He came. We saw. And just as quick as gasoline and a match lit him up as a 9-year-old in St. Louis decades ago, keynote speaker John O’Leary had the 2017 “Refresh Your Soul” Alzheimer’s and dementia conference in the palm of his hand, brandishing humor, candor, tears, joy, and an amazingly inspirational life story at the Cintas Center.
“We all have tough days – frequently – that’s a human truth,” said O’Leary. “So whether you speak on motivation and inspiration, or whether you’re bedridden, or a caregiver to someone suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, we have to ask ourselves ‘Why am I so lucky to be here?”
“What we realize is, yes, life is a struggle, but the best times are ahead of us. And, ultimately, it is up to us individually to make things better. And they will get better,” O’Leary told a crowd teeming more than 530 health professionals and care partners. The Refresh Your Soul Conference benefits Parish Health Ministry, the ecumenical outreach of Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). We connect over 70 churches and community organizations throughout the Tri-State with ERS and help them start or enhance a Faith Community Nurse/Health Ministry that is about health promotion, disease prevention, responding to crisis and emphasizing a wholistic approach to healthcare.
Mr. O’Leary (www.johnolearyinspires.com) appeared along with esteemed professional speakers Loretta Anne Woodward Veney and Teepa Snow at this year’s event. With the support of the Title Sponsor, TriHealth, Refresh Your Soul 2017 expanded into a two-day event for the first time, coordinated with the Xavier Dementia Care Summit organized by Xavier University.
“Our goal every year with Refresh Your Soul is to provide an engaging, educational, enlightening event for senior caregivers, professionals in our industry, and anybody dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia in their lives,” said Laura Lamb, CEO of ERS. “John, Loretta and Teepa were amazing. Along with everybody else at ERS and Parish Health Ministry, we thank them for their indomitable spirit.”