew I had tasks to do, but I struggled to recall specifics. With the exception of a small circle of lucidity at the center of each eye, my field of vision was largely opaque, like I was looking through the wrong end of binoculars. Voices, garbled beyond comprehension, diverted my attention. I couldn’t tell whether they were speaking to me, to each other, or to no one in particular. I felt like sitting down. If I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to do, what else could I do? I could sit and stare at the wall and drift off. At least it would pass the time. I started toward the rocking chair, but saw piles of clothes on the bed, and remembered then that one of my tasks was to fold the pillow cases. An otherwise simple undertaking proved difficult, however, as it took great concentration and physical effort just to grasp the fabric. A door slammed. More startling than the suddenness and force of the sound was the question of whether it actually happened, there in the room, or had occurred only in my mind. I shook the thought and pressed on. A thought materialized––something about the checkbook. Was I supposed to write a check or only produce it from the purse? But why would I get it out if not to write a check? And to whom? I found the purse on the counter, its dark contours blending into the darkness of the room. A siren blared and then faded. I took...
“Will I Be Next?” on “Alzheimer’s Speaks”

“Will I Be Next?” on “Alzheimer’s Speaks”

Producer Therese Barry-Tanner and Barb Goeckner (featured in the film) were the guests yesterday on Alzheimer’s Speaks, an online radio show. Hosted by Lori La Bey, the show is dedicated to shifting dementia care culture. Therese and Barb shared their personal stories of their connection to dementia, how the idea for the documentary went from idea to reality, the goals of the film, and how others can get involved in accelerating Alzheimer’s research. Listen to the full show: A Documentary Film Changing Perceptions of Dementia  Lori La Bey on ABC News:  The Voice of...
Connections Beyond the Loss

Connections Beyond the Loss

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Not all will agree with that concept. Yet many caregivers, professional and personal, who work tirelessly and lovingly with those who have Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD) may understand the theory behind those words. When traditional modes of communication break down, it can be challenging to engage or connect with a person who has ADRD. Verbal ability may decline, creating a need to find additional methods to communicate beyond words. Creativity and imagination are great tools to inspire and engage persons with ADRD. Memories in the Making® sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association is one such activity. Under the guidance of an artist facilitator, participants are offered a means of self-expression through the process of painting and drawing. In this program, a person with diminished verbal and organizational skills can communicate using paints or pencil by recreating a memory on paper or canvas. Lindsey Kamp, lead facilitator at the Mercy Health DaySTAE program in Cincinnati relies on the arts to help connect and offer successful in-the-moment experiences to those who attend the dementia program. Lindsey says, “Memories in the Making provides an opportunity to use artwork to share their feelings and tell their story.”  Participants enjoy the weekly session creating new art work. Lindsey says, “Memories in the Making unites those with ADRD in a socially artistic way.” Elaine, a DaySTAE participant who enjoys the art program says, “We just paint what’s in our heart, and sometimes it turns out pretty good.”                           The original art work also...