The Role for Dementia Consultant Teams

I came across this article on the Changing Aging website. It’s a great resource on changing perceptions and practices surrounding aging. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed!

The Role for Dementia Consultant Teams

In my last post I criticized a reporter for the Australian Financial Review for his characterization of people living with dementia, and of our aging population in general. My comments were aimed purely at his offensive stereotypes, and did not address deeper issues around the subject matter. Now that the furor over that article has subsided somewhat, it’s time to tackle that deeper concern.
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Declaring Independence from Ageism

I would like to dedicate this post to my husband’s super awesome Nan. She loved the 4th of July and her family would have reunions over the 4th to celebrate her birthday and her favorite holiday. 2015 is the first year we celebrate the 4th without her, as she passed this past October. Unfortunately, my husband and I couldn’t be with them in New Jersey this year to celebrate, and we are really missing the family this holiday.

nan hat

Nan opening birthday gifts at her 80th birthday tea party

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Culture change: Using imagination in dementia care

Forget About Memory, Focus on Imagination!

My BRAIN is alive . . . with the Sound of Music

Golden Girls lifestyle

I found this article on the Changing Aging website, where you can read the original, if you would like, or explore other interesting topics.

Dementia is an Adventure, not a Disease

Dementia is an adventure, not a disease

I came across this post on the Changing Aging blog (a good read, by the way). I think it also expresses my thoughts that Alzheimer’s and other dementias are certainly an adventure. You don’t know what is around the next corner, you don’t know where it is going or what will happen along the way, in a very real way, the loved ones and caregivers are along for the ride.

But I don’t think it needs to be all sad and loss-related. There are some wonderful experiences interacting with someone with dementia. One of my favorite endearing qualities of people with dementia, is that they lose their ability to lie – so when they ask you who you are, they are genuinely interested in you in that moment, if they are excited about their favorite food, they will do a little ice cream dance. And these glimpses of genuine self-expression are the little golden nuggets that make me smile at the end of the day. I have a hard time expressing to people why I enjoy working with people with dementia so much (it was even harder when I was in my 20s), but if they haven’t done it, they can’t understand how rewarding it is to learn to see someone’s personality through all the dementia noise.

Many people think it is depressing to work with dementia, and I am hoping to challenge that stigma through my work and let people know that living with dementia, like anything in life, is a journey – an adventure. No, it will not always be pleasant, but it will not always be unpleasant, either. And much like other things in life, the adventure is richer when we share it with others!

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