Learn to communicate with people with dementia through Memory Bridge

The idea: Memory Bridge works to lessen the social and emotional isolation of people with dementia, which is caused by our lack of ability to communicate with them in any meaningful way.


I am Michael Verde. I am Founder and President of Memory Bridge: The Foundation for Alzheimer’s and Cultural Memory.

Memory Bridge is dedicated to diminishing the emotional and social isolation of people with dementia.  We are motivated by the conviction that the primary cause of suffering of people with dementia is loneliness--the feeling of no longer being meaningfully connected with others.  Such suffering, we believe, is not principally caused by the death of brain cells but by the disappearance of conversational partners.  In other words, the principal source of suffering that people with irreversible dementia experience is not ultimately caused by what is in their heads but by what is in ours: namely, our collective conviction that people with dementia become increasingly incapable of participating in meaningful communication.  Hence Memory Bridge works in the faith that while Alzheimer's disease cannot be cured, the dis-ease of Alzheimer's (and like forms of dementia)--namely emotional and social isolation--can be healed.

Guided by this vision, Memory Bridge creates programs that enable the public to learn how to communicate with people with dementia in meaningful ways.  One such program is our Memory Bridge Training Retreat.  This year's retreat will be held from June 23 - 28, 2013 in Bloomington, Indiana at the Tibetan Buddhist Community Cultural Center.  For this training retreat, Memory Bridge is offering full scholarships (excluding travel) to 12 people around the world whose work
impacts the lives of people with dementia, or who are teachers interested in bringing Memory Bridge's school initiative to their home schools. The Memory Bridge Initiative is an award-winning service learning curriculum and school program that teaches students in grades 6-12 how to communicate meaningfully with individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

For more information regarding Memory Bridge's 2013 Training Retreat visit the Memory Bridge website at www.memorybridge.org.

Videos are available on the Memory Bridge website, including a trailer from a one-hour documentary. The link to the video page is http://www.memorybridge.org/videos.php

Published on 25 January 2013

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