09/04/14 - Keynote Speech in London

The St. Christopher’s Hospice is hosting Michael Verde as the keynote speaker for the conference, “Celebrating Care Homes: What Works” on May 7th, 2015. This bi-annual two-day conference will focus on exceptional practice in care homes. More information about St. Christopher’s can be found on their website.

09/03/14 - Keynote Presentation at 7th Annual Gerontology Conference

Michael Verde is the presenter and keynote speaker for the 7th Annual Gerontology Conference – sponsored by the Michiana Gerontology Institute on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, IN.

The presentation, "Love Is Listening: Healing the Dis-ease of Dementia through “Being With” Care" explores the depth of empathetic communication and what is often overlooked in traditional approaches to giving care; how much of the quality of our lives, while grounded in functional needs, depends finally upon the meeting of our relational needs.

09/02/14 - Testimony Excerpts from the 2014 Summer Retreat

Memory Bridge has received the testimonies from our 2014 Summer Retreat and would like to share them with you. Please take a look and enjoy:

05/27/14 - Two Workshops Presented in South Africa

On May 21 and May 29, 2014 Michael is presenting two workshops in South Africa at the Universities of Pretoria and Kwa Zulu-Natal, respectively. The workshop, Bridging the Dis-Ease of Social Isolation: empathetic care of cognitively impaired elders is organized around themes central to communicating with elders with dementia in emotionally vital ways. Last year's workshop on the same topic attracted participants from several countries across Africa.

05/12/14 - Chicago Tribune Coverage of John Hancock College Prep Initiative

The Chicago Tribune highlighted a recent Memory Bridge initiative involving John Hancock College Prep High Scool in Chicago and Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills. The article covers the significance and meaning that the Memory Bridge "I Am a Bridge" program has for the participating high school students and assisted living residents with dementia.

05/01/14 - News Coverage of Training Workshop

Memory Bridge's "I Am a Bridge" immersion training workshop recently held at Sandhill Cove's Water’s Edge Extended Care in Palm City, Florida was included in Stuart Magazine. Memory Bridge founder Michael Verde and internationally acclaimed author Lisa Genova, who also participated in the 3 1/2-day immersion training experience, were published in this article.

12/06/13 - Lisa Genova Joining the Bridge in Bloomington

We are delighted to announce that the New York Times best-selling author Lisa Genova will be joining Memory Bridge for our 2014 Training Retreat. Genova's novel Still Alice has been adapted as a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore, to be released in June, 2014. Still Alice describes the sudden descent of a 50-year-old professor into early onset Alzheimer's disease. The Boston Globe says Genova's novel is "written not from the outside looking in, not from the point of view of a caretaker or a husband or a friend, but from the inside looking out."

11/26/13 - 2014 Summer Training Retreat

We are pleased to announce the second annual Memory Bridge Training Retreat and Scholarship! The 2014 training will be held June 13 - 18 in Bloomington, Indiana - and we're covering all the expenses, except for travel.

Specifically, we are seeking people who share our dedication to ending the social isolation of people with dementia through learning how to be with them in emotionally and spiritually sustaining ways.

Applications are open to teachers (who want to bring the Memory Bridge Initiative to their schools), care providers, therapists who work with people with dementia, administrators, and service providers whose field of service enriches the life experiences of people with dementia.

09/16/13 - New Book in Resources
A new book has been added to our resources section by John Swinton, Dementia: Living in the Memories of God. In this book, published at the end of 2012, Swinton develops a practical theology of dementia for caregivers, people with dementia, ministers, hospital chaplains, and medical practitioners as he explores two primary questions: Who am I when I've forgotten who I am? What does it mean to love God and be loved by God when I have forgotten who God is?
08/01/13 - "Love is Listening" News Coverage
Kane Center in Stuart, FL recently hosted Michael Verde, who discussed how to end the isolation of those with dementia. The TCPalm newspaper covered the event in this article."We can't cure Alzheimer's, but there's something we can do to diminish the isolation that Alzheimer's brings," said Verde.
07/10/13 - "Love is Listening" Presentation at Treasure Coast
The Council on Aging of Martin County is hosting Michael Verde for the presentation, "Love is Listening" - Empathetic Communication in Dementia Care. Family, Friends, and Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia are invited to attend on Tuesday, July 23 from 1-3 p.m. Michael will explore how we can begin healing the dis-ease of Alzheimer's by entering into the emotional lives of people with dementia.
06/06/13 - Preliminary Results from the South Africa Initiative
Researchers at the University of Pretoria in South Africa are in the process of gathering data from students and teachers who participated in the Memory Bridge Dementia Immersion Training program. Initial feedback has been reported from the April 15 -- May 23, 2013 Memory Bridge training, in collaboration with the Department of Social Work at the University of Pretoria. University of Indiana awarded the Creative Paths to Peace grant to Memory Bridge to train seven select teachers and seven high school students in South Africa in empathetic communication aptitudes and methods.
04/12/13 - Empathetic Communication Workshop in South Africa
University of Pretoria in South Africa welcomes back Memory Bridge founder Michael Verde to conduct a workshop on May 28, 2013 on "Empathetic Communication in Dementia Care." The Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) will host this one-day workshop to explore how caregivers and organizations of care can communicate with their loved ones and residents with dementia in emotionally meaningful ways.
03/04/13 - Life Is a Bridge Recognized as Best of Web
A big thank you to a leading senior care review website, Caring.com for recognizing There Is a Bridge as one of the best caregiver stories on the web. The article features Memory Bridge and seventeen other caregiving blogs, videos, and photographs that are acknowledged for providing relief, support, and hope.
02/20/13 - Two Workshops Announced for Autumn 2013
Registration is now available online for two Memory Bridge workshops in September. The workshops are being hosted by The Altenheim Resource and Referral Center and Faith in Action Caregivers, Inc. at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.
12/07/12 - 2013 Summer Training Retreat
Memory Bridge is inviting 12 people from across the U.S. to join us for our 2013 Training Retreat (June 23 - 28) in Bloomington, Indiana — and we're covering all the expenses, except for travel. Specifically, we are seeking people who share our dedication to ending the social isolation of people with dementia through our learning how to be with them in emotionally and spiritually sustaining ways. Applications are open to teachers (who want to bring the Memory Bridge Initiative to their schools), care providers, therapists who work with people with dementia, administrators, and service providers whose field of service enriches the life experiences of people with dementia.
07/20/12 - Kenosha News Covers How to Rethink Alzheimers
In an recent interview with Kenosha News, Memory Bridge is introduced as " not waiting for the creation of a magic drug or the advent of a new technology". Read more of the article about how Memory Bridge promotes communicating and interacting with Alzheimer's patients by eliminating misconceptions and redefining what is normal.
06/25/12 - Memory Bridge Interview
As a part of the Riding for the Memory benefit ride on July 21, Michael Verde appeared on Milwaukee's TMJ4 program The Morning Blend. A segment, from the Memory Bridge documentary There Is a Bridge , is shared before an interview where Michael discusses how to be a companion with someone who is affected by Alzheimer's disease. Watch the clip now. The segment from the documentary can be viewed here.
05/23/12 - Join Us at Riding for the Memory
Memory Bridge is proud to participate in the Alzheimer's Riding for the Memory motorcycle ride in Burlington, WI on Saturday, July 21, 2012. The ride will be a scenic route through southern Wisconsin and will end at the Burlington Street Party.

The ride is hosted by Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation of Burlington and six Wisconsin Harley Davidson dealerships will be participating. Aaron Sims, from the Milwaukee Admirals, will be announcing the ride and Michael Verde will be joining the ride. All money raised will benefit the Alzheimer's Association, Memory Bridge, and Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. For more information please open the ride information in the PDF below. For any additional questions, please contact Amber at amber.caruso@kindredhealthcare.com or 262.221.5572.

03/02/12 - Memory Bridge Initiative in South Africa
Memory Bridge is going to South Africa in May 2013 to build bridges of peace in racially divided high schools. The Creative Paths to Peace grant was awarded by the The Research and Developmental Committee at Indiana University to bring the Memory Bridge Initiative to South Africa for the advancement of peace and education.
03/01/12 - Life is a Bridge Dementia Immersion Program
The Life is a Bridge Dementia Immersion Program was presented Friday, February 17 to Monday, February 20, 2012 by Michael Verde to high school students and residents at Treasure Coast Hospice in Stuart, FL. Attendees also included Treasure Coast Hospice staff that care for patients in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Residents, like nurses, certified nurse's aides, social workers, and chaplains. The teenage and hospice residents learn to build bridges by expanding compassionate care for patients and each other. Starting Friday evening with an introduction and wrapping up Sunday afternoon, the itinerary includes a progression of workshops, intensive training, buddy visits, as well as individual and group activities.
02/15/12 - Lecture series includes Michael Verde on Treasuring Life through Literature
A new lecture series, "Treasuring Life", offered by the Fielden Institute for Lifelong Learning at Indian River State College, included Michael Verde as one of the four lectures offered in the series. He presented "Treasuring Life through Literature" on February 15, 2012 about what it means to be a compassionate reader. He also led a discussion on a masterwork of 20th century literature, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera.
11/10/11 - Memory Bridge at Treasure Coast Hospice
The Life is a Bridge program will be presented Thursday, November 10 to Sunday, November 13, 2011 by Michael Verde to volunteers and staff at Treasure Coast Hospice in Stuart, FL. Attendees include Treasure Coast Hospice staff that care for patients in Skilled Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living Residents, like nurses, certified nurse's aides, social workers, and chaplains. Participants will focus on learning to build bridges by expanding compassionate care for patients and each other. Starting Thursday evening and wrapping up Sunday afternoon, the itinerary includes a progression of workshops, buddy visits, as well as individual and group activities.
11/09/11 - Upcoming Summit Presentation
Memory Bridge is proud to announce Michael Verde will be the first speaker at the Pathway Annual Summit. He will be presenting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9, at Bobak's Signature Events, 6440 Double Eagle Drive, in Woodridge, IL 60517. Google Map
09/22/11 - Conference Presentation at Palliative Care Conference

Guest speaker Michael Verde is a participant in this year's ELNEC-VA/EPEC-VA Palliative Care Conference, hosted at North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System in Gainesville, Florida. Michael will be speaking about dementia on September 21, 2011, 10 A.M., at the Malcom Randall VA Auditorium.

08/12/11 - Naomi Feil and Michael Presenting in Cleveland

One-Day Validation training with Naomi Feil and keynote presentation with Michael on August 12 - 14 at the Embassy Suites Downtown, Cleveland, Ohio.  For more information about the event visit www.compassionate-touch.org/naomi

08/10/11 - Tribune Update
After featuring Memory Bridge on the front page, the Chicago Tribune posted a gallery of photos from the experience. The gallery can be found here.
04/25/11 - Memory Bridge to Lead Hospice Training in Florida's Treasure Coast

Participants in this three-day, guided journey in connecting with those with dementia will explore what it means, and does not mean, for a person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and not merely from the outside-in, the bio-medical perspective, but from the inside-out, from within the lifeworld of a person living with dementia.  Developed by the Memory Bridge Foundation, this experience-based, empathy-centered workshop pairs each participant with a person in hospice diagnosed with irreversible dementia--a Buddy.  Volunteers and Buddies will meet two times in person over the three days of training. Combined with the supported companionship with hospice clients will be a variety of other learning experiences--presentation-based, creative, reflective, peer-to-peer dialogue, case study, and sharing circles.

03/25/11 - Michael Presenting at Life Services Network 2011 Meeting

Michael is presenting There Is a Bridge: Healing the Dis-ease of Alzheimer's at this year's Life Services Network Annual Meeting to be held in Chicago, Illinois at Navy Pier.  Michael's presentation will define the crucial differences between the neurogenerative disease called Alzheimer's and the intersubjective experience of emotional and social isolation that is the dis-ease of Alzheimer's.  Rooted in a vision that challenges the cliched and fear-mongering marketing scripts through which Alzheimer's is typically framed for public consumption, Michael's presentation explores the intra- and interpersonal lifeworlds of our collective humanity and points the way to meaningful action that we can take now to begin healing the suffering associated with Alzheimer's.

03/16/11 - Study of Memory Bridge Initiative Published in Educational Gerontology

This study evaluated the Memory Bridge Initiative (MBI), an educational, experiential program pairing high school students with older adults who have dementia. A qualitative, single group design with baseline and follow-up measures examined whether or not students would have a positive learning experience while gaining newfound appreciation and understanding of older adults with dementia. Findings showed that students' perceptions of older adults and of Alzheimer's disease became more optimistic and hopeful after participation in MBI. Students also favorably described their learning experience and recommended improvements for future programs. This evaluation informs future service-learning and dementia-care programs with results supporting wider dissemination of the Memory Bridge Initiative. Study available through Taylor & Francis Online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03601271003608860

01/13/11 - Educational Workshop with Naomi Feil and Michael Verde
Naomi Feil and Michael to lead a one-day, educational workshop on connecting with people with irreversible dementia in Port St. Lucie, Florida on January 13, 2011. The workshop, sponsored by Treasure Coast Hospice, is designed for care-partners and hospice volunteers. The event will be held in the Port St. Lucie Civic Center 9221 SE Civic Center Place. For more information visit www.tchospice.org.
01/08/11 - Michael Verde on Radio Talk Show Today

WTTB radio host Cindy Bryant interviewed Michael prior to his presentation for Treasure Coast Hospice's Treasuring Life Speaker Series on January 13, 2011.  In this interview Michael explains the difference between Alzheimer's disease and the dis-ease of Alzheimer's, and why understanding this difference can be the beginning of the most important spiritual journey of our lives. Click "read more" to hear the interview.

10/15/10 - Memory Bridge Begins Fall Classes

Memory Bridge begins its sixth year of bridge-building outreach in Chicago public schools. High school teens in eight Chicago public schools are partnering with elders diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in this fall's CPS Memory Bridge Initiative. This semester's selected schools, located in diverse areas across the city, are Corliss High School, Gwendolyn Brooks Prep. Academy (2 classes), Roberto Clemente high School, Walter Payton High School, Kelvyn Park High School, and Taft High School.

04/14/10 - Memory Bridge Makes Front Page of Tribune

The Memory Bridge Initiative was featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on April 14, 2010.

To read the Tribune article, click here for the online version.

01/15/10 - The "I Have a Dream" Foundation Partners with Memory Bridge

The “I Have a Dream” Foundation is partnering with Memory Bridge to launch Dreamers and Mockingbirds, a 12-week after school, service-learning and literacy-enrichment program based on the Memory Bridge Initiative. The Dreamers participating in Dreamers and Mockingbirds will read and explore To Kill a Mockingbird individually and as a class. Dreamers will also read parts of the novel to their Buddies (the elders with dementia participating in the program with the Dreamers), both in one-on-one and group contexts. 

10/15/09 - Michael Presents at Florida Hospice Forum

Michael Verde will be presenting There Is a Bridge at the 2010 Florida Hospice & Palliative Care conference on May 20 & 21 in Orlando Florida.  Michael's presentation explores those facets of personal identity that Alzheimer's disease and related forms of dementia can not extinguish. 

06/18/09 - John Kotre's "White Gloves" to be included in Memory Bridge curriculum

John Kotre, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, is the author of "White Gloves", a book which introduces the idea of autobiographical memory, which he describes as "the people, places, objects, events, and feelings that go into the story of your life."

06/10/09 - Memory Bridge featured on Aging Matters

Michael Verde was interviewed on Aging Matters, a radio program that deals with issues affecting seniors and their families.

06/01/09 - Memory Bridge highlighted in Forget Memory

Anne Basting, Director of the UWM Center on Age & Community, has written a book entitled Forget Memory: Creating Better Lives for People with Dementia that emphasizes the importance of activites that focus on the present when caring for individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

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