Why is “no” the default answer?

When you work in dementia care, you become accustomed to hearing the word, “no.” “No, I don’t want a shower.” “No, thanks, I don’t want to go.” “No, I already took my pills.” “No, I don’t want to do any crafts.” Sound familiar? While there are some people out there who say no just to be […]

Caring for yourself + why I don’t love these billboards

http://cargocollective.com/juandiegoguzman/filter/Juan-Diego-Guzman 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 […]

“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 […]

What would YOU want, if you had dementia?

I received a great question from a reader just the other day on my blog:  I was told that I have early onset dementia about 5 years ago. My Dad and 4 of his siblings have died or have Alzheimer’s. I try to learn as much as I can about dementia care. I was just […]

How to “stop walking on eggshells” in dementia caregiving

I had Ansel’s wife, Megan, at their home. Ansel had vascular dementia and was in a moderate stage of the disease. Ansel’s wife, however, was bearing the brunt of his disease herself. “I’m exhausted,” she sighed when we sat down on the couch to talk. It was clear to me immediately that Megan was doing […]

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