the two biggest challenges to creating positive change in dementia care


Do care workers set out to neglect and abuse elderly people who live with dementia? Of course not.  Or  at least the vast majority don’t. Nevertheless, neglect and abuse are widespread in long-term care, and care workers (under poor management and myopic leadership) are the ones who inadvertently perpetuate it.

Why do neglect and abuse remain the rule rather than the exception in long-term care? I’ve written several posts about some of the factors.

On May 1, I had the opportunity to speak via zoom with a group of nursing students in Missouri on a variety of topics related to dementia care. I shared my thoughts on what I believe needs changing if we want to radically improve eldercare, particularly for the elderly who live with dementia.

Essentially, the two biggest challenges, which are also opportunities, are:

1) the biomedical model/mindset

2) a broken system

More at the links and in this five-minute video clip extracted from my convo with the students and their passionate instructor and registered nurse Ernema (Bing) Boettner:

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Image copyright: alphaspirit / 123RF Stock Photo


  1. Bing Boettner on

    I so agree with Diana. “Somewhere along the way apathy sets in as does a distancing>” Our loved ones need a voice for them and you are one of them. I pray I and my students will grasp the urgency of the matter while taking time for knowledge and skill to take root among us health care workers. I will stay in touch with you as we move forward to shed light on dementia among those whom we can reach in our own spheres of influence. Thank you, Susan from the bottom of hour hearts. Bing and my health science students

    • Bing, it was great to do the two sessions with you and your students. Maybe we can do something similar next year. I’m so pleased there are people like you out there in the field working hard to change mindsets and create a better healthcare system.

  2. You have been such a good advocate, Susan. I am really proud of you. I honestly don’t think the system starts out with the intent of misusing or neglecting patients in their care…but somewhere along the way apathy sets in as does a ‘distancing’. Bless you for all you do- xo Diana

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