A DEMENTIA FAMILY CONFERENCE offering help, hope, inspiration and dementia education for those who live with dementia and those who love them through it.

Professional Care Partners are welcome, as well.

Reverend Hal Cole

Dementia: A Journey With Grief

Hal B. Cole is the fulltime chaplain and Director of Spiritual Care for the Sterling Estates Communities in Marietta, Georgia.

Among his many responsibilities, Hal facilitates support groups for individuals who are loving a spouse through dementia and support groups for adult children who have a parent with dementia. He regularly counsels residents and their families who are struggling with grief related issues.

Hal has spoken at conferences and workshops throughout north Georgia on the topics of grief and dementia.

Prior to his role as Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Care at Sterling Estates, Hal was a hospice chaplain for 14 years.

Hal has a B.A. degree from Mercer University in Atlanta, a M. A. in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University, and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Emory University.

He and his wife Kay live in Acworth, Georgia. He has four children and four grandchildren.

Lynda Everman & Don Wendorf, Psy.D.

The Power of Empathy & Person-Centered Care

Lynda Everman's experiences, gained while caring for her mom (stroke), her dad (vascular dementia), and her husband (Alzheimer’s) have resulted in her untiring advocacy for increased Alzheimer's funding for better, more compassionate care and a cure. She and fellow advocate Kathy Siggins were responsible for the 2017 issuance of the U.S.P.S. Alzheimer's Disease Research Semipostal Stamp which, to date, has raised $1.3 million for NIH funded research.

Lynda is a founding member of three national networks under the umbrella of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, including WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s and FaithUnitedAgainstAlzheimer’s. In 2018 she received the inaugural UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Advocate of the Year Award.

Don Wendorf, Psy.D., Lynda’s husband, is a retired psychologist and marriage & family therapist. Like Lynda, his caregiving experiences for his wife, Susan (strokes, vascular dementia), mother-in-law (cancer), father (Parkinson’s), and mother (Alzheimer’s) have led to a life of dementia advocacy. Don is an author and professional musician. His books include: Love Lyrics: a Musical Marital Manual) and Caregiver Carols: a Musical, Emotional Memoir. He currently serves on the Board of Cognitive Dynamics Foundation.

Lynda and Don were Senior Editors of Dementia-friendly Worship: A Multi-faith Handbook for Chaplains, Clergy and Faith Communities. They co-authored Stolen Memories: An Alzheimer’s Stole Ministry and Tallit Initiative that features Lynda’s handmade stoles and tallitot for clergy members to use in ministering with and advocating for families facing dementia. Don and Lynda met when he contributed to a book she co-edited, Seasons of Caring: Meditations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers. They are champions for all families facing Alzheimer’s and related dementias and regularly speak to conferences, churches, classes, and advocacy groups on topics relating to dementia and caregiving.

Ellen Potts

The Dementia-Supportive Home

A native of Huntsville, AL, Ellen Woodward Potts earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Birmingham - Southern College, and Master of Business Administration from the University of South Alabama.

Beginning in about 1970, her maternal grandfather began showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, although he wasn’t diagnosed for several more years. This began her family’s caregiving journey which later included a total of five family members for whom her immediate family cared and who had either Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia. She is married to neurologist Dr. Daniel Potts, whose family cared for three members who had Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia. After Daniel’s father died in 2007, the couple realized their caregiving experience over nearly 40 years and 8 family members could be used to help others struggling to care for loved ones with various kinds of dementia, and in 2011 they wrote A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver.

For her “day job,” Ellen serves as executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church, she is both an ordained elder and deacon, and sings in choir.

Ellen and Daniel have been married for 33 years. They have two daughters — Julie (an attorney in Birmingham AL), and Maria (a psychology Ph.D. student at West Virginia University). Rounding out the family is their 16-year-old miniature dachshund, Heidi.

Dr. Daniel Potts

Bringing Art to Life: Lessons Learned from Persons Living With Dementia

Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN is a neurologist, author, educator and champion of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and their care partners. Selected by the American Academy of Neurology as the 2008 Donald M. Palatucci Advocate of the Year, he also has been designated an Architect of Change by Maria Shriver. In 2016, he was chosen by the University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association as a recipient of the Martha Myers Role Model Award, which honors physician alumni whose lives epitomize the ideal of service to their communities. Along with his wife, Ellen W. Potts, MBA, he authored A Pocket Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver, which is recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Academy of Neurology and Maria Shriver. Inspired by his father’s transformation from saw miller to watercolor artist in the throes of dementia through person-centered care and the expressive arts, Dr. Potts seeks to make these therapies more widely available through his foundation, Cognitive Dynamics. Additionally, he is passionate about promoting self-preservation and dignity for all persons with cognitive impairment. He practices neurology at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

In this presentation, neurologist Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN discusses the Bringing Art to Life program developed by Cognitive Dynamics Foundation in memory of his father, Lester. In the presentation, Potts will illustrate, through art and stories, essential life lessons learned from persons living with dementia.

Thank You

Thank you all for being a part of our conference. We look forward to seeing you next time.

We will end this conference, as we often do…with a gift from our Loving Through Dementia support groups.

Dedicated to all who live with dementia and all who love them through it.