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…

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,…

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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