See the person, not the disease, with Alzheimer’s caregiving

By Angela Lunde Cognitive Health and Wellness Director Mayo Clinic Department of Neurology Originally published July 10, 2014 The DAA appreciates Angela allowing us to share her blog because her insights are “timeless” and “so true”: Last time, we spoke about wandering, a label we often attach to a person living with Alzheimer’s. It’s natural to attach a label to something we don’t completely understand or like. Think of other labels we use and apply in the context of dementia.  We label a person as a way to explain their so called “behaviors” with words like: resistive, hoarder, screamer, pacer, or…

Continue reading

You Can Help Someone Live Fully with Dementia

by Jackie Pinkowitz, DAA Co-Leader Every once in a while something special comes along that has the power to stop us in our tracks. Our “Person-Centered Matters” video (see it here) about people living with dementia and those who care about them has such power, beautifully highlighting the positive aspects about helping people live fully with dementia. Many people around our country are doing wonderful things to help others live fully with dementia; they just don’t get front-page media attention for enhancing joy and meaningful engagement in their communities!! Today, the DAA would like to share two video clips that may provide new insights…

Continue reading

PERSPECTIVES ON ADVOCACY:  Strength in Numbers

By Cynthia Janus, M.D., author of THE ALZHEIMER’S CATASTROPHE: The Long Uphill Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease and Why We Can’t Afford to Lose People who are diagnosed with dementia, and those who love them, embark on a challenging journey as the lives they had previously imagined are changed forever.   I know this because I was on this journey for at least thirteen years with my husband, who had dementia, ultimately diagnosed as Alzheimer’s type. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, there are more questions than answers as to its exact nature and cause (or…

Continue reading

What We Can All Learn About Living in the Present

by Anthony Cirillo.  Originally posted on The Huffington Post on 5.10.2016 My good friend Sandy Halperin, who has early onset Alzheimer’s, was recently honored along with Sanjay Gupta, M.D., with the 2016 Proxmire Award, which recognizes national figures who have “demonstrated leadership and positively impacted public awareness around Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.” A couple weeks before he accepted the award we had a 35 minute Skype call. In it he expressed concern about what he was going to say. Certainly honored by the award, he knew he needed to be both gracious but also make a statement, while he still could,…

Continue reading

Dementia with Dignity – Consider Volunteering

By Ellen Belk, Holistic Dementia Care Specialist; Co- Owner  Keep in Mind, Inc.   After the Dementia Diagnosis, there is still a lot of LIVING to Do! There are ample ways to have dementia with dignity. Consider volunteering. Skeptical? You are not alone…… I had a client, who hired me to evaluate their dementia program. They felt they lacked key components or a ‘hook’ that would differentiate them from their competition in the marketplace. After my evaluation of their operation; I agreed. Although they specialized in dementia care at multiple locations in many states; they didn’t have a cohesive structure or a game plan. Their program was anything but robust. As I…

Continue reading

 See Me in Dementia

By Laura Bowley, Founder, Mindset Center for Living with Dementia  Originally published on Apr 6, 2016  http://mindsetmemory.com/blog/ What happens when you don’t see the “me” in dementia? If you don’t see the “me,” you see the dementia instead, and when you see the dementia, the “me” or the “I” becomes an “it.” You’re seeing a disease rather than a person. If you don’t see the “me,” you get physicians who speak to the caregiver when revealing the diagnosis, and not the person diagnosed. And you get the newly diagnosed person leaving the doctor’s office with a prescription for drugs to…

Continue reading

DEMENTIA: There is Hope

by Robert Bowles, Jr., DAA Leadership Board Reprinted from http://lbdlivingbeyonddiagnosis.com/my-blog/lessons-to-learn-with-dementia Sometimes doom and gloom are preached about dementia.  Often I hear people say there is no hope after their diagnosis of dementia.  That is likely a fairly normal response.  Our world has been turned upside down.  Do we stay in that mindset or do we seek to LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST.  My decision was to follow a process of learning and finding purpose after my diagnosis of Lewy body disease (DLB). My thoughts turned toward the fact that everyone will die one day.  Did I want to die at…

Continue reading