Ubuntu is an African word literally meaning human-ness and is often translated as humanity towards others. "My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours. We belong in a bundle of life." "I am because you are." We believe that once you see persons with dementia as no different than us, the work can begin.
About Karen Stobbe
I was working as an actress, director, writer and instructor of theatre when my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My Mom Virginia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/Vascular dementia a year after my Dad passed away in 2000. My life has taken on a new focus and new meaning in combining the knowledge of my two worlds into one life work.
With my husband, Mondy Carter, I wrote and now perform in a two-person performance entitled Sometimes Ya Gotta Laugh, which takes you on a fast paced journey through the world of caregiving; the laughter and the tears. I have also written a book by the same name, which is in its third printing.
I have also developed a 6-week training program called In the Moment, which uses creativity, improvisation and theatre as training tools. I have a web site for the entire program: www.in-themoment.com. I have also developed a Train the Facilitator DVD which focuses on how to train effectively and creatively. I have performed over 600 trainings in storytelling, improvisation, caring for persons with Alzheimer’s and the importance of laughter.
Mondy, my mom, Virginia, and I were recently featured on NPR’s This American Life Magic Words: Act 2
I live in North Carolina with my husband, daughter Grace, and Mom.
About Sonya Barsness
I am a Masters-prepared Gerontologist with over 20 years of professional experience in aging, primarily in dementia care and long-term care. I really started my vocation at 11 years old as a friendly visitor to elders in my neighborhood. My grandparents also lived with us when I was a child. I saw aging as a normal part of life.
I have served elders and those who care for them in assisted living, nursing homes, and home- and community-based settings. My professional experience also includes education, programming, policy, and research related to long-term care, dementia care, and person-centered care.
I have been working with people with dementia for over 20 years. The greatest lessons of my professional (and often personal) life have been through getting to know people with dementia. People with dementia are no different than us. I believe that people with dementia should live their best life, like all of us. Through bringing person-centered values to life we can support people with dementia in living well. My website is www.sbcgerontology.com.