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For those with Alzheimer’s Dementia, drug treatments and financial resources only provide incremental improvements in quality-of-life. What can make a truly transformative difference for those experiencing neurodegenerative disease?
Accompaniment. When an able bodied person enters into the life and experience of someone with a neurodegenerative disease, this collaborative relationship reduces the stressors of cognitive loss. Accompaniment is an unique way to increase the quality of intrinsic and physical care for an individual.
This high quality of care is not possible or available to everyone. However, when it is done well, and when certain qualities of accompanied and accompanier are present, the hell of Alzheimer’s can be experienced as a beautiful walk home. During Mark’s presentation you will witness his journey with his Mother and take away narrative approaches towards individually improving quality of care and ultimately transforming the end-of-life experience.
Mark Jenkins once prided himself as being a individualist. He has climbed in the Himalaya’s and participated in various extreme sports throughout his life. He is the developer of TeamEverest and PolarLeader; experiential learning programs that have been used by youth leadership programs and many hundreds of organizations worldwide. Mark has been a coach to extreme athletes in many sports, most especially mountaineering. Despite his individualist streak, Mark could not ignore his Mother’s suffering. In 2005 he began caring for his Mother who appeared to be in the last stage of her life. Mark discovered that by taking a step-up for every step-down his Mother made, this highly collaborative approach had the power to change the Alzheimer’s experience. During this period Mark transitioned his employment to home based work and eventually to full-time caregiver. His Mother thrived right through two major illnesses till her death in 2015. Because of this experience Mark now sees relationships at the center of the human experience.
“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say.”
Have you ever said these things or felt this way when someone was grieving, in a crisis or suffered a loss? Haven’t we all? Even as healthcare professionals?
Everyone grieves—regardless of age, race, culture, gender, sexual orientation or economic situation; Divorce, health issues, job loss, financial stress, addictions, bullying and yes… facing end of life.
Grief and Loss are a part of life. They cannot be avoided forever. But if we learn to take good care of ourselves and each other, we can navigate through it with less suffering! It’s time for change. We can do better.
Together we will explore the 7 Take Aways, the culmination of my learning from 27 years of nursing and interviewing hundreds of people.
If we live by and teach these 7 Take Aways, we will be more empowered to live life to the fullest, learn to grieve and support others and have “The Talk” about end of life, long before it arrives and diffuse the fear.
Together we can create a culture of change.
Married to best friend Geordie and mother of three, Yvonne is loving life in beautiful Muskoka. And she is on a mission. In 27 years of nursing she witnessed our society’s death phobia and how our reluctance to talk about, plan prepare for grief, death and dying, causes excessive suffering in life and at the end of life. She suffered too. At age 50 she left her career and blazed a new trail. Her new purpose? To empower compassionate communities and professionals to live life to the fullest, learn to grieve and support others and to have “The Talk” about end of life… long before it arrives and diffuse the fear. Yvonne is sharing her message with the world as an Inspirational Speaker, with her book entitled Love Your Life to Death, as a TV Host and through social media. Helping non-profit organizations along the way is also her passion. In May 2017 the I Just Showed Up movement was launched: I Just Showed Up teaches people of all ages to show up for themselves and others, so they are empowered and resilient when grief arrives.