plum tree buds | the DAWN Method

What is it like to have dementia?

Manifesto for Dementia with Dignity  This is a manifesto for my book, Dementia With Dignity. It explains what it is like to experience dementia. It’s important that we keep in mind that dementia is a condition, one that is progressive and that we cannot cure with medications. Please take some time to consider each statement … Read more

lilac flowers with sunshine | the DAWN Method

Three Caregiver Tips for Dementia That Prevent Hurt Feelings

Being a Dementia Partner It’s very important to remember that the person who is experiencing dementia may or may not be able to understand that it is their own abilities that are changing, and that even though their cognitive skills are becoming more limited, they are not becoming lesser beings. We can preserve their dignity … Read more

yellow and red striped tulips with dew | the DAWN Method

Autonomy and Dementia

Supporting a Sense of Self in Dementia Unless we balance our loved one experiencing dementia’s need for autonomy and dignity with their need for safety, we cannot help them preserve a sense of self. In his book Being Mortal, Atul Gawande points out that in this country we seem to confuse prolonging life with preserving … Read more

Path going through meadow with trees and mountains in the distance

There is a Cure for the Stigma Surrounding Dementia

We have created the dehumanizing stigma that accompanies dementia by choosing to persist in using a model to explain dementia that is not only flawed but illogical. Stigma is fueled by fear, and fear grows where there is no understanding. Only through changing the way we approach dementia—by giving up the model that is failing … Read more

snow bank in the trees | the DAWN Method

Keep Me Safe, But Let Me be Me

Transitions from one life stage to another are always complicated. As teenagers become adults, their parents maintain a delicate balance between continued supervision and granting increasing responsibility. The process is rarely smooth. It goes in fits and starts, with spectacular failures interspersed with glowing successes. And it’s the same with the appearance of dementia. How … Read more

peach tulips | the DAWN Method

Give the Gift of Dignity in Dementia

How to help someone with dementia retain their sense of self A very important way to help our loved ones with dementia retain their sense of self is to give them opportunities to be kind and helpful. There is nothing more uplifting and effective at helping us feel better about ourselves than being able to … Read more