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

3 keys to accepting change in dementia

I host a monthly support group in my area, and yesterday’s meeting made me think a lot about acceptance. We had a great discussion: all the attendees are care partners of people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment or early stages of dementia, and they each expressed some level of learning to “accept” their loved one’s changingContinue reading “3 keys to accepting change in dementia”

#1 Reason That Routine Is Going to Save You a Lot of Drama

Routine. It’s about what you do regularly, probably every day, even if you aren’t consciously thinking about it. Routine is essential when you’re caring for someone with dementia. Not only is it just about what you do, it’s about what they used to do. What does that mean? It means that we need to relyContinue reading “#1 Reason That Routine Is Going to Save You a Lot of Drama”

Dementia-Friendly Days Out

A guest post by Ruby Clarkson | Writer, editor, animal lover and coffee enthusiast Dementia is a challenging group of diseases that causes many different problems, but that doesn’t mean that those who are living with dementia can’t enjoy a lovely day out. In fact, it is good for them to get out and see differentContinue reading “Dementia-Friendly Days Out”

Improv comedy and dementia care workshop now online

Our workshop is officially ONLINE which means you can take it from wherever (and whenever) you want! This is a cool opportunity for you to see how improvisational comedy works with dementia caregiving, especially if you can’t make it to Pittsburgh, PA for our workshops. We travel, so we’re happy to come to you, butContinue reading “Improv comedy and dementia care workshop now online”

You’re probably grieving, but don’t realize it

*Content warning: this is probably a tear-jerker, just because we’re talking about grief and loss. When I started working in this field, I recognized that I’d be dealing with a lot of death and dying, and, therefore, grief. I wrongfully assumed that the only challenging part of the job would come into play when someoneContinue reading “You’re probably grieving, but don’t realize it”

What if I visit and he doesn’t know who I am?

Care partners regularly ask me about one of their deepest fears. The fear usually goes like this: at some point, you’ll walk in to visit your loved one, and that person will look at you with a blank stare. “Who are you?” they’ll ask you, as your own eyes fill with tears. Here’s the good news: this fearContinue reading “What if I visit and he doesn’t know who I am?”

Why the loss of control motivates most “behaviors”

Cecilia was having a hard time. Suddenly, she couldn’t do all the things she used to do. She had once owned her own business, handled all her finances, made her own daily plans, raised children, and more. Now, with dementia, she couldn’t manage those tasks. Now, her family was doing everything for her, and itContinue reading “Why the loss of control motivates most “behaviors””

The BEST communication tip I have

Here it is, the best dementia care communication tip I have for you. Although I’ve been using it (and tweaking it) for a long time now, I didn’t really “name” it until very recently. Ellen had a problem. “Dad wants to go out walking around the neighborhood, like he used to do…but he’s so confused!Continue reading “The BEST communication tip I have”

HOW TO: 3 tips for keeping them engaged while you get other tasks done

“It sounds bad, but I can’t get anything done with my wife around,” Walter sighed. “She wants to ‘help,’ but I end up having to re-do her task or just stand over her shoulder the whole time, helping her do whatever it is.” I’ve heard this story many, many times over. You want your loved one withContinue reading “HOW TO: 3 tips for keeping them engaged while you get other tasks done”

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