“Alive Inside” Private Screening

Charlotte’s Angels Music & Memory Program and The Charlotte Lowry Foundation are sponsoring a private viewing of “Alive Inside”, a documentary film about music and memory, on Tuesday, March 31st at 6:00pm.  The film will be shown at College Heights Christian Church inside the small chapel.


A Meet and Greet reception will be held in the lobby from 6:00 to 6:30 with the film to follow.  Following the film a Q & A session will be held with special guest.

Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.

This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin (“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”).

The documentary won the 2014 Sundance Audience Award as well as other national and international awards and has been featured on NPR and other major news outlets.

The screening is free and open to the public.  Seating is limited so please RSVP:  Facebook Page, 417-627-9322 or email lisa@charlottesangels.com


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Living In The Moment

family-pics-108-150x150My mother Charlotte Lowry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 67. Our family was faced with many challenges as we grasped to understand the disease. What I have learned from my experiences as a family caregiver is that Alzheimer’s patients live in the moment and it is our job as family and friends to give them as many moments as possible.

It was those moments as her memory faded that I learned that we can embrace the disease and find peace within our hearts. I will admit it was very difficult being the daughter of my mother who could no longer remember my name. But it was those moments we shared for what I remember today. Often she and I would just laugh over her telling a story and sometimes it brought tears. I can remember those difficult times of just washing her hair and how angry she would become. By the time her hair was dry she would look at me with a smile and say thank you. It was the simplest things that would bring the biggest smiles to my mother. She would often gaze at the clouds during our walks and tell me how beautiful they were. She would always point out the beautiful things in life that we often take for granted. As the disease progressed and her voice failed, she would give me those looks that only a mother would give a daughter. Those are the moments I remember most.

As time passed and the disease progressed, having those moments seemed to slip away. But I always would sit and talk to her hoping that in some way she could understand. A special moment occurred with my mother during her last few months. I had recently become engaged to my fiancé and I wanted to share the news with her. She sat this night in her chair slumped to one side as I approached her. I sat down next to her as I began to tell her about my engagement. For one moment my mom was there. She turned her head and reached out for my hand looking directly into my eyes with a smile. What seemed to be an eternity lasted only for a few seconds. But for those few seconds my mom shared a moment for a lifetime.

I have learned so much from those moments I shared with my mother. If you are faced with these challenges just remember to cherish every moment, laugh as loud as you can, and it’s okay to cry if you need to. It is for these moments we will always remember.

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Alzheimer’s And The Holidays; Five Tips for The Family

Stockphoto1Through my years of working with Alzheimer’s patients, I have learned that proper communication is extremely vital. The disease often inhibits the ability to communicate creating emotions that cause high anxiety. This can escalate when they are reminded of what they don’t remember or when they don’t answer questions appropriately. This is why our reactions and guidance to help them not feel the anxiety of answering questions “wrongly” is so important. Here are five helpful tips to share with your family during this holiday season that I have found to be effective and beneficial:

        1. It is always best to address your loved one at eye level. If they are sitting or in a wheel chair, kneel down beside them or sit next to them. Having eye level contact will help the communication process.
        2. Ask simple questions that can be answered with a few words or less. Frustration and agitation can easily develop when your loved one struggles to find the words to express.
        3. Try not to ask “Do you remember” questions. It is likely that they will not remember. The stress and anxiety of trying to figure out how they should answer can set the mood for the rest of the conversation and visit.
        4. If you ask them a question and you can tell they don’t know the answer, it often helps to say something like….. “yeah, I wasn’t sure either” or “that was so long ago” and then redirect the conversation toward a new subject. Redirecting will often diffuse the frustration for not being able to remember.
        5. Avoid correcting their responses. If they say “I just returned from church” and it’s Tuesday afternoon, it’s okay to go along with what they are expressing. Correcting a loved one will often lead to frustration.
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Congratulations to Kim Roy, One Year Annaversery!

KimpicWe are so fortunate to have Kim Roy on the Angel Team. She has marked her first Angel year with us. Kim’s passion for her clients and especially for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia makes the Angel Team very special. Many providers say they “specialize” in Alzheimer’s care which sounds great, but when Kim comes into your home to assist the family with training and the care plan there is no comparison. Families continually praise her for her commitment and compassion. Thank you again for making the Angel Team so special.

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