Stay connected throughout the dementia journey

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…

An Insider’s Look at True Love: Charlie and Elizabeth’s Story

February 14, 2017

For years, I interviewed fascinating couples every week for a column in the Kansas City Star. Talking to people who are in love is always inspiring; often couples have to overcome enormous obstacles to bring their relationship into reality. One of my favorite stories stars two friends whose love and cosmic connection shines out from their…

Five Ways to Make Valentine’s Day Special for a Loved One with Dementia

February 7, 2017

My parents liked to celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner and dancing.  Years into my mom’s Alzheimer’s journey, my parents’ love hadn’t diminished, but my mom’s capacity for going out to dinner and dancing had drastically decreased. I saw how blue my father was—one more event he had to give up, one more change in the…

Tuning into Music for Connection:  Helping Children Accept Dementia

January 31, 2017

“Oh what a beautiful morning,” I warbled. My mom clapped and hummed along. At the end of the song, she applauded.  In her earlier days of motherhood, she might have winced slightly when I wandered off-key. But in the cradle of dementia, she was delighted with my smile, my energy, and the sheer sound of…

Five Secrets For Making Date Night Great

January 24, 2017

I caught up with Nettie Harper and Kelly Gilligan, co-founders of Inspired Memory Care, Inc. as they were rushing down the streets of Manhattan, off to consult with a client. I loved hearing the city sounds, horns honking, cars edging past, a lone dog barking, as they shared their five secrets for making date night…

Using Creativity to Live Successfully with Dementia

January 17, 2017

“Creativity is evident in every one of us,” says Michelle Niedens, Director of Education, Programs and Public Policy, Alzheimer’s Association Heart of America Chapter. Every time I hear Michelle talk about the creative aspects of living with dementia, I am moved. I was so honored to have Michelle speak at my book launch for Connecting in the Land…

Live Well with Dementia: The Pygmalion Effect

January 10, 2017

“This is one of my favorite songs. What do you think of it, Fran?” We were sitting in Mom’s room in the memory care community, listening to a recording of The Very Thought of You.  Even though my mother could no longer answer this question, I liked hearing my father ask it.  He honored Mom…

Adapting to Dementia: Laurie Scherrer’s Inspiring Story

January 3, 2017

“I’m having a slow day,” Laurie Scherrer says, when I call her Pennsylvania home for our scheduled conversation on adapting to dementia. “So bear with me.” It was easy to bear with Laurie, as she is bright, positive, articulate, insightful, and authentic. I met her during a telephone interview for the esteemed podcast, Alzheimer’s Speaks,…

Sharing Your Caregiver’s Story

December 27, 2016

My mother’s Alzheimer’s drove me to write. My writing inspired me to speak. I have received enormous pleasure from connecting with people all over the world, sharing my stories from Connecting in the Land of Dementia and from Love in the Land of Dementia. Now, I’m offering you tips for sharing your caregiver’s story.   It All Started…

Finding the Holiday’s Spirit

December 20, 2016

This story from Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey celebrates finding the holiday’s spirit. Here’s to a season of peace, light, joy, and meaningful connections. When I walk through the doors of the nursing home, I find my mother in her wheelchair, right in front of the medication cart, right behind the…

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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