The DAWN Method has several products and services to help you care for someone with dementia:

The DAWN Method Training Classes
The DAWN Method Licensing for Care Facilities
The DAWN Method Book



Training in the DAWN Method

The DAWN Method is a simple set of tools for meeting the emotional needs and rational thought losses caused by dementia, one that empowers caregivers to preserve their loved ones’ dignity and autonomy. Judy teaches the method in 8 one-hour sessions, as follows:

Dementia With Dignity: Using the DAWN Method

Dementia Care Intro
Mood Management
Security in Confusion
Security in Care
Social Success
Sense of Control
Sense of Value
Secure Future

Training for families, private caregivers, agencies, and care facilities is available in-person throughout the Inland Northwest. Judy also teaches the classes online via webinar for those living further away.

Contact us at info@thedawnmethod to arrange either personal or group sessions.

For care professionals in Washington and Idaho, continuing education credits are available. For other states, contact your licensing provider.Speaking Engagements

Judy is also available for speaking engagements. Please contact us for details.

You can find a list of some of Judy’s prior engagements on the Speaking Engagements page.

Class #1 – Dementia Care Overview
Join Judy in exploring the two very different ways to work with dementia and the models we can use to provide treatment and care. Learn to recognize and understand anosognosia and how it affects acceptance of care. Explore the losses that dementia causes from a functional perspective in terms of how dementia affects caregiving. Begin to recognize the altered realities and emotional needs created by progressive cognitive impairment.

Enhanced learning: Dementia Beyond Drugs. Power, Allen. Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press, 2010.

Class #2 – Mood Management
Explore the importance of managing our own moods and those of our loved ones or clients who have dementia. Judy details how to manage our own moods to minimize our stress as caregivers, and then outlines tools for diagnosing and responding to our charges’ moods. Introduction of concepts such as brain chat and emotional tags. Bonus: Finding respite in the moment.

Enhanced learning:  The Power of Now. Tolle, Eckhart. Vancouver: Namaste Publishing, 1999.

Class #3 – Security in Confusion
Learn more about our two very different thought processes, the intuitive and rational, and how the loss of rational thought affects our loved ones and clients’ ability to interpret the world around them. Judy explores nonverbal communication and emotional tags in detail and outlines the tools for helping our charges find peace and safety in confusion. Bonus: Enjoy the morphine button effect.

Enhanced learning: Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kahneman, Daniel. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.

Class #4 – Security in Care
Judy identifies three prerequisites to teaching our loved ones and clients that they are safe in receiving care from others. She identifies the areas in which caregivers can impart a sense of security so that their charges become able to accept direction and assistance. She explores the value of imparting a sense of team functioning to avoid constant failure at mastery and default into passivity. Bonus: Reduced repetitive questioning and behaviors.

Enhanced learning: Being Mortal. Gawande, Atul. London: Profile Books Ltd., 2014.

Class #5 – Social Success
Judy introduces the situations in which our loved ones and clients need assistance in order to avoid withdrawal and isolation. She details tools caregivers can use to master the skill of managed conversation. She introduces the importance of identifying and providing social stimulation that is appropriate for your loved one or client. Bonus: Reduction in agitation, isolation, wandering.

Enhanced learning: Creating Moments of Joy. Brackey, Jolene. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2007.

Class #6 – Sense of Control
Explore anosognosia in detail and how it affects our loved ones and clients’ need for control. Judy outlines the tools which we can use to enhance their ability to make decisions and their sense of having control over their own bodies and lives. She explains the power of catchphrases and hiding the end goal to help our charges feel less resistant to direction. Bonus: Less desire for control.

Enhanced learning: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Sacks, Oliver. New York: Touchstone, 1970.

Class #7 – Sense of Value
Judy details the ways in which we can create a sense of value and having a place or role for our loved ones and clients. She outlines ways to do this in our communications and interactions and returns again to the importance of understanding and accepting altered realities. She explains how to work with someone we cannot admire or love. Bonus: Balancing safety and selfhood.

Enhanced learning: Please Look After Mom: A Novel. Shin, Kyung-Sook. New York: Vintage Books, 2012.

Class #8 – Secure Future
Review the previous six DAWN tools and how they help our loved ones and clients build a sense of security and wellbeing. Judy introduces the concept of security symbols and their role in sustaining wellbeing. She details the six stages dementia presents from the perspective of changing needs and increasing need for emotional support. Bonus: Maximizing ability to age in place.

Enhanced learning: Help Thanks Wow, the Three Essential Prayers. Lamott, Anne. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2012.

Licensing in the DAWN Method

Licensing is available for agencies and care facilities to become certified in the DAWN Method. Certification includes the right to use and display the DAWN logo and promotional materials, provided those employees who have contact with dementia clients have been trained in the DAWN Method.

Contact us at for further information.

Dementia With Dignity – Using the DAWN Method

Coming soon – Judy Cornish’s book on how to use the DAWN Method.

With her book, Judy will give every family the ability to decode the seemingly inexplicable behaviors of dementia and use her simple and proven DAWN tools to respond to them. Drawing from behavioral studies and other dementia care approaches, such as Dan Cohen’s work with music and the improv studies at the Northwestern University—and from the writings of authors as varied as Allen Power, Daniel Kahneman, Eckhart Tolle, and Ellen Langer—Cornish adds human faces to her tools for identifying and meeting the emotional needs that underlie and cause dementia-related behaviors.

The DAWN Method isn’t groundbreaking because it offers a new approach or new model for dealing with dementia. In the language of the dementia care community, the DAWN approach is habilitative and its model is experiential, exemplifying person-directed care. What is unique about the DAWN Method is that it identifies the problem caused by dementia as being the emotional distress a person experiences when undergoing progressive cognitive impairment, and provides caregivers with precise tools matched to those emotional needs. When the emotional distress caused by experiencing dementia is seen as the problem, and dementia-related behaviors as mere symptoms, behaviors become predictable and avoidable. That’s the magic of the DAWN Method.

Judy’s book will detail the use of the DAWN tools so that every family and caregiver can give people experiencing dementia the sense of security and wellbeing they need so badly.