On April 20, Wesley began hosting a 4-part dementia workshop led by Marysusan Iotte, Wesley at Tehaleh Campus Administrator.
Marysusan is a Washington State certified trainer for dementia, mental health and traumatic brain injury. She earned her certification under world-renowned dementia expert, Teepa Snow.
With The Arbor memory care apartments open at Wesley at Tehaleh, Marysusan provides dementia training for caregivers at Wesley communities.
In gearing up for this 4-part series of dementia webinars, Marysusan answered a few questions to help people get to know her better and understand the value of this free online dementia series.
Wesley: What made you take such an interest in dementia education?
MI: Even though I had worked with people with dementia, it wasn’t until it happened in my family that it really became a calling. It’s one of those things that is out of our control, but knowledge about dementia-related illness can really go a long way. This is when I decided to become a trainer so that I could help other families in their journey.
Wesley: Why should people who aren’t dealing directly with dementia come to this workshop?
MI: Again, knowledge is power. Dementia is scary for people. Even when families have a loved one who is going through it, most people don’t research dementia-related illnesses like they do other health issues. It’s just a very difficult and scary thing to approach.
People who are fortunate enough to have not had someone close to them experience dementia may still be worried about whether they will get dementia. For example, people may often mistake normal aging for dementia, and that’s one of the first things we’ll be talking about.
Wesley: What’s something you hear a lot from people who have participated in your workshops? What’s something you’ve been surprised to hear?
MI: I often hear people say “I had no idea” or “I don’t feel alone any more.” These workshops help people start to understand dementia and therefore how to interact more meaningfully with their loved ones who are going through it. They are able to join the journey with their loved ones instead of just watching from the sidelines.
Wesley: The Takeaway?
MI: I hope people attend this workshop. Every person’s journey is unique, but you don’t have to go it alone!
Watch our 4-part series: “Untangling Memory Loss”
Part 1 – Normal vs. Not Normal Memory Loss
Part 2 – Different Types of Dementia
Part 3 – What’s Next?