I recently attended a 3.5 day “There Is a Bridge” workshop in Stewart, Florida, run by the brilliant Michael Verde of Memory Bridge. Here’s what I had to say about the experience:
“Outside of a cure, the most vital need of people with Alzheimer’s disease and their loved ones is real emotional connection. How do we continue to communicate with someone with AD who doesn’t talk or remember us? How can we be with people with AD so they are not left feeling the pain of isolation, abandonment, and loneliness? How do we overcome our own feelings of self-consciousness, discomfort, and fear of AD to be fully present and connected with someone with dementia?
I’m confident that everyone in this workshop came away understanding the answers to these questions, but it wasn’t through taking notes, reading power-point slides or listening to lectures. We embodied the answers. We remembered how to feel safe while vulnerable, how to let go of judgment, to offer empathy, to see the humanity and vulnerability in every person, to remember that everyone matters, how to communicate joy, understanding, and love without words or memories—through body language, emotional connection, and the willingness to be fully present in front of another human being.
Everyone should experience this workshop.” -Lisa Genova