SOM: Lynda Everman and Dr. Don Wendorf, editors, “Dementia-Friendly Worship: A Multifaith Handbook for Chaplains, Clergy, and Faith Communities”
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The guests on this week’s Seekers of Meaning Podcast are Lynda Everman and Dr. Don Wendorf, senior editors of the Dementia-Friendly Worship: A Multifaith Handbook for Chaplains, Clergy, and Faith Communities.
About the Guests
Lynda Everman has spent most of her adult life as a caregiver: for her mom who was paralyzed by a stroke, her dad with vascular dementia, and her husband with Alzheimer’s Disease. These experiences inspired her advocacy for increased Alzheimer’s funding for care and a cure.
She and fellow advocate Kathy Siggins conducted a multi-year national campaign for a semipostal (awareness and fundraising) stamp for Alzheimer’s research. As a result of their efforts, the first ever Alzheimer’s Disease Research Semipostal Stamp was released by the US Postal Service in November 2017. As of February 2019, this stamp has raised over $840,000 for NIH funded research.
Lynda is a founding member of three national networks under the umbrella of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and served as founder and convener of Clergy Against Alzheimer’s. She is an editor and contributor to Seasons of Caring: Meditations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers. She and her husband, Dr. Don Wendorf, have served as editors for The Leader’s Guide for Seasons of Caring and Treasure for Alzheimer’s, both written by Dr. Richard Morgan. They served as Senior Editors for Dementia-friendly Worship: A Multi-faith Handbook for Chaplains, Clergy and Faith Communities and co-authored Stolen Memories: An Alzheimer’s Stole Ministry and Tallit Initiative (Wipf and Stock Publishers, Fall 2019). Lynda is on the Board of Beating Alzheimer’s By Embracing Science (B.A.B.E.S.) and has been recognized by Maria Shriver as a Woman of Influence in the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and included on her “Big Wall of Empowerment.”
Lynda is a dedicated and outspoken advocate for those living with Alzheimer’s and their care partners and, in September 2018, was honored with the inaugural UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Advocate of the Year Award.
Don Wendorf, Psy.D. is a retired psychologist and marriage & family therapist, who practiced over 40 years, specializing in marriage therapy. He retired in 2013 to be the full-time caregiver for his increasingly stroke-disabled wife, Susan, after taking care of her while working for 15 years. She passed away in March 2014. He also helped take care of his mother-in-law (cancer), father (Parkinson’s) and mother (Alzheimer’s). Don currently serves on the Board of Cognitive Dynamics Foundation.
Don has been a professional musician since his high school days, playing in a variety of jazz and bluegrass bands as well as writing songs. He combined all these interests and experiences in two books, one on marriage (Love Lyrics: a Musical Marital Manual) and one on the emotional struggles in caregiving (Caregiver Carols: a Musical, Emotional Memoir), both written primarily in song lyrics to be more accessible and memorable and to ease the pain a bit.
Don and his wife, Lynda, met when he contributed to her book, Seasons of Caring: Meditations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers, and together they have edited several additional books for caregivers. They are advocates for increased funding for research on Alzheimer’s and related dementias and regularly speak to conferences, churches and advocacy groups on topics relating to dementia and caregiving.