Healing Moments Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiver Education

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Testimonials and Feedback

 "Just Say Yes And

~ A blog post by Still Alice author Lisa Genova, after attending a Healing Moments presentation


"In his Healing Moments' workshop, David LaGraffe taught us how to infuse joy into the challenge of changed or complicated relationships!  When our loved ones stuggle with dementia, so do we!  We so often try to push against it and reverse the journey. Healing Moments offers tools that allow  us to enjoy the process as best we can, and recognize it as opportunity, rather than burden.  This workshop gave us permission to live and love in the moment, opening hearts and minds.  It was simply wonderful!

~ Carolyn Walsh Director of Client Relations, Home Instead Senior Care and Owner of LifeWrite: Your Words. Your Story, Brockton, MA


 "I want to thank Healing Moments for your precious CD, Meeting Alzheimer's: Companionship on the Journey.  My  husband is 99 and beginning to experience symptoms of Alzheimer's.  I have been listening to the CD whenever I am alone in the car, and I am becoming more accepting of his behavior, more calm, and more loving.  His response is to be calmer and more loving."  

~ Jean A., Family Caregiver, Peoria, IL 

 

"The quality of time I've spent with Mom since attending the workshop with the University of Iowa Neuropsychology research lab has noticeably improved.  The biggest change for her came, I think, when I quit asking her to make simple decisions; when I got her jacket and took her to breakfast, ordered for her rather than asking.  She seemed, too, to remember how, when I put jelly on her toast.  The eye contact, mirroring, and 'in-the-moment' conversations all seemed to set her at ease and make our visit more pleasant.  A happier time all around.  Thank you Healing Moments!" 

~John H., Family Caregiver, Iowa

 

"David LaGraff and the Healing Moments education is extremely valuable to both professionals and families struggling with acceptance and caregiving for those living with Alzheimer's and dementia of all kinds.  His passion and content are some of the best I have ever seen."

~Lea Marie Rust, Director of Marketing, Avita of Stroudwater, Westbrook, ME

 

"The Healing Moments approach to communicating with our loved ones with Alzheimer's or other dementia is refreshing, uplifting, empowering and truly groundbreaking.  During our two workshops we were able to touch the lives of family and professional caregivers providing them with new tools to use in their daily lives.  Thank you to David LaGraff for traveling from Maine to Massachusetts and sharing your heart and talents with us."

~ Hilary Troia, Director of  Community Relations, Home Instead, Massachusetts

 

"One way the Healing Moments program has been helpful is in regards to getting some of my not so eager clients to participate in activities. Whenever I start an activity, I no longer invite the group as a whole but instead invite each person individually. I have been getting to know the clients more so I may figure out what drives them. For example, I have a client who worked for Kentucky state government and was a supervisor over a large group of employees. When asking him to join in an activity, I now say something like, "Hey! I was thinking of doing this, but am unsure of how. Will you show me how you would do it?"  If the client feels he is in a role that is like his former supervisory position, he is much more apt to participate than if he thought he would have to listen to someone else's instructions."

~ Dana Jarboe Gardner, BSW, Director of Seasons of Life Adult Day Center, Frankfort, KY 

   

"Thank you, Healing Moments, for making such a beautiful CD for caregivers and others to enjoy and appreciate.  It was so nice to sit and listen to Meeting Alzheimer's: Companionship on the Journey, and hear its calming and nurturing words.  It was a relief from informational approaches which many of us have already absorbed and need a relief from.  Because the reflections include personal stories of caregiving, I know you are a kindred spirit. Like so many of us, you have been there and have been changed in the process.  I plan on sharing the CD with other members of my support group.  I know they will truly appreciate it.  Thank you again for this beautiful CD and for the work your are doing in the field."

~ Pat, Family Caregiver, Walnut Creek, CA  

 

"The Healing Moments program was a personally and professionally satisfying day. There is much to be done to extend support and meaning throughout the process of Alzheimer's disease, and the communications approach of Healing Moments? opens minds and hearts. This program was a gift to everyone fortunate enough to attend."

~Kathryn Hedgepeth, Vice President, Programs & Regional Offices, Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter

 

"Healing Moments was the best all around workshop I've ever been a part of. I say "part of" because of the great interaction and improvisation that is a key component of the day. Jade Angelica's vast knowledge of this horrendous disease is shared with the audience in a unique and captivating format. Because she too has a loved one with Alzheimer's, she gains credibility with those of us in the same boat. In my opinion, you can't completely understand the devastation of the disease unless you live it. Jade has a great speaking voice, superior knowledge, a kind, compassionate and empathetic teaching style and a great team. She has a unique insight and shares it all."

~ Mary Kay Muir, Family Caregiver and nursing home administration

 

"Applause! Applause, for Healing Moments Alzheimer's Ministry!  This program offers keen insight and enthusiasm as well as a sense of humor to the life of caregivers in their role - which is ever-evolving, according to their loved ones' moment of being. Jade Angelica has captivated the hearts of our Circle of Hope Friends - the members of our caregivers support group. We are fascinated with her wealth of knowledge, and her hands-on experience enlightens us all. Everyone leaves with a smile on their face and joy in their soul with her life-changing guidelines."

~ Linda Morden & Marion Lubinski, Co-coordinators of the Circle of Hope Support Group, Galena, IL

 

 

"Enlighten and inspire. These words come to mind when I think of the Healing Moments training programs. Caregivers will come away with the tools needed for thoughtful and successful caregiving. A must in dementia training!"

~ Mary McNally, Program Manager, Alzheimer's Association, Greater Iowa Chapter

 

"Time well-spent twice, now; once in an all-day Healing Moments workshop with Mel Ludington and Laura Randall, and once in a 90-minute Healing Moments program for our local AAUW branch led by Mel. Both presenters communicate much information about empathetic ways to communicate with those with Alzheimer's, ways providing dignity and promoting contact. In the brief program Mel also led a participative segment for thirty of us, giving us practice in the methods she had been discussing; she brought the material home to us in an enjoyable, memorable way. I wish I'd had this in my emotional gift box in 2004 when a close relative was struggling with dementia, but I will use it now. Excellent programs!"

~ Edna Groves, M.S.

 

"The information and ideas present in the Healing Moments workshop were very fresh, practical, applicable and memorable to those in attendance. Not only did the group enjoy themselves and learn something new; most importantly they learned techniques that they can put into practice. (I believe that is the most important factor when measuring success). The lessons learned (and no doubt retained) by the group will directly benefit their loved ones with memory loss. Mel Ludington is a wonderful presenter with great passion and skill. She is dynamic and energizing and the participants respond to her natural talent. "Yes, Let's" is my new motto!"

~ Melanie Adams, Director of Education & Outreach, Alzheimer's Association - Great Illinois Chapter


 "We are enlightened, inspired, creative, equipped, happy, compassionate, educated, informed and open!  All because of you!"

~ Laura Nissen, Director of Sales, Oak Park Place, Iowa

 

"Thank you, for the fundamental reminders that the need to adjust will always fall to us as caregivers.  That we must enter THEIR world and what really matters most is their sense of connectedness, comfort and happiness.  Learning about our improvisational muscles and putting them to use in our exercises was first of all, great fun, and there were lots of laughs throughout!  We were all especially grateful for the improvisational muscle, Equanimity and it's reminder that there was not right or wrong way to participate.  In the end, the exercises were a graphic reminder that we are, indeed, "in scene" together - mutually dependent and with endless possibilities for where our exchange might go.  How wonderful!"

~ Catherine Studley, Home Instead Senior Care, Portland, ME

 

"After the Healing Moments workshop, I had success using the tools I learned.  My client was depressed today and largely unresponsive.  I made a noise and she mirrored me.  Wow!  Thank you.  Love your work."

~ Carlene Sikorsky, Activity Director and Senior Adult Minister, California 

 

"Healing Moments is a relevant, accessible, and therapeutic program for Alzheimer's disease caregivers. The program's interpretation of Habilitation Therapy is fresh, innovative and inspiring. This unique program provides practical, creative and meaningful strategies for Alzheimer's disease caregivers - these tools are instrumental in providing quality, therapeutic care. The strategies are often difficult to apply, but Healing Moments provides caregivers the opportunity to learn, practice and apply the right philosophy of care."

~ Lindsay Brennan, Executive Director, Life Care Directors of New England, Somerville, MA

 

"Through Healing Moments programs, people will feel empowered and freed in new ways to communicate and love persons suffering with Alzheimer's.They will learn to see and received the gifts of being in the present moment with others and they will find joy, satisfaction and and a new sense of relationship with those for whom they care."

~ Brita Gill-Austern, Ph.D., Austin Philip Guiles Professor of Psychology and Pastoral Theology, Andover Newton Theological School

 

"The Healing Moments workshop was FANTASTIC! One of the best experiences I have ever had."

~ Deborah Campbell, Seminarian

 

"It was a good day. Thank you for doing the workshop. As I mentioned in the session, this was a great workshop they reminded me that we have 'freedom' to just be in the moment with Alzheimer's patients and their families. As a minister, it will help my communication with parishioners in living in the moment with them too and take the pressure off myself to be 'perfect.'"

~ Linda Moore, Minister of Chris

tian Education, First Baptist Church in Newton, Massachusetts

 

"I've attended hundreds of workshops and conferences over the years; Healing Moments touched me on a deeper level than any conference I've attended. My co-workers who also attended the Healing Moments workshop now have a special connection."

~ Dr. Janette Simon, Administrator, Guttenberg Care Center


"Alzheimer's Disease can be very isolating. Healing Moments is a joyous approach to finding the support that all caregivers need on their journey."

~ Virginia Sinkoski, Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter and Kathryn Hedgepeth, VP, Educational Programs and Regional Offices, Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter

 

"The Healing Moments approach is kind and doable, and allows us to live in the present with a family member or resident.  Thank you for sharing your experiences and guiding us to a different, more caring and loving place."


~ Judith Marsh, Activity Director, Walnut Park Retirement Community, Anaheim, CA, pictured with Rev. Nancy Gordon (left), Director of the California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging.

"In my 22 years of nursing home work, 'Meeting Alzheimer's' was the best presentation about Alzheimer's and dementia I have ever attended.

Participants left with more than information - we were given practical tools to take back our workplaces. We learned how to really reach persons with dementia - to improve their lives and our caregiving."


~ Gerry Rea, BSN, RN, Manager of Adult Day Services, Stonehill Care Center 


Leonora, the primary caregiver for her father, attended a Healing Moments program for family caregivers. Prior to the workshop,

when we spoke on the phone, she wept. During participant introductions at the workshop, she wept. Her stress and her distress were painfully obvious. By the end of the workshop, Leonora radiate joy and empowerment.


One week after attending the Healing Moments workshop, Leonora wrote:

"I'm still feeling great - very optimistic and upbeat regarding the challenges I am facing with my father. I also have been giving my brother some pointers on how to address questions my father asks and the way he acts/reacts, so I'm able to help my father, my brother, and me all at the same time!"

One month after attending the workshop, Leonora wrote:

"I'm doing very well with my father. I'm enjoying his company more and more. I'm noticing he does much better when I show concern about his feelings. It actually seems he remembers more."       

Two years after the workshop, Leonora wrote:

"My father is declining. He can no longer walk (due to the Parkinson's) and when he talks nothing makes sense, but we just give him the respect and care that he deserves and make sure he's happy. We typically pull up a chair right next to his, hold his hand, and talk and laugh. It seems all he really wants is to go to work! I always have to remind him it's Saturday or Sunday and he doesn't have to work on those days. He sings a lot and speaks in Italian now, which sadly, I don't understand. I tell him "Could you please speak English because I don't understand Italian' and all he does is laugh. He's very cute. I also found that when he wants to get out of bed in the middle of the night that I pull the blankets

up, adjust his pillows and tell him 'Now please stay in bed and stay nice and warm so that you don't get a cold.' He eats it up - he really enjoys the attention." 

 

Healing Moments workshops for Professional and Family Caregivers include a formal evaluation. Completed evaluation forms indicate that the program goals were "very effectively" met. The overall effectiveness of the workshops was most often rated as "excellent." Additional comments include: "Very Helpful!" "Great Time!" "I enjoyed the participation." "Very worthwhile." "It was so different and unexpected and I learned so much." "Absolutely wonderful." "Very unique." "I absolutely loved it." "Different! Thought-provoking! Creative! Honest!" "Awesome." "Great fun - very interesting approach to learn and practice." "I loved it so much. I learned a lot, and I had fun." "Pertinent, fun, and applicable." "Workshop was simply fantastic. Thank you so much."