Hello, Richard: Your Legacy Lives On

“I want to be remembered for my spirit, my commitment, my determination as one of the first persons to add a voice, a presence to something that was previously just a diagnosis” — Richard Taylor, Accepting the Carter Williams Legacy Award at the Pioneer Network Conference, August 13, 2009 Richard Taylor was famously known by his friends and colleagues as starting conversations, speeches, and emails with “hello”.   Richard passed away at his home from cancer on Saturday, July 25th. Al Power and Kate Swaffer have written beautiful blogs about him in the past couple of days and noted his penchant…

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PURPOSE AND DREAMS

by Robert Bowles, Jr., a retired pharmacist diagnosed with LBD at age 64. “Think back where you would be today if you had not had a purpose in life. The same is true after a diagnosis of LBD (Lewy Body Dementia). Finding your purpose in life is important. As I mentioned for me, it was advocate, educate and sharing my experience strength and hope. Yours might be different. My challenge to you today is to live life to the fullest. There is life after a diagnosis of LBD. Personally, I refuse to let LBD rule me — I WILL rule LBD….

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Setting Standards for Dementia Care

by: Anne Ellett, Nurse Practitioner, M.S.N., Gerontology Consultant, has worked in the arena of elder care and gerontology for more than 2 decades. Most recently, she held the position of Senior Vice President at a national company that was a recognized leader in caring for elderly, specializing in dementia care. It was good news to read that at the Assisted Living Federation of America’s (ALFA) most recent national conference in May, setting standards for dementia care was identified as a critical issue for their organization.  Studies indicate that up to 60-70% of residents living in assisted living are affected by memory…

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SOMETHING WILL BE DONE! (The caretaker’s affirmation)

By Iona Morris, an American voice actress Hope, Faith that something can be done And, money… Is all we have To add to the action of those in the field journeying Into how the mind works. Oh. And, our love And, our tears of what was lost to a mind Changed. Drifting away so fast We cannot keep up. Can’t take a pill Can’t go to the gym Can’t juice THIS away… “Who took my mom, But left her body here And put that… 5 year old in her place?” “Why is my sweet dad so mean to me?”

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Person-Centered Dementia Care Encourages International Exchange of Ideas

by: Mara Botonis, Access and Utilization Work Group Co-Chair, Dementia Action Alliance I leaned in and asked the former zookeeper, “Which animal in the zoo was the most difficult to care for?” She responded “The monkeys” without hesitation and with a knowing sparkle in her eye that wordlessly conveyed that she knew more than a little something about this topic. She quickly added that the reason she chose monkeys was because “they are always SO naughty!” before her face gave way into a huge grin as she drew me closer. The gesture seemed to invite me to join her in visiting the many…

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“Empower the Least Empowered”

by: Jill Harrison, PhD., Planetree Experience Advisor On a recent visit to a nursing home, I overheard the following conversation while I was in the dining room of a locked memory care unit. “What is this?” a resident asked pointing at a mug on the table. “It’s coffee. You like coffee. Go ahead and drink it,” said a staff member who was busily wiping off nearby tables. The resident took a sip and recoiled. “But, it’s not even hot,” she said. “You know you aren’t allowed to have hot coffee because you might spill it and burn yourself,” explained the staff member….

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