DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Edward Voris, Nader Robert Shabahangi, Patrick Fox


 Thursday, June 10, 2010, 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, 12 pm Central, 1 pm EST,  6 pm Zurich, 7 pm Instanbul

Attitudinal Expansion and Openness to the Diversity that Surrounds Us:  Lessons from Alzheimer's Disease


With elderly people, we are confronted with the mysterious connection between body and soul again and again. We so often experience deep moments of closeness with people who are supposedly not "here" anymore, who have problems with the simplest tasks of daily living. We invite the exploration of new ways of understanding the people for whom we care and how we might prepare for our own forgetfulness.


Exercise: The Benefits of Being Forgetful


 Imagine a part of yourself that would benefit from being forgetful. Think about how you would respond to these questions:


  1. What part would that be?
  2. How would that part benefit from forgetting?
  3. What would forgetting allow you to remember?

The search for the deeper meanings of forgetfulness can begin with asking the following two basic existential questions:


  1. How do we understand what happens to those with symptoms of forgetfulness?
  2. How do we understand what happens to those who care for them? 

Compare and contrast the possible answers to these two questions by first answering them with responses that you would have used prior to today's discussion, and contrast them with responses that may result from attitudinal expansions of the types discussed today.


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.


Conversations with Ed:  Waiting for Forgetfulness: 

Why Are We So Afraid of Alzheimer's Disease? (click on cover for more...)


Book Review on Conversations with Ed

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.



Edward Voris earned a Bachelor degree in  Business Administration and a Bachelor of Divinity. He has worked in the construction industry, with a principal interest in affordable housing; served as organizing editor of "A Cry for Justice," a study of the economic justice statements of the major religious bodies; and served as a community development consultant to non-profits, specialzing in housing and finance.  He was recently diagnosed with dementia.


Dr. Nader Robert Shabahangi is a licensed psychotherapist, businessman, author,  publisher, and advocate for marginalized groups of society.  He has led anticipatory bereavements groups for Coming  Home Hospice; founded the Pacific Institute to train psychotherapists in a multicultural, humanistic approach to counseling  and to provide affordable therapy services to the many diverse groups in San Francisco; and developed an innovative Gerontological Wellness Program to provide emotional and mental health care services for the elderly. In 1995, he started AgeSong to develop and operate assisted living communities. www.agesong.com and www.pacificinstitute.org.


Dr. Patrick J. Fox is a professor of Medical Sociology and Health Policy, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Co-Director, Institute for Health & Aging, at the Univeristy of California, San Francisco. He is recipient of the UCSF School of Nursing's Helen Nah Award for outstanding research contirbutions and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.  Dr. Fox's interests include the sociology of aging, long-term care, health services research, health policy, Alzheimer's disease, economic costs of illness, and health promotion. www.ucsf.edu and sbs.ucsf.edu/iha/.


Sharon Mercer is a writer and oral historian who has worked with foundations, municipalities, schools, universities and corporations across North America.  She is the founder and president of Callisto, a company that specilizes in oral ad written histories. www.callistoltd.com.



DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.


Opening Instructions for Listeners

Before we begin, here are a few instructions for listeners:

  • If you have a question, press 5* on your phone.
  • Directly after the interview, be sure to fill out the evaluation linked to your call-in instructions, especially if you want to earn CEUs. 
  • Please register at least 24 - 48 hours before the interview so we have time to send out the call-in information.
  • If you'd like to listen to more of these tele-interviews, and your organization is not currently a subscriber, contact me with someone I can talk with about subscribing your organization so you can listen for free (except for the cost of your distance provider). Email info@ careerwell.org or call 415.312.4294.



 This is Dr. Sally Gelardin with Careerwell Tele-Interviews. I am pleased to welcome Edward Voris, Nader Robert Shabahangi, and Patrick Fox. Ed has a bachelor of divinity and worked in the construction industry with a focus on affordable housing and was recently diagnosed with dementia.  Nader founded the Pacific Institute, which trains psychotherapists in a multicultural, humanistic approach to counseling.  He developed a Gerontological Wellness Program and operates AgeSong, the most advanced assisted living community that I have come across.  I visited the facility in Emeryville, CA.  It has waterfalls and a body/mind/spirit/social consciousness that is groundbreaking in this industry. Patrick Fox is a professor of Medical Sociaology and Health Policy and Co-Director, Institute for Health & Aging, at the University of California, San Francisco.  These three aging experts recently wrote a book, Conversations with Ed, about our fear of Alzheimer's Disease and I liked it so much that I wrote a book review that is posted on their Careerwell Web Page. Welcome Ed, Nader, and Patrick. 


First, I have a question for listeners, based on the exercise posted on the speakers' Careerwell page:  "What benefit do you see from being forgetful?

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Interview Questions


  1. What benefit do you see from being forgetful? (ask participants)
  2. What does forgetting allow us to remember? (ask speakers)
  3. Who we think we are not just related to our role and our memory? What role does hopefulness have? (ask Ed)
  4. How did you three meet and how did you come about to write the book, Conversations with Ed? (Nader, Ed,  Patrick)
  5. You seem to be intent on reversing the way people with memory challenges are viewed. What's the problem with the way people with memory challenges are viewed? (Nader, Ed, Patrick)
  6. How do see this changing?  What can be done on an individual or institutional level? (Nader, Patrick)
  7. What are you doing now and where do you see yourself going in the future with this topic? (Nader, research, happiness scale) (Patrick, down syndrome, constructing a world)?
  8. What can we learn from people with Alzheimer's (ask participants for examples)?
  9. Summary statements



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We certainly learned a lot about memory during this interview.  Listeners, please write down a few major points that stuck in your mind on your evaluation.


Would you like to know what I do about being forgetful?  I write everything down, including my interview questions, intro, and closing.  And then I improvise during the interview as more questions come up. I like communicating through distance technology so I can take notes as I listen to the speakers.


Upcoming June Tele-Interviews



  • June 24, 2010,  Phil Jarvis, co-founder of the National Life/Work Center, and author of computerized career systems, has a global outlook on career development. He co-authored the Blueprint for Life/Work Designs, was founding national coordinator of the Canada Career Information Partnership, was founding president of Canada WorkinfoNet, and is co-creator and international partnership coordinator for The Real Game Series. He will discuss preventing The Perfect Talent Storm, by preparing young people for success in work and life, and up-skilling adults.
DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.