Beauty At Any Age.


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“C’mon, pretty lady!” Ella motioned to Mildred. “Let’s go to lunch.”

“That’s not me, I’m not a pretty lady,” Mildred shook her head, refusing to accept the compliment.

My residents constantly blow me away by how kind they are to each other. Sure, sometimes they get angry with each other or pick fights. But, for the most part, my residents are innately happy, loving people.

People with dementia sometimes have mood swings. When they are in the upswing (as most of them tend to be) these moods are full of hugs, hand-holding, and compliments. Many of my residents will walk down the hallway, hugging or complimenting each person on the way. They joke with each other and they laugh together. They create powerful friendships—even if those friendships are forgotten by the day’s end.

“Sure you are pretty! Get all dressed up, you can look nice. See? That’s a nice sweater,” Ella said, touching Mildred’s sleeve.


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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.

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