October 7, 2016

Wellness Initiative

  • Wellness Initiative 2020 Expansion 

    Prior to 2020 our Wellness Initiative has largely been focused on supporting those caring for someone with memory loss in their wellbeing and stress resilience throughout the dementia caregiving journey. Now, as our Center continues to grow, we also intend to expand our Wellness Initiative to include those living with memory loss.

    As our first initiative toward this goal, we hired Ashley Miller, MPH in late 2019 as our new Wellness Coordinator. Ashley’s primary goal will be to expand our programming to support those living with memory loss. You can read more about our long-term plan in the article here.

    The first of these programs will launch in August 2020. The Mitten Minds program is a dementia education series for those with a recent diagnosis of a dementia or mild cognitive impairment. The program will feature several educational sessions by Center experts, and an accompanying support group. More information about Mitten Minds can be found here. Registration is required here.

    Live Well

    Wellness is nurturing balance in our lives: mind, body and spirit.  It is practicing the ability to bring calm awareness to all that we do. Our goal is to help you Live Well in a life that includes memory loss and care partnering.  At the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center, wellness is found in our program offerings and is an integral part of our vision as a center.

    “When we give ourselves compassion, we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives.”
    – Kristin Neff

    We hear the words take care of yourself all the time.  We all know it is essential for health and personal well being, so, what does this really mean?  Our wellness programs are designed with this very question in mind.  What do you need to nurture balance in your life?  As we work towards a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, we aim to champion and celebrate the amazing courage of our clients who do their best to live well with memory loss every day.  They have inspired us and, in turn, we continue to create wellness programs where individuals can receive the support and information they need to support their desire to LIVE WELL.

    For more about the Center’s Wellness Initiative, watch this short video: 

  • The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center offers a variety of programs to support the well being of caregivers caring for a family member with memory loss. Since 2012, we have employed private funding to develop, foster and evaluate this caregiver programming.

    If you have any additional questions regarding programs, or which program might be the best fit for you, please contact us at 734-936-8803.

    Catching Your Breath

    Catching Your Breath

    Catching Your Breath is a free monthly program for learning and practicing stress resilience skills for continued health, balance and well-being. These skills are essential to healthy care partnering and living well.

    Stress is a part of life and we can learn to respond to its presence with presence and react less frequently on auto-pilot. When we regularly practice paying attention to the body, mind and heart, we enhance our ability to make balanced choices and hopefully, create a little space for moments of self-care and kindness. We do the best we can with the time we have every day, and this is enough.

    By taking care of ourselves, as care partners and human beings, we have more to give without depleting our own wellness reserves, which are essential to balanced living. Please call 734-936-8803 or visit the Program Registration tab above to register for these programs.

    Caregiver Wellness Day Retreats

    Caregiver Wellness Day Retreats

    Caregiver Wellness Day Retreats are half-day wellness, creativity and social retreats for care partners of adults living with memory loss at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. These retreats typically take place twice per year - once in the spring and once in the fall. Please call 734-936-8803 or visit the Program Registration tab above to register for these programs.

    Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care

    Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care

    Join us for an 8-week program designed for family caregivers of adults living with memory loss. Learn how the practice of mindfulness can help you cope with the challenges and stresses of dementia care. Stress can be mentally draining, physically damaging, and emotionally overwhelming. Mindfulness offers invaluable resources and coping practices that can improve the wellbeing and quality of life of both you and the person in your care. Please call 734-936-8803 or visit the Program Registration tab above to register for these programs.

    This eight-week course is led by Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW. Laura has extensive professional training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Dementia Care (MBDC). She is a founding member of the Ann Arbor Center for Mindfulness and serves as CEO for the Presence Care Project where she trains new facilitators in Mindfulness-based Dementia Care (MBDC).

    Classes meet once weekly and weekly attendance is required for course participation. Some practice between classes is also expected. You will be rewarded with a transformative experience to help sustain you over your care journey.

    With generous support from Center donors, we are able to offer this program free of charge. An encouraged donation of $50 will help cover the cost of materials. Any donation amount is appreciated.

    Programs fill to capacity quickly, so please reserve your seat by completing the registration form below. Regularly scheduled spring 2020 wellness programs are now occurring virtually. Please be sure to register to receive details.

  • The Mitten Minds programs are designed to support those with an early diagnosis of a dementia or mild cognitive impairment. There are currently two programs available. First, there is the Mitten Minds support group which takes place on an ongoing basis. This group gives those living with early memory loss a space to connect with others on a similar journey. The second program, the Dementia Education Series, takes place twice per year, and brings together experts on various topics pertaining to the dementia journey to educate about what lies ahead. More information about both, and registration is included below.

    If you have any questions about the Mitten Minds programs, please do not hesitate to reach out to program facilitator, Ashley Miller, MPH at acmil@med.umich.edu or 734-615-8293.

    Mitten Minds Support Group

    This program is a FREE monthly support group for individuals with mild cognitive impairment or early-stage dementia. For the time being, the Mitten Minds Support Group will be offered virtually on Zoom. The support group is held on the third Tuesday of each month from 3:00 - 4:00PM.

    This year-round program is offered by the Wellness Initiative at the Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center, and is led by Ashley Miller, MPH. Newcomers are welcome any time.

    If this is your first time attending, please email Ashley Miller at acmil@med.umich.edu before attending.

    If you have attended before, please register online here.

    Registration each month is required to receive a link to connect to the group. You can register here.

    Mitten Minds Dementia Education Series

    The Mitten Minds Dementia Education Series is a six week program that takes place twice each year. It is available to individuals who are newly diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment or are in the earlier stages of a dementia. The goal of the series is to provide important information to individuals who have been recently diagnosed, provide a space for questions to be answered, and to connect to other resources and support services available.

    Each session is presented by an expert in the field of dementia care and research and are facilitated by Ashley Miller, MPH. A loved-one may accompany you to these education sessions.

    More information about the Mitten Minds program can be found in the program flyer here.

    Registration can be found here.

  • The THRIVE Network is a collaboration between the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University Extension and College of Human Medicine, and Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology that supports educating dementia caregivers on wellness and self-care.

    Tailoring Healthy Resources for In-Person & Virtual Education (THRIVE) aims to:

    • Formalize a network for existing agencies to meet the needs of caregivers in Michigan
    • Establish wellness programming to connect caregivers throughout their journey
    • Sustain and expand wellness education through Michigan State University Extension services which operate in all 83 Michigan counties

    For more information about THRIVE, visit www.thrivenetworkmi.org or take a look at the one page information flyer here.

  • Brief Breathing Space

    Mindfulness of Breath

    Welcome and Prep for Body Scan

    Body Scan

    Loving Kindness

    Meditation- Breathing and Noting