Imagine a world where savory memories had no place to be shared. At the ripe age of 53, in the middle of the night—half awake. half asleep my mind meanders through memories. Random sensory moments. I try to envision walking the beach with a gentle tide lapping at my feet—I’m alone or walking quietly with another. I can only envision this because I pleasantly remember many times doing this. I drift a bit. Then somehow I wake, connect to the present, it’s too late to talk to my partner. But I am assured that I will be able to sometime….
I want to go home. Who can help me get home? I need to get home . . . These are common refrains heard from folks with dementia. As family we take the request at face value, and yet how many of us have heard this refrain from within the loved one’s home? It’s a sobering moment when you accommodate them and yet the refrain remains. You have the realization that “home” stands for something else, perhaps something unattainable. After years of hearing this refrain and attempting to accommodate as a recreation leader or as a family member, I’ve come…
Last weekend passionate people committed to changing the face of long-term care met in Little Rock, Arkansas. 1200 strong, they came from many states, many types of care backgrounds but focused on one goal—changing care. It was an inspiring gathering with long-time personal heroes like Bill Thomas and Dr. Richard Taylor taking concepts to a new level. I was fortunate enough to be one of many guides to personalizing care. It was a powerful weekend that will serve as fuel for my teaching, my research and my writing.
In researching person-centered care and its impact on both staff and residents with dementia, I followed the source to Dementia Care Australia. It is a look into what I hope to one day develop. The focus on facilitating culture change in facilities through training, presentations, and even products is refreshing. Check out the program, Spark of Life. It’s based in solid best practice.