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.