“Acting Out” in Dementialand (And Please Don’t Ever Use the Term “Acting Out” When Talking About People Living with Dementia)

Sarah–not her real name–lives in a nursing home and has Alzheimer’s. As she nears the end stage of the disease, she’s lost the ability to communicate verbally. Sarah has been a favorite of nursing home staff for her kind smile. Once in a while she is teary-eyed for reasons she can’t express, but she generally […]

Being Needed in Dementialand

People need a sense of purpose. They need to be needed. It’s important that we all have a sense that what we do is meaningful and important. You might anticipate that this post is about individuals living with dementia. You might think I’m going to write about how important it is to support them in […]

Change is a Necessary Condition in Dementialand (Or…Some People are Just Really Bad at Stuff)

Dementia is all about change. Accepting change. Adapting to change. And (hopefully…maybe…sometimes) thriving through change. But there has to be change. Or it’s not dementia. Let me tell you why I say this… People often ask me a question that goes something like this: “Does (insert something random) mean you have dementia?” I will give […]

Conference Planning in Dementialand

Many years ago, I was volunteering with hospice when I was asked to sit with a patient at the hospice house. I expected this to be similar to my previous experiences with patients who were staying at the hospice house at end-of-life. I expected to sit quietly with this woman, maybe listen to some music […]

Sitting in the Gray in Dementialand

For the sake of full disclosure, I will tell you that I am a person who lives with depression. This is not a shocker to most who know me…I’ve made a point of dropping this info matter-of-factly into casual conversation. I have three dogs. I hate ironing but love cleaning with bleach. My favorite place […]

“In Between” in Dementialand

A friend of mine with younger onset dementia has been sending me some emails telling me about her life. Notice that I don’t say her life with dementia. Sure, she does have dementia, and having dementia is a big deal. However, you can’t really isolate all of her experiences and attribute them to dementia. She […]