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Jonathan Perlman, founder of Tradition Senior Living in Houston & Dallas, TX.

“The support from Houston has been incredible. We have over 570 volunteers who serve in a variety of ways.”

Tracey Brown

Tracey Brown is suited to running Amazing Place in ways that are very close to home. “My grandmother had dementia, and we watched my grandfather die of a heart attack, probably from the stress of caring for her.” And yet, even though Tracey had had a career in advertising and had been a volunteer leader in several non-profits, she still felt ill-equipped to work there with no health care training when she interviewed 15 years ago. Regarding her path to Amazing Place—a faith-based organization whose core service has been a Day Program for those with mild to moderate dementia—she says, “It must have been Providential.”

It must have been, for in her fourteen years as Executive Director, Tracey has taken the non-profit to truly amazing places. Under her leadership, the organization embarked on a successful $7 million campaign for the construction of its current, state-of-the-art, 13,700 square-foot building. She also led the expansion of programs to serve not only those suffering from dementia but also their caregiving families and the community. Last year, more than 5,000 people were served. Of her accomplishments, she says, “Only God could have given me the tools.”

What is the core purpose of Amazing Place? “We empower lives disrupted by dementia,” said Tracey. “Theirs is a very difficult journey. We help people understand that there is no reason to be stigmatized, no reason to—as in the old way—pull in, not tell, and hide.”  

Part of the empowerment process for caregivers and family members is understanding that for those with dementia, their emotions are still intact. “If you don’t treat them with dignity and respect, they will know!” said Tracey, who learned this from her predecessor, Margaret Bandy, during Tracey’s “first wonderful year” at Amazing Place.  

Tracey Brown is suited to running Amazing Place in ways that are very close to home. “My grandmother had dementia, and we watched my grandfather die of a heart attack, probably from the stress of caring for her.” And yet, even though Tracey had had a career in advertising and had been a volunteer leader in several non-profits, she still felt ill-equipped to work there with no health care training when she interviewed 15 years ago. Regarding her path to Amazing Place—a faith-based organization whose core service has been a Day Program for those with mild to moderate dementia—she says, “It must have been Providential.”

It must have been, for in her fourteen years as Executive Director, Tracey has taken the non-profit to truly amazing places. Under her leadership, the organization embarked on a successful $7 million campaign for the construction of its current, state-of-the-art, 13,700 square-foot building. She also led the expansion of programs to serve not only those suffering from dementia but also their caregiving families and the community. Last year, more than 5,000 people were served. Of her accomplishments, she says, “Only God could have given me the tools.”     

“The support from Houston has been incredible. We have over 570 volunteers who serve in a variety of ways.”

Tracey Brown

What is the core purpose of Amazing Place? “We empower lives disrupted by dementia,” said Tracey. “Theirs is a very difficult journey. We help people understand that there is no reason to be stigmatized, no reason to—as in the old way—pull in, not tell, and hide.”  

Part of the empowerment process for caregivers and family members is understanding that for those with dementia, their emotions are still intact. “If you don’t treat them with dignity and respect, they will know!” said Tracey, who learned this from her predecessor, Margaret Bandy, during Tracey’s “first wonderful year” at Amazing Place. 

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“We help people understand that there is no reason to be stigmatized, no reason to—as in the old way of responding—pull in, not tell, and hide.” 

 

Tracey Brown

 

So much of the empowerment the organization metes out comes from its extraordinary programs. “Before having to temporarily postpone the onsite Day Program and in-person Connections Programs at Amazing Place due to COVID-19, we were high touch, so we had to pivot quickly to continue to support our participants and caregivers.”  At this moment, thanks to their remarkable staff,  they are delivering 30 virtual programs for those with dementia per week, in addition to virtual caregiving classes, support groups, and brain health presentations. 

“It’s all original content. This week, a volunteer made a presentation about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright,” said Tracey. “We have exercise classes – seated Zumba, chair yoga. We provide Bible classes, cultural presentations, and people reminisce – it’s interactive – you can get called on! ‘Hey, Nancy!’” she laughs. “And it’s all through Zoom.”  

In addition to helping participants who have dementia, Amazing Place provides 10 initiatives for caregivers as part of its Connections Program, such as “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” “Stress-Busting,” and “Memory Training.” The organization’s impressive website is multi-layered with ways in which to empower those with dementia as well as their family members/caregivers.   

One story illustrates the process at Amazing Place. A successful employee at a major oil company in Houston was diagnosed with dementia. “This gentleman, who had been a former swimmer, became withdrawn and depressed,” said Tracey. “He and his wife found Amazing Place, and after two-and-a-half months of his spending three days a week here, his wife called to say, ‘He’s swimming again!’ He had new purpose, and he is vibrant.”

The faith element at Amazing Place is key. “Our board is made up of individuals from 15 churches in various Christian denominations that govern us,” said Tracey. “We pray before all staff and committee meetings, have Bible studies and celebrate holy days.  Faith infuses everything we do. We are supportive of one another in deep ways.”  

She adds that they serve and are respectful of people of all faiths and approach the work of Amazing Place as a faith journey. “We want all to feel the love and support that God inspires us to share.”  

Linda Faulkner Johnston—Tradition Senior Living

For more information, see www.amazingplacehouston.org

So much of the empowerment the organization metes out comes from its extraordinary programs. “Before having to temporarily postpone the onsite Day Program and in-person Connections Programs at Amazing Place due to COVID-19, we were high touch, so we had to pivot quickly to continue to support our participants and caregivers.”  At this moment, thanks to their remarkable staff,  they are delivering 30 virtual programs for those with dementia per week, in addition to virtual caregiving classes, support groups, and brain health presentations. 

“It’s all original content. This week, a volunteer made a presentation about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright,” said Tracey. “We have exercise classes – seated Zumba, chair yoga. We provide Bible classes, cultural presentations, and people reminisce – it’s interactive – you can get called on! ‘Hey, Nancy!’” she laughs. “And it’s all through Zoom.”  

In addition to helping participants who have dementia, Amazing Place provides 10 initiatives for caregivers as part of its Connections Program, such as “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” “Stress-Busting,” and “Memory Training.” The organization’s impressive website is multi-layered with ways in which to empower those with dementia as well as their family members/caregivers.

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One story illustrates the process at Amazing Place. A successful employee at a major oil company in Houston was diagnosed with dementia. “This gentleman, who had been a former swimmer, became withdrawn and depressed,” said Tracey. “He and his wife found Amazing Place, and after two-and-a-half months of his spending three days a week here, his wife called to say, ‘He’s swimming again!’ He had new purpose, and he is vibrant.”

The faith element at Amazing Place is key. “Our board is made up of individuals from 15 churches in various Christian denominations that govern us,” said Tracey. “We pray before all staff and committee meetings, have Bible studies and celebrate holy days.  Faith infuses everything we do. We are supportive of one another in deep ways.”  

She adds that they serve and are respectful of people of all faiths and approach the work of Amazing Place as a faith journey. “We want all to feel the love and support that God inspires us to share.”  

Linda Faulkner Johnston—Tradition Senior Living

For more information, see www.amazingplacehouston.org

“We help people understand that there is no reason to be stigmatized, no reason to—as in the old way of responding—pull in, not tell, and hide.” 

Tracey Brown

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