In developing the DAWN Method, the remarkable Judy Cornish has made it possible for those experiencing Dementia/Alzheimer’s to stay in their own homes. As a Social Worker and volunteer for Hospice, I have seen firsthand the positive effects on both the patient and the family/caregiver when one has the resources to be in the comforts of home. After learning the 7 steps of the DAWN Method I was able to put into practice Judy’s approach. When a family member/caregiver begins to understand the emotions and feelings their loved one is experiencing, they are then open to learn the DAWN Method. This method teaches and provides the guidance needed to convey a more secure, relaxed and loving atmosphere. I have seen amazing results using this Method, families feeling totally overwhelmed to then creating and cherishing loving moments together. I thank Judy for all her time and endless research in developing the DAWN Method and then her willingness to teach and share her method. Many families will benefit greatly from the DAWN Method.
I have a lot of experience in caregiving and working with seniors. I have found the DAWN tools to be very helpful. One of the tools is mood management. I have a client who is often frustrated by not being able to find the words she wants to say. When we get in my car, I point out the beauty in the sky and clouds, describing them for her, and then tell her they remind me of a favorite song. We start singing “There’s a Blue Sky Way Up Yonder.” Singing is her happy place, where she can experience a positive mood. When I tell her that she taught me a cowboy song back when I first knew her and we begin singing it, she always so feels so good to have given me something beautiful, too.
The DAWN tool of social success has worked so well with another client. When she and I are out, we often meet a friend of hers from church. At first, her friend would constantly ask her questions and she would become very nervous and embarrassed. Using the social success tool, I began to ask the friend questions and get the friend to open up and tell us about herself and her friendship with my client. Soon my client’s friend learned to look at her and include her in what she was saying, but not ask questions. My client now greatly enjoys meeting this friend, loves having conversations with her, and no longer feels threatened.
I just completed the Dawn Method of caregiving course. I found the program has helped reduce stress levels substantially for both the client and myself. My client tends to get upset when he can’t find things. I found the method of chattering while looking really calms him down. I highly recommend this program to families dealing with dementia.
Thank you Judy, I really enjoyed working with you.
To us, as DAWN dementia care professionals, it seems so normal that our clients can rely on their intuitive thought processes and lead happy lives. Yet most caregivers think people with dementia or Alzheimer’s are angry and difficult. Not our clients! The DAWN Method brings happiness. The classes we offer will change your life and the life of your loved one.
I started working for Judy Cornish a little over 3 years ago. I had no experience working with people who had dementia, although I grew up with the most wonderful grandparents. Her method, brilliant but simple, intrigued me.
Every hour and every minute I am with one of our clients I communicate to them through my actions that they are loved, cared for and, most importantly, that they matter. Three things come to my mind which I count as the pillars of our work: First, our clients are amazing people who had been living full and productive lives. They contributed to our society for decades to make our lives better and easier, so they deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and love. Secondly, when I am with a client, I respect and accept their reality and don’t make any attempt to change it. This approach results in our clients feeling safe and that they can trust us. Finally, I accept my clients as they are. They have dementia so they will ask the same questions over and over. I never, ever remind them that they had already asked me that same question. I always answer their questions as I am hearing it for the first time. This approach means our clients feel comfortable around us and it results in them asking fewer questions.
I am so blessed to have met Judy and become a DAWN dementia care specialist. We, her team, are 100 percent behind her and join her in believing that we should always put the person who suffers from dementia first.
Being a caregiver is one of the most rewarding jobs there is. But without a compassionate and understanding method like the Dawn Method, it can be difficult to find the source of the behavior and turn it into something positive in a loving manner. I have a client who is very determined to feel in control. I use the tools of the Dawn Method every day with her. It took a few months, but she now feels completely in control in several areas, despite her dementia. Before I had been trained in the DAWN Method, I had nothing but common sense and compassion guiding me. Now I feel that with creativity and the DAWN tools I can help anyone who needs care.
I work with a client who has many caregivers, but only two of us use the DAWN method. When we DAWN caregivers have a shift immediately following some of the others, we find her more confused and anxious, voicing her despair about how “stupid” she is. As a DAWN caregiver, I know my job is to protect her dignity and help her live her life at her own pace, in the comfort of any fond memories she is able to retain. When I use the DAWN tools that are habilitative and person-centered care, and can be so easily learned and applied, it restores her wellbeing.