Latest News

Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN Advocates Via Podcasts and Interviews

Cognitive Dynamics Founder and President, neurologist Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN advocates for persons living with dementia and care partners via a number of podcasts and online interviews, which may be accessed at the following links. These presentations cover topics such as the expressive arts in dementia care, the role of spirituality and faith in dementia care, reminiscence and life story, care partner wellness, the building of empathy in healthcare providers, virtual reality, helping persons with dementia to live well, etc.

Being Patient: The Transformative Power of Art in Dementia Care

Dementia Alliance International: Learnings from Patients

N2 Creative Aging with Angel Duncan

Kentuck Museum: Memory, Forgetting, and Art

The Caregivers, with Lon Kieffer

Dementia Action Alliance: This Dementia Life

Alz Authors: Untangling the Expressive Arts for Dementia Care

Life on Repeat: Pillars of Personhood

Professional Insights

Together in This: The Importance of Dementia-Compassionate Culture

Blog Talk Radion: Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Long Live The Brains: Who Knew He Was An Artist?

Loving Through Dementia: Dementia Conversations

 

 

 

 

 

Cognitive Dynamics Board Members Appear on Podcasts and Interviews

Members of the Cognitive Dynamics Board of Directors have appeared as featured guests on podcasts and online interviews related to Alzheimer’s, dementia, aging, care giving, expressive arts, person-centered care, eldercare, advocacy, research, spirituality in dementia care, and other topics.

Executive Arts Director Angel C. Duncan, MA, MFT-ATR has appeared on podcasts that may be accessed at this link:

N2CreativeAging

Board Members Lynda Everman and Don Wendorf, PsyD have appeared on podcasts that may be accessed at these links:

Living Fully and Meaningfully

Person-centered Care form UC Irvine

Bringing Spirituality into a Dementia Friendly World

The Power of the Expressive Arts for Persons Living With Dementia

From Advocating for Your Loved One to Advocating for All

 

Bringing Art to Life-Chicago Opens with New Innovations

Bringing Art to Life-Chicago (BATL-C), Cognitive Dynamics Foundation’s intergenerational expressive arts program for persons living with dementia and student partners, re-opened in July for the first time since the pandemic began. Again partnering with Chicago Methodist Senior Services, the program pairs residents who are living with dementia with student volunteers; this semester, we are working with students from Loyola University.

During the didactic portion of the class, students learn the neuroscience of Alzheimer’s and other dementias from Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, BATL-C lead faculty and Rush University neurologist, and BATL-C founder, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN lectures about person-centered care, memory and the use of the expressive arts in dementia care.  Students experience virtual reality modules from Embodied Labs, which help to create empathic understanding for the lived experience of dementia and caregiving.

A new innovation this semester is a virtual museum experience in partnership with the Yale University Art Gallery, facilitated by their museum staff, with art directives to follow facilitated by art therapist, Angel C. Duncan, MA, MFT-ATR, Executive Arts Director of Cognitive Dynamics Foundation, who also lectures to the students about art therapy.

Students and their dementia partners will spend time in a sensory garden at CMSS, created in our last iteration of BATL-C, and some of the herbs will find their way into a meal for the program’s final celebratory dinner at the end of the semester.

BATL-C is made possible in part by a grant from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Research shows the program increases empathy in student participants and improves attitudes toward older adults and persons living with dementia. 

 

Living with Dementia: Help and Hope

On August 22, 2020, First Presbyterian Church, along with 10 other interdenominational, interracial congregations in the Tuscaloosa, AL area, offered a virtual dementia conference called Living with Dementia: Help and Hope.  The conference featured pre-recorded presentations by well-known experts, including Deborah Jackson, founder of Healed3D Ministries, and Brian LeBlanc, who is living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  There were two panels, one of caregivers and one of dementia support organizations.

All the content of the conference, including a resource page, is featured for public access at the following link:

https://www.fpctusc.org/members/dementia-caregiver-conference/

New Podcast Features the Story of Lester Potts

Cognitive Dynamics is pleased to be a partner organization for TightKnit, a content series about care giving and care partnerships sponsored and created by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

TightKnit features 2 short documentaries and 8 podcasts.  One of the podcasts, The Unseen Hand, features the story of Lester Potts as told by his son, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN, founder and President of Cognitive Dynamics Foundation.

The podcast may be found at the following link:

https://ralph-c-wilson-jr-foundation.simplecast.com/episodes/the-unseen-hand

New Video Features the Story and Art of Lester Potts

This Is Alabama, in collaboration with Bryant Bank has released a video featuring the art and story of Lester E. Potts, Jr. as part of the Power of Caring video series, which highlights “people and organizations throughout the state of Alabama that epitomize the Power of Caring (from the Bryant Bank website).

The video may be accessed and shared via the following link:

https://www.thisisalabama.org/2020/07/30/this-alzheimers-patient-inspired-hundreds-with-his-stunning-art/

 

New Inspirational Video Resources from Cognitive Dynamics

Cognitive Dynamics would like to share links to 4 newly edited and released videos that we feel will be sources of education, comfort and inspiration for you and those in your circles, especially care givers/care partners, and those who work in dementia care. These videos highlight the powerful stories and advocacy of three individuals you know well, Lynda EvermanDr. Don Wendorf, and Dr. Richard Morgan

Below are public, shareable links to the videos, which appear on our foundation’s YouTube channel, CognitiveDynamics1, along with brief descriptions of the content of the videos. 

1) Dr. Richard Morgan: Still Ministering to Elders, Persons Living with Dementia, and Care Givers 

https://youtu.be/OVtZjX2NvrE

In October of 2016, Cognitive Dynamics Foundation President, neurologist Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN traveled to North Huntingdon, PA with fellow dementia advocates Lynda Everman and Dr. Don Wendorf to interview retired Presbyterian pastor, author and Clergy and Faith United Against Alzheimer’s Coalitions co-convener, Dr. Richard Morgan about his lifelong ministry to elders, persons living with dementia and caregivers. In this interview, rich in faith, as well as stories and wisdom gained over the decades, Dr. Morgan discusses his lifetime of caring for, and taking up the cause of the marginalized, and speaks of his many books, including No Act of Love is Ever Wasted: The Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia. In his late eighties in this interview, Dr. Morgan displays the passion and fiery love that still lights his ministry, which his friends and loved ones know so well.

2) Dr. Richard Morgan: Treasure for Alzheimer’s 

https://youtu.be/r-XyEq66d1o

In this shorter clip taken from the full interview above, Dr. Morgan speaks about his experiences using the art of Lester E. Potts, Jr., a rural Alabama saw miller who discovered hidden artistic talent in the throes of Alzheimer’s, to engage persons living with late-stage dementia whom he visited in long-term care facilities. Dr. Morgan shares how connections and relationships were forged which formerly did not exist, and gives hope to caregivers and others who seek to know the identities still deeply present inside each of us despite the loss of cognition. The book, Treasure for Alzheimer’s is available amazon. 

3) Reflections on Care Giving: An Interview with Dr. Don Wendorf

 https://youtu.be/ehJHQqf30wo

On March 27, 2015, Cognitive Dynamics Foundation President, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN interviewed Don Wendorf, Psy. D, retired psychologist, author and Alzheimer’s/dementia advocate about his care giving experience for his late wife, Susan. Don discusses how to remain focused on the personhood of the loved one living with dementia, and see their behavior from their perspective. He emphasizes the importance of empathy in caregiving to nurture the relationship and help with the care partner’s own emotional struggles. The interview, vulnerable, honest and authentic, is rich in insights which can aid other care givers on their journeys.

4) Reflections on Care Giving and Advocacy: An Interview with Lynda Everman 

https://youtu.be/XulxJ61RS-o

On March 27, 2015, Cognitive Dynamics Foundation President, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN interviewed Lynda Everman, advocate, author and co-convener of several national dementia advocacy networks (ActivistsAgainstAlzheimer’s, WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, Clergy and Faith United Against Alzheimer’s) because, in her words, “Love requires action.”  In this interview, Lynda talks about care giving for her late father and late husband, and how she channeled these experiences into effective advocacy. Lynda’s personal stories and reflections speak to the importance of the ministry of presence and convey her central message: “These are still  the people you love. They are valuable. Continue to love them and be present with them.”

We are grateful to videographer and editor, Brian Covert, of Covert Productions, for producing these videos. 

Urban Sensory Garden Innovation in Bringing Art to Life Chicago

Bringing Art to Life – Chicago, a program of art therapy, STEM education, multi-cultural intergenerational relationships, virtual reality immersion, life story appreciation and person-centered care started in 2016, has added a collaborative innovation: an urban sensory garden on the campus of Wesley Place memory care facility at Chicago Methodist Senior Services. 

Bringing Art to Life  – Chicago was made possible, in part, through a grant from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Read about the exciting new program here:

Urban Sensory Garden Finds its Roots at CMSS

Bringing Art to Life Chicago Innovations

Bringing Art to Life – Chicago, a service – learning program for high school students in the Chicago, IL area, engages students and persons living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia in art and other expressive arts therapies, reminiscence and life story-sharing. Students form multicultural, intergenerational relationships with their dementia partners, and participate in comprehensive educational sessions about dementia, including appropriate methods of interacting with persons living with dementia, etc.

Bringing Art to Life – Chicago is a collaboration between Cognitive Dynamics Foundation and Chicago Methodist Senior Services, and has received support from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and High Socks for Hope Foundation. Medical students from Rush University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois serve as facilitators of the program. Through the technology of Embodied Labs, students have virtual reality experiences living with dementia as part of their training.

During this summer’s session of Bringing Art to Life – Chicago, our high school student participants and their partners living with dementia are exploring the wonders of nature together as they plant and enjoy a sensory garden at Chicago Methodist Senior Services. The sensory garden complements the experience they are having together in art therapy, and the developing relationships help to combat stigma and build empathy.

The photos below were taken on 7-27-2019 at the sensory garden.

To learn more about Bringing Art to Life, check this link: https://www.cognitivedynamics.org/bringing-art-to-life/

Cognitive Dynamics Releases Documentary Short, “Do You Know Me Now?”

Cognitive Dynamics is pleased to offer our award-winning 27:30 minute documentary short, Do You Know Me Now?, for free access on our Youtube Channel, CognitiveDynamics1, at the link below.

Do You Know Me Now? shows ways in which care partners can connect in the moment and have a mutually fulfilling relationship – one which discovers the person beneath the disease and builds upon remaining abilities and personality traits. Life is about relationships, and these relationships need not be lost due to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Do You Know Me Now? explores relationships and personhood, taking a novel look at what it means to be a person with dementia who is still very much alive and possessing those traits upon which relationships may be built, even late into the disease. The project highlights stories of people living with dementia and their loved ones who have found ways to connect — who have discovered joy, beauty and self-expression despite the losses.

Do You Know Me Now? reminds us that while cognitive ability diminishes, deep personhood lives on.

The film, directed and co-produced by Canadian film maker, Judith Murray, and edited and co-produced by American film maker, Brian Covert, features Ed and Naomi Feil (Founder of Validation Therapy), Rita and James Houston (Founder of Regent College), Joan and Cathie Borrie (Author of The Long Hello), and Lester and Ethelda Potts (Parents of Cognitive Dynamics Founder, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN).