Engaging during the Dementia Journey: One Story and Six Tips

April 25, 2017

My satchel was packed with potential connectors, not the electrical type, but the emotional, engaging type.  I had a sheaf of favorite poems, an Audubon bird book, a list of songs Mom and I liked, some bright red Mardi Gras beads, several colorful scarves, and some paper and markers. I was eager to see what…

Art as a Creativity Catalyst: Featuring Grace and Spencer Townley-Lott

April 18, 2017

How do we keep our sense of connection and creativity through the caregiving journey? That was a question I often asked myself. I wanted to share this story of an extraordinary couple– artist, dementia advocate, and social worker Grace Townley-Lott and her husband, puppeteer, actor, and playwright, Spencer Townley-Lott. Both use art as a creativity…

Embracing Person-Centered Dementia Values: The Dementia Action Alliance

April 11, 2017

One by one, we say hello via video conferencing. We are writers, artists, and arts advocates from all over the country. One sculptor enriches the visual aspects of our meeting by strolling through a museum, giving us occasional glimpses of vibrant art. We meet another artist’s dog. Via video, we see each other’s offices and…

Five Tips for Using Music to Connect

April 4, 2017

Even as a child, I was using music to connect with my parents. My father was a DJ and my mother enjoyed show tunes and old standards. Those songs often played on our record player and we all enjoyed listening. Later, I used that same music to connect me to my mom and dad during…

Sharing Ideas for Staying Connected

March 28, 2017

“How do we stay connected during the dementia journey?”  This is a question with dozens of creative answers. Recently, we spent time at Northland Shepherd Center, hosted by Dianna Englander. We  were sharing ideas for staying connected with the Together We Care Caregiver Support Group, a lovely gathering of family caregivers and friends.   Caregiving…

Connect through Movies and Memories

March 21, 2017

No one said, “Hush,” during the excitement of the paper airplane-flying competition in the Plaza Library. No one put a warning finger to his lips during the spontaneous conversations about favorite childhood foods. And laughing and clapping were encouraged during the two short films and two clips that anchored the Feb 11th Movies and Memory event, an…

Finding Meaningful Memory Care

March 14, 2017

“I feel like I’ve been on extended vacation,” Ron’s father Frank said, after his first day in a memory care facility. “Today was really enjoyable.” Ron and I just melted with happiness. We had visited many facilities, with the hope of finding meaningful memory care with great activities. Frank couldn’t have said anything nicer. It’s quite…

Insider’s Tips for Analyzing Activities Programs

March 7, 2017

My mother had been an artist in her later years, but she stopped painting when she began living with memory loss. Instead, she took comfort in listening to music and in nurturing a baby doll. Ron’s dad studied architecture as a young man, but never had the leisure time to pursue drawing or art.  When…

Build Community Through Sharing Stories.

February 28, 2017

Just blocks from the bustling tourist shops in the port area of Falmouth Jamaica, stands a white stucco Salvation Army Church. Inside this building, we met with local community leaders. We shared stories and information, offering ways to stay connected throughout the dementia journey. We hoped to build community through sharing stories. Even before we…

Making a Difference, One Island at a Time

February 21, 2017

“We are here to explore meaningful ways to stay connected throughout the dementia journey. We are all going to take what we’ve learned and we need the commitment of all of you to help us reach out to the families living with dementia in our communities,” Raymond Jessurun said when he introduced us at a…

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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

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