Enter the Gray Area: Communicating with someone living with dementia

“We bring Rachael in for a different perspective,” the nursing school’s professor told her class. “As I said before: do what she says in practice, but remember to write the opposite of what she says when you’re taking your boards.” The class nodded, but I was shocked. “Wait, nursing schools still teach reorientation? I thought […]

“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 […]

The 10 most important things about dementia caregiving

Communicating with people living with dementia can be challenging. Understand that their world may be different from our world, and that’s okay. We want to EMBRACE THEIR REALITY rather than trying to convince them of things that are true in our reality. Just because their reality is a different shape, it doesn’t make it wrong. […]

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 different […]

How Joe stopped arguing with his mom

“Mom’s room is a mess!” Joe complained. “Every time I go in there, we argue about her clothes! She’s got them strewn all over the floor, and she keeps claiming that they don’t belong to her.” It was true. Joe and his mom, Bethany, argued nonstop when he came to visit her at our dementia […]

Dementia isn’t a loss of intelligence

I had someone comment to me recently that they “didn’t think they’d fit in” with the participants of the Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) program I work with because they “would be smarter than everyone.”  My defenses immediately went up—the way they always do when I feel that someone is insulting my clients living with MCI or dementia. “Yeah…no,” […]

“Why can’t I…find…the words?”

I was thrilled: we’d made it through an entire class without Ava getting upset. And, to top it all off, she was doing so well! We’d been playing a word-finding game, which I knew that she might struggle with. Still, she’d done so well! Ava spent the majority of the class laughing and smiling.  Ava […]

Assisted Living is NOT your enemy

“We want to keep her out of assisted living as long as possible.” “My brother thinks it’s horrible that we want to move dad.” “I’m exhausted caring for my loved one at home, but moving them just seems cruel.” “She took care of me when I was younger, so now it’s my turn.” “I don’t […]

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