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…

The Ways the Cookies Crumble

December 26, 2017

I set my briefcase on my gritty kitchen counter and traced the raised gold lettering on the thick ivory card. “You are Invited to a Holiday Cookie Party,” the note read. The invitation was from a fascinating, creative, high–powered executive I had met several months ago. I was surprised and thrilled that she had invited…

My Mom’s New Holiday Tradition: Smiling

December 19, 2017

As my mother’s dementia progressed, her spiritual openness increased. This is an excerpt from my book Love in the Land of Dementia that describes my mom’s new holiday tradition: smiling. ** We roll into the memory care facility’s dining room just as the show is ready to start. The singer, Thelda, kicks off her shoes and presses…

Six Secrets of Dementia Inclusive Holiday Cooking

December 12, 2017

 “Who prepared this delicious meal?” a friend asked during a holiday dinner. I named my brother Dan, our head chef, first. Then I included the support team—myself, my mom, my daughters and nephews. “Did I help?” Mom whispered as I passed her the mashed potatoes. “You sure did,” I told her. ”You mashed the potatoes,…

7 Tips for Reducing Caregiver Isolation

December 5, 2017

Some years ago, when my mom was diagnosed with dementia, I didn’t know anyone else who was going through this journey. I felt very alone, even though I had a beautiful network of friends. I turned to writing to help me make sense of the situation. Eventually, I gathered the courage to share my personal…

A Thanksgiving Love Story: Bringing Home the Gravy

November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving changed the year I went vegetarian. I did not mind giving up the tender, moist turkey or the savory oyster-specked stuffing. But giving up the flavorful flow of mushroom-laden gravy was quite another thing. I watched enviously as my family ladled the luscious liquids over their mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing. As I nibbled…

Inside Dementia: Finding Gifts in the Journey

November 14, 2017

“My husband and I have been married for 53 years,” a woman with delicately curled silver hair and mournful eyes told the group.  “But in the two years since he was diagnosed with dementia, our relationship has changed.” She dabs at her eyes with a tissue and takes a breath. “It has grown even stronger.…

Everyday Heroes and Nine Great Things We Learned This Weekend

November 7, 2017

This weekend we were lucky to be around a lot of heroes—the staff and grantees of The Brookdale Foundation Group, which supports national Relatives as Parents Programs, along with Group Respite programs.  We loved the sense of commitment and community we felt at this event and we also enjoyed learning from other speakers and the…

Chocolate Boosts Brain Health!

October 24, 2017

As the daughter of someone who lived with dementia, I do a lot of things to boost my brain health. I try to walk 10,000 steps a day, along with other exercise. I eat blueberries and broccoli. I do squats, try to memorize a few words of Spanish, and think about taking harmonica lessons. I…

Insider Dementia Friendly Travel Tips, from Laurie Scherrer

October 10, 2017

This year, Laurie Scherrer is taking a number of trips: Atlanta, to speak at a conference, South Carolina, for a family reunion, and the Caribbean, as a speaker and participant in a dementia-friendly cruise. Since she is living with early onset dementia, Laurie plans out her trips, taking into consideration her needs and the chaos…

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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