Judy Cornish is an author, founder of the Dementia & Alzheimer’s Wellbeing Network® (DAWN), creator of the DAWN Method® of dementia care, and a retired elder law attorney. Her two books (The Dementia Handbook and Dementia With Dignity) take person-centered care from theory to practice by identifying the skills not lost to dementia. Through DAWN, Judy provides education programs for families and professional caregivers, as well as staff training for agencies and facilities. Her goal is to see all who come to experience dementia be recognized for their strengths and emerging gifts rather than being silenced and sidelined.
In 2010, Judy put her career on hold and began spending time with people who were living at home with dementia, in Moscow, Idaho. Many of her new clients were living alone and without family nearby. The DAWN Method is what she learned from them—her new friends and neighbors. Through recognizing them as the experts, she learned that there are two things that are truly helpful when dementia comes into a relationship: first, to understand the ways dementia changes our ability to function; and second, to understand how that makes us feel.
Today what Judy’s friends and neighbors taught her is helping families and caregivers around the world, in places as diverse as Poland and India, Brazil and Australia, and research programs are underway.
Connect with Judy at the DAWN Method!
Judy’s TEDx Talk
View Judy’s TEDx Talk at TED.com or watch it below
- Thriving Minds podcast with Dr. Selena Bartlett—In this somewhat academic discussion, Judy and neuroscience professor Selena Bartlett get a bit deeper into the science underpinning the DAWN Method (Thriving Minds podcast, Episode #101). Professor Bartlett adds detail about what happens in our brains as we process new information and experiences. They touch on topics of muscle memory, automatic thinking scripts, facial recognition and intuitive thinking skills versus rational thinking skills. During the second half of the interview, Judy and Dr. Bartlett discuss our stress responses and the human need to feel safe as it relates to dementia. Judy shares practical tips on what you can do to help someone experiencing dementia learn to feel safe in your presence. [59 minutes; aired on September 23, 2022]
- Love Conquers Alz podcast with Susie Singer Carter & Don Priess—Judy, Susie and Don discuss our current care culture and treatments surrounding dementia and then how to change our approach when interacting with people experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s (Love Conquers Alz podcast, Episode #36). [54 minutes; aired on April 28, 2022]
- The Hospice Chaplaincy Show with Saul Ebema—Saul and guest host Marie Conlin talk to Judy about her journey to dementia care (The Hospice Chaplaincy Show podcast, Episode #47) and about the creation of the DAWN Method. [50 minutes; aired on March 8, 2021]
- The ‘D’ Word podcast with Pete Hill—Pete and Judy chat about the importance of rational and intuitive thought in light of dementia (The ‘D’ Word podcast – search for “Judy Cornish”). [on UK Health Radio, aired in 2020]