About Alumia

Alumia Institute brings current research and best practices together to create a brain-centered experience in a social setting for people living with the early stages of dementia.

This is the place for people facing dementia.

Why Alumia

The Alumia Institute was founded on the research-supported belief that those in the early stages of dementia can challenge the pace of cognitive decline. Every journey with dementia is different. Here, the journey is guided by the most current research and science and is shared by people who understand.

Our Team

Kathi Miracle

Executive Director

Kathi’s master’s degree in gerontology, with an emphasis in dementia and elder abuse, and double bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology set the stage for her 20-year career in working with seniors. She has a passion for caring for those who have been diagnosed with dementia, and is dedicated to supporting and educating them and their families.

She has performed many leadership roles from serving as an executive director for assisted living residences to operating a home care agency. Her career includes time as a general manager to case management for Medicaid clients and long-term care insurance planning.

She served on the board of directors for Connections for Independent Living, RVNA Home Health, Eldergarden Adult Day Care, and as Education Coordinator for the Colorado Assisted Living Association.

In July 2007, Kathi was published in the National Association of Insurance Women magazine on proper long-term care planning. She spent time on the speakers’ bureau for the Alzheimer’s Association in Denver, and was a candidate for Governor Hickenlooper’s committee on Aging for the State of Colorado.

Kathi is frequently asked to speak at conferences and trainings and has completed over 500 presentations and trainings about dementia and other concerns of aging. She authored and presented training programs for assisted living residences and home care personnel. She is also an approved consultant for the State Health Department for Assisted Living Residences in Colorado.

Chip Watson

Program Director

Chip has a long-standing passion for those with dementia—dedicating over 10 years to working with seniors and specializing in working with people with cognitive impairments.

He is accredited by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors and is a certified Trainer for the “Positive Approach to Care” by renowned dementia author, speaker, and expert, Teepa Snow. He is certified as a Brief Cognitive Assessment Tool Certified Professional and is an Excellence in Care Specialist by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Chip offers over 15 years of experience working in corporate training and community education, ranging from managing a home care agency as the agency director to working as a clinical operations administrator for cognitive training and counseling, as well as working with senior housing and placement. He is a sought-after dementia expert and speaker, having conducted numerous trainings as well as speaking engagements related to dementia and elder care education.

Chip served on the board of directors for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado and is the former Chair for the Young Professional Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado. In 2012, he was named Volunteer of the Year for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado and has also spent time volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association, Parkinson’s Association, and ALS Association.

Chip holds dual bachelor’s degrees in business administration and secondary education.

Dr. Adam J Wolff

Medical Director

A Chicago native, Dr. Wolff graduated from Rush Medical College. He completed his neurology residency at Northwestern University and a fellowship in neurophysiology from the prestigious Stanford University. Board certified in neurology and neurophysiology and serving as the Director of Neurology and Stroke at Porter Adventist Hospital—he has served the greater Denver neurological community since 2004.

Dr. Wolff has a special interest in dementia—serving as Principal Investigator in several clinical trials. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family in Colorado’s beautiful high country.

Birgit Schafer

Sales and Marketing Manager

Birgit’s career in working with families and professionals who care for those with dementia began over 10 years ago after tackling the many concerns involving her mother-in-law’s early-onset Alzheimer’s care. The experience was emotionally, logistically, and financially challenging, but it led to her leaving her career in hotel sales and marketing to engage in more fulfilling work.

Birgit volunteered for organizations that support healthy interpersonal relationships and improved child well-being. She envisioned, initiated, and coordinated a multi-discipline coalition at the Auraria Campus in Denver. The group conducts annual relationship screening events and was awarded a sizeable grant to establish an on-campus office from the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2006, she was a top contender for the annual President’s award at Metropolitan State University in 2006.

Working for a memory care campus, Birgit led the effort to create a platform centered on education and support for communities and families navigating dementia. She has written articles and focuses on the special challenges experienced by spouse caregivers for someone with dementia. Birgit has created and coordinated several educational and supportive events for families and caregivers supporting someone with dementia.

Birgit holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

Miranda Huerta

Business Office Manager

Miranda understands the desire of families and individuals living with dementia to remain safely at home for as long as possible. Her career as an in-home caregiver was born out of her strong desire to help seniors receive the best care possible. Miranda has worked as a Business Office Manager and Human Resources Manager in a healthcare setting for the past 10 years. She has dedicated this time to building her knowledge of systems, policies, and procedures centered around meeting the needs of people with memory loss. Her lifelong goal is to assist seniors and other adults with memory loss.

Miranda holds a medical administration degree from the Community College of Denver.

FAQs

How long does enrollment take?

We will move at the pace of the individual; so the enrollment process will vary from a couple of days to two weeks.

How do you know all of your Member’s preferences, dietary requirements, allergies, and medicines?

During the enrollment process, we talk to Members and their family extensively about their needs and preferences. The entire team is educated on each member to ensure that we understand their preferences dietary requirements, allergies and medication regimen.

Does Alumia provide technologies for Members?

Yes. Alumia provides iPads and other technologies for Members to use while they are on campus. Members can also check out technologies for use at home. We recommend Members use the same or similar technology at home, as studies have shown that the use of technology provided at Alumia is more beneficial than a persistent stream of television shows.

Who is eligible to pick-up and drop-off Members?

The Member or the legal representative may designate whomever they choose to drop them off and pick them up.

Can Members bring books and magazines with them to read at the campus?

YES! We encourage Members to bring their own books and other materials. However, you can also check with the concierge and find out if the newspapers or magazines are available on campus already.

How do we get access to the campus calendar of events and outings?

The campus calendar will be available through the member concierge.

Do Members need pocket money?

Occasionally. Alumia is all-inclusive, however, we will make time for Members to buy gifts for friends and family when we are on museum outings.

Careers at Alumia

At the Alumia Institute, our employees make a difference in the lives of our Members and their families. We offer many career opportunities for candidates who would love to help us change the dialogue on dementia.

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