Caring for yourself + why I don’t love these billboards I meet a lot of care partners who look after individuals living with dementia. The recurring theme amongst these care partners—many with varying backgrounds and experience levels—is that they all feel tired. Caring for a person living with dementia is not the same thing as raising a healthy child. Yes, babies are exhausting, but babies […]

5 steps to get you into the world of someone living with dementia

I had someone tell me recently that they’d used my Embracing Their Reality techniques when talking to their mother with dementia. “I told her that we were going to see her parents, and she looked confused. She was talking about her parents the week before, so I just started the conversation about seeing them! Embracing […]

The folks at my sister’s personal care facility (including the resident MD) are recommending that she have a gyny exam to determine if issues she is experiencing are due to cancer. I’m concerned how my sister would react to such a doctor visit, but I am also concerned about the possible threat of cancer. I’m told that even if cancer is officially diagnosed it is possible that dementia patients may not be candidates for surgery. Any thoughts?

Well, if her symptoms are causing her issues, I’d definitely want to know if we could at least alleviate the symptoms. It’s true, she may not be a candidate for surgery, but she may be able to have some of her symptoms dealt with? Ask the docs if her symptoms could be alleviated…if not, I’d […]

“Therapeutic lying” is a ridiculous phrase

I work very, very hard to dispel myths about dementia. I work particularly hard to dispel myths regarding communication with individuals living with dementia. One of these myths is the idea of “therapeutic lying.” Depending on who they learned from, care partners were taught to “never lie” to someone living with dementia, or they were taught to “therapeutically […]

Never ask someone with dementia if they “remember your name”

If I can, I always opt to ditch my name tag in a dementia care environment. I let my friends with dementia decide what my name is: I’ve been Susan, Gwendolyn, and various peoples’ kids. I’ve been so many identities to my residents, too: a coworker, a boss, a student, a sibling, a friend from […]

Dear Rachael, I am interested in your support group. I live in O’Hara (zip 15215). Would you please send me information about the group you entioned in your recent blog post? Thanks! Cecelia Hard

Hi Cecelia! Our next one is on June 29th. I can send you extra details if you email me directly,

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