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Breath Deep Seattle and Obliteride events have success in raising funds for cancer research. 100% of Obliteride's profits go to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center while Breath Deep Seattle raises money for the LUNGevity Foundation, a grant making entity supporting lung cancer research and education. "Look, everyone has been affected by cancer in some way shape or form," concludes the narrator of a video advertising Obliteride. Teams hopped on bicycles or took a stand with their own two feet  joining others the weekend of August 8 and 9 to raise money and awareness for needed cancer research. It's too late to participate but it's not to late to donate.
B. Bartja Wachtel spoke to a packed crowd of caregivers at DSHS's Giving Care, Taking Care conference. They were there to hear about what some call techniques, skills, or methods  for easing on-the-job stress, but Bartja calls them, "ways of being in the moments of suffering." Wachtel, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Mental Health Professional, and Child Mental Health Specialist, and Mindful Self-Compassion Trained Teacher led the group through sometimes moving and deeply effective meditations that can be practiced in moments of difficult feelings or in-the-moment caregiving stress. Mindfulness Self-Compassion (MSC) practices can be brief or more involved.  Do it in 3 minutes or devote your lunch break. To begin, simply settle into a comfortable position. You may have time to do a 2 minute body scan (a check in on you and where you are in the moment) or perhaps you can manage only a few deep slow breaths into the present moment. Put your hand over your heart to bring affection into your awareness if you like then continue. On a difficult day, maybe you can find 7 minutes for a  Self-Compassionate Break?  If not, Dr. Kristin Neff, researcher, co-developer of  MSC curriculum and narrator of the Self-Compassionate Break audio,  says, this can be used in the heat of the moment. It's a portable, powerful and flexible tool for managing the stress of difficult emotions.

Redmond's popular summer festival, Derby Days, July 10 and 11, features parades, a carnival, music and an exciting 5K run supporting Pancreatic Cancer Research. Have fun and make a difference this weekend! Derby Days expanded over its 75 year history to include the 5K Derby Dash....

all present adMost artists know that a performance is authentic when they can stay in the moment.  Athletes too understand that power when they talk about "staying within oneself."  It's that quality of presence in the moment that gives Elena Louise Richmond's song circle for Early Stage Memory Loss, All Present, its name and moving impact. "All Present is just that. It’s just for now," writes Richmond in her blog, All Present Almost Past. "It’s not for a performance later; it’s not to record and listen to. It’s just for that hour and a half when we sing and we can’t stop smiling at each other." [caption id="attachment_2283" align="alignright" width="250"]all present, circle Members of the Song Circle[/caption] All Present  meets 8 weeks a quarter at Greenwood Senior Center under the auspices of OK Chorale director Elena Louise Richmond and her assistant/copy editor, Susan, Susan's husband, Mike, and "the other Susan!"
[caption id="attachment_2276" align="alignleft" width="132"]carin Carin Mack[/caption] You probably think of Seattle as a national leader in tech, bio tech, aviation, and, of course the standardized cup of coffee...but did you know Seattle leads the nation in comprehensive, innovative dementia programming? Pockets of programming have been available in the city since the late 90's but recent expansions in services complement one another and form an outstanding network of support for all stages of memory loss. Seattle social worker Carin Mack stewards and develops Early Stage Memory Loss (ESML) programs for people in the early to mid stages of dementia.  I spoke with Mack about her ESML programs and Seattle's progressive dementia services. "It takes money, time and structure to build programming," Carin Mack explained. Leveraging her experience and vision gleaned from nearly 40 years of social work  Mack gradually built the structure for her nationally unparalled hub of ESML services at Greenwood Senior Center with steadfast support from Phinney Neighborhood Association. At the core are: the Gathering Place, a wholistically designed weekly program of cognitive and cultural enrichment components with exercise, Piano and Music Making sessions, support groups for ESML care partners and spouses, the professionally facilitated song circle "All Present," and a book group at the local library. While medicine searches for solutions to memory loss, programs such as these are crucial in keeping minds engaged, improving self esteem, and lifting awareness in the community. "Alzheimer's is nothing to fear. I am a loving person; I am a happy person. I have fun, friends, and family, and that gives me joy," group pic gatheringCeCe, a Gathering Place attendee writes in an awareness handout created by members of the program.
nh2Northaven Senior Living, located in the Northgate neighborhood across from the Post Office, is a friendly place. The all glass entrance to Northaven Independent Living opens into a modest and comfortable common space. Northaven Assisted Living is tucked safely behind the main building. It too opens into a comfortable common space where I found two ladies dozing and one anxious to engage me as I waited to talk with Assisted Living Director, Mary Quarterman, and Foundation Director, Bill Dorn. I enjoyed sitting in the safe, unpretentious and welcoming atmosphere.  I never imagined it was on the front lines of Seattle's "quiet crisis."
MemoryCare_emailbanner_w-taplogo The MemoryCare Plays, three award winning one act plays focusing on the challenges of dementia, come to Seattle for the first time in May. The plays, "Steering Into the Skid," "In the Garden," and "Riding The Waves," are directed by Taproot Theatre's Artistic Director, Scott Nolte and will run two nights, May 8 and 9. All proceeds support arts programs serving individuals with memory loss and their caregivers. Arts and music are unique in their ability to promote healing, connection and purpose through all stages of dementia.
[caption id="attachment_2129" align="alignleft" width="179"]Kathleen Kathleen[/caption] Behind every successful business is a hard working Administrative Professional. Thank you Kathleen D'Amelio for your 5 years of support at With A Little Help. With your kind, wise, efficient, and mellow style you make all you do look easy.  Your essential behind the scenes contributions ensure that With A Little Help runs smoothly and eases the jobs of staff members. Whether you're supporting payroll, scheduling, or helping to organize and produce community events, Kathleen, you always keep in mind what's important to your co-workers. Whether you're ordering supplies, keeping our work on track, or assisting with caregiver trainings you offer constructive feedback and give compliments where deserved. When you come early because it's needed or stay late out of necessity you work hard to reach our goals.
Something amazing happened this year....Seattle became the first city in the nation to launch dementia friendly programming through Parks and Recreation.  Marigrace Becker, who advocated for and conceptualized the program, explained to The Seattle Channel, "Seattle itself is very progressive when it comes to thinking about dementia. I just figured...it must be everywhere throughout the nation...I'm hoping to inspire other Parks and Recreation departments." Based on the early success of dementia friendly recreation programming other cities are sure to be impressed.