Category: Blog

Care strategies for FTD, frontotemporal lobe dementia

Imagine this new resident arriving at your memory care community or day center (or being supported in-home): a six-foot tall, 185-pound, 62-year-old man who is in great physical shape but has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD affects more men than women, typically between 55 and 65. Classically, FTD affects the areas of the brain that influence personality and behavior. Personality change (even more than memory loss) is the… Read More »

Call me by my name: Using the preferred name in dementia care

How do you feel when someone calls you by the wrong name? Probably not very happy! We all want to be called by our correct name. Persons with dementia have a name most familiar to them. This is their preferred name, and it’s what they want to hear. Knowing and using their preferred name is a key building block of the Best Friends™ Approach and a first step in developing… Read More »

Dementia rights are human rights

Human Rights Day—celebrated December 10 each year—has us thinking about 1994, when we first thought about a Dementia Bill of Rights. Awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease was low. Awareness of the other dementias was non-existent. Stigma and fear were high! People were skeptical about our approach. Take care of someone with dementia by being a friend? Tell people with dementia about their diagnosis? Ridiculous! We needed a succinct summary of our… Read More »

scarves of different colors can spark a discussion among people with dementia

Do you like my tie? The power of asking for an opinion

The Best Friends™ Approach seeks to make people with dementia feel valued and important—connected to the world and, in spite of cognitive problems, able to make a difference. Asking a person with dementia for an opinion is an easy way to make that happen. When David Troxel’s mom Dorothy was living in a memory care community, he would bring her five ties and five dress shirts on hangars. “Mom, I… Read More »

Getting the Life Story into daily use

When we make friends our stories come out slowly. As we get to know one another, we learn each other’s favorite foods and songs, pastimes and passions. But persons with dementia, especially those who live in memory care, may not be able to recall or share their own stories. And their care partners may be juggling so many responsibilities that they don’t have the time to sit down and listen.… Read More »