The Power of Play in the Dementia Journey

April 10, 2018

Josh Rice, a theatre maker and teaching artist,  discovered the power of play in the dementia journey when he was still in graduate school.  As part of a school project, he partnered with a senior living community on a therapeutic puppetry and improv-based program for people living with dementia. Together, Josh and the seniors designed…

A Memorable Meeting: KC Memory Cafe

March 27, 2018

You know what it’s like, creating a program series for the first time. You try to think of everything, knowing that you’ve probably left something out. You hope plenty of people will attend and worry that no one will show up. The weather teases you, threatening snow or rain, thunder or wind. The “what if’s”…

Educating on Dementia: A Vietnamese Doctor’s Quest

March 20, 2018

Throughout our journey in Vietnam, we met a number of inspiring elders. These include an 87-year-old public letter writer in the old Saigon train station, a 67-year-old woman carrying baskets of pomelos and bitter melons, a beautiful 74-year-old gardener hacking at weeds with a machete, a 100-year-old matriarch in a farming family, and an 83-year-old…

Using His Voice and His Skills:  Mike Belleville’s Tips for Living Well with Dementia

March 6, 2018

“Here’s some medication,” the neurologist told Mike Belleville. “See you in six months.” The doctor stood up to leave, but Mike just sat there, exhausted from months of struggle and confusion, worn ragged from all the tests and consultations. For months, Mike, age 52, had been “hiding under a rock.” His mind wasn’t working right and…

Dementia in the Land of Vietnam

February 27, 2018

“We are here to see Dr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, head of the Department of Neuroloy and Alzheimer Diseaese,” I tell the guard at the National Geriatric Hospital of Vietnam in Hanoi, showing him my folded paper with her name printed on it. He grins, then points to a full size sheet of paper in the…

 Transferring Skills and Adapting Purpose: Wisdom from Paulan Gordon

February 20, 2018

As Director of Operations for a national call center, Paulan Gordon’s work required an intense travel schedule, detailed project management skills, and a rigorous adherence to industry standards. So when she started feeling confused, she attributed the struggles to stress. Some days, she felt so overwhelmed that she locked herself in her office and called…

Movies and Memories—An Oscar-Winning Experience

February 13, 2018

“Thank goodness for this program,” one of our Movie and Memories’ guests told us. “There are so few places Mom and I can enjoy going together these days.” “Thanks for this cookie. I could really use a little nurturing today,” another said. “My goodness, I was delighted to learn about this program,” another said. “What…

Moving from Depression to Purpose: Wisdom from Dementia Advocate and Mentor Robert Bowles, Jr.

February 6, 2018

Once again, Robert Bowles, Jr., age 65,  could not sleep. Since he’d been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia two years ago, his nights had randomly been plagued with terrifying hallucinations and vivid nightmares that he often acted out. He was exhausted, depressed, and anxious. Plus, he had had to sell his beloved pharmacy and prematurely…

Hooked on Sharing Ideas and Stories that Connect

January 23, 2018

One of the many things we love about sharing ideas and stories that connect people during the dementia journey—we never know the brilliant, witty, and amazing things our participants will say! Let me set the scene: It’s Thursday evening and Ron and I are presenting a program in a church basement. Our audience is a…

A Winning Combination: Children, Exercise, and Music

January 9, 2018

An orderly group of five-year-olds walk into the dining room at Vernon Manor in Viroqua, Wisconsin.  The residents are waiting for them. Each child goes up to an elder and introduces him or her self.  Then Ingrid Constalie, AD-BC, CDP, Board Certified Activity Director and Certified Dementia Practitioner, talks to the assemblage about the importance…

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Books & Videos

A ‘must read’ for every care partner because it really helps you to look at things differently! This book is very special in the way it provides you with hundreds of suggestions on how to be a good care partner for someone with dementia and enjoy this yourself as well. Deborah inspired me by bringing together so many positive examples of using creativity to engage with people with dementia.”--Marc Wortmann, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Disease International

“Deborah Shouse’s inspiring book provides caregivers with tools from which to create meaningful, life-enhancing activities that can strengthen their connections. Buy the book, read it, highlight what inspires you. As you make notes and bend pages to personalize this guide, you are creating a family treasure.”--Carol Bradley Bursack, Founder of Minding Our Elders

“Once again, Deborah Shouse delivers a book that softens our hearts and opens our minds to find fun ways to connect to the soul. No matter what our situation in life, no matter what our ability is to communicate, we all crave and need to be connected to one another.”--Lori La Bey, Founder of Alzheimersspeaks website