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Person-Centered Dementia

There are over 5 million persons living with dementia in the United States. I focus on helping individuals and organizations to understand dementia and offer services and supports to people with dementia that are based on person-centered values. My philosophy and practice of supporting people with dementia is based on:

  • Understanding things from their perspective.
  • Being with persons with dementia “where they are”.
  • Recognizing persons with dementia as whole individuals.
  • Building on strengths.
  • Connecting with persons with dementia and validating them as human beings and as equals.
  • Recognizing that sometimes the best way we can support persons with dementia is to just be with them, to sit with them, and to listen to them.

Person-Centered Long-Term Care

Working in nursing homes and assisted living communities, I quickly realized the need to change a traditional system based on institutional, task-oriented values to one that is driven by the unique needs of each individual, empowers individuals caring for elders, creates environments of well-being rather than ill-being, and recognizes the importance of meaningful living.

My work focuses on creating change in long-term care. This is an ongoing journey that involves evaluating all aspects of an organizational culture, gathering information and input, building teams, trying new things, and honoring the voices of elders and those working closest with them. I bring an objective and experienced perspective to helping an organization chart and navigate their path to changing their culture through person-centered care.

Person-Centered Aging

The overall paradigm of aging needs to change. Changing the culture of how we care for each other also means changing the way we see growing older.

When I say bringing gerontology to life, what I mean is that we need to start taking aging out of the boxes. Aging is in this box. Living is over there in that box. Old is here. Young is there. “Active” elders are here. People with dementia are there. Because it is all about living. And living with meaning. Regardless of how old you are. Or young you are! Or where you live. Or whether you have physical challenges or cognitive disabilities like dementia. That is what I help to create - communities that believe and live this.


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