let them have their dementia

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For the many people who just don’t get it, there are a few who totally do. When I run into them, either online or in person, my heart fills with hope for the future. Reading this post by social worker, educator, speaker, trainer and fellow dementia care advocate Daniel Kuhn on LinkedIn made my day. Kuhn wrote:  

“I recently had the pleasure of giving a keynote lecture at an Alzheimer’s Association conference in New York on “Keeping Connected to Someone Living with Dementia.” The positive feedback from professionals and families focused on the fact that I stayed clear of medical interventions and instead talked about how we can help meet emotional needs with compassion, communication and imagination.

It was interesting to hear that this humanistic approach is still considered innovative, 20 years after Tom Kitwood published his finest work, Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First. The biomedical approach to dementia is so deeply embedded in our culture. And it has miserably failed people with dementia and their families.

Once we accept that little or nothing can be done to fix brain pathology, it’s time to accept symptoms and to learn to compensate for them. Instead of fighting dementia with drugs and words, we can listen and simply ask “How can I help to improve your quality of life?” Then it’s time to act individually and collectively.”

You said it Daniel! And thank you for continuing to spread these important messages.

#FightTheGoodFight #WeCanCareBetter #WhereverWeAre

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life is a death sentence

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