Honoring A Hero’s Journey

Honoring you as an independent person and offering tools to help the quality of your life with Alzheimer’s — that is the goal of the MindPartner™ program.

In our view, an individual with Alzheimer’s is on their own version of Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey.” It is a journey from the familiar, benign shores of everyday Earth-reality to another planet with many challenging stops along the way. In Richard Fenker’s earlier book on Alzheimer’s, “The Long Moment, Giving A Voice to the Alzheimer’s Mind: A Caregivers Guide” he named this planet, “Altzair.” What makes the Alzheimer’s journey so difficult and filled with uncertainty is that many of your skills which produce competence and success on Earth will no longer matter. This is why the support of friendly caregivers who understand this and can ‘come to you’ matters a great deal.

Your path on the journey is one that goes from a shared, consensually validated world of words and ideas and actions through a forest of love and emotion, ending finally on an island defined by spirit. Inside your own consciousness, even in your worst moments, you will still be you. What makes the journey so difficult and the reason why we call it a “hero’s” journey is that this core part of you, the hero, will often be disguised and inaccessible to others without special tools to help you communicate.

Our mission in the Gemini MindPartner™ Program is to provide the special knowledge and tools to help bring you real companions on your journey from the beginning to the end. Deep in your mind you will always be you, the person your friends remember. Honoring this part of you, honoring you as an individual, respecting your personhood — that is goal of our educational materials and our technology.

The basic approach here to accomplish this goal depends on your caregivers taking two key steps. The first is to understand the guidelines for making person-centered care successful. The core here is to always respect your integrity as an independent adult. Second, as family, caregivers and Alzheimer’s professionals we bring our world to you — and do not test or challenge or correct, expecting you to continue to function as you did historically in Earth reality. Whenever we do this you will know. You will know we are present, not to evaluate your behavior in Earth terms but to join you, wherever you may be, on your journey to Altzair.

Our mission is to love you, join you and support you on your hero’s journey. At Gemini this is not a philosophical statement but a practical one. Our goal, with the help of your caregivers, is to add ten thousand, meaningful, long moments to your life.