Tag: relationship

Virgina Bell speaking

At 100, looking back at a career in dementia care

Dr. Alois Alzheimer died in 1915, only seven years before I was born. The German psychiatrist and neuropathologist is known for identifying the first published case of the disease that bears his name. As I turn 100 years old, I feel fortunate to have my “wits about me” and to be able to work on a new book, volunteer for causes important to me, and navigate the Zoom menu well… Read More »

Let’s talk about Lady Gaga and the “Knack” of loving and supporting elders

At the end of this year’s tumultuous Academy Awards show (which included Will Smith’s so-called “slap heard round the world”) came a beautiful moment when Lady Gaga presented the Best Picture award with a frail Liza Minnelli, now 76. As the legendary performer celebrating the 50th anniversary of her own Oscar win for the movie “Cabaret” struggled with her notes, Gaga leaned in to offer support. She provided a few… Read More »

people with dementia need to stay connected during social distancing

Dementia Care at a Distance

The COVID-19 crisis is taking a heavy toll on all of us, particularly family and professional care partners. Visitors are prohibited in most residential care communities; this is necessary but certainly can be distressing to families and persons with dementia. Even when we are together, we are told to stay six feet apart. The very phrase “social distancing” is the opposite of the Best Friends™ Approach and everything that we… Read More »

Six ways to be a Best Friend to family members and friends

Relationships between memory care community staff and family members or friends of residents with dementia can be challenging. How can the Best Friends™ Approach help you optimize those relationships? Try these six strategies. 1. Meet families and friends where they are When families come to your program, they may be emerging from years of stress around dementia. They might be in denial or experiencing anxiety, grief and loss as they… 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 »