The tools of the DAWN Method are designed to help families and caregivers meet the emotional needs and rational thought losses caused by dementia, enabling loved ones and clients to retain a greater sense of dignity and autonomy even though they are losing the ability to care for themselves.

The DAWN Method is habilitative and person-directed in its approach to dementia care. When you use DAWN techniques, you’ll find that your loved one’s sense of wellbeing improves and your own stress lessens.

The method is taught in 8 one-hour sessions, starting with an introduction to dementia care. The following seven classes help attendees learn to recognize and respond to seven specific emotional needs caused by dementia, and provide tools and techniques for meeting those needs.

Judy currently lives in Moscow, Idaho, and will gladly provide training in person for families, private caregivers, agencies, and care facilities within a one hour driving radius. Training in other locations is available online via webinar, or in person for an additional fee.

Contact us at info@thedawnmethod to arrange either personal or group sessions. Fees can be arranged per class or by number of attendees.

Continuing Education Credits

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

Class #1: Dementia Care Overview

Understand the two very different approaches to working with people experiencing dementia (reality orientation and habilitation) and the person-directed care model. Recognize anosognosia and how it affects acceptance of care. Explore the losses caused by dementia from a care perspective. Begin to recognize the altered realities and emotional needs created by progressive cognitive impairment.


Class #2: Practicing Mood Management

Explore the importance of managing our own moods and those of people experiencing dementia. Learn how to manage your own mood to minimize stress in caregiving, and how to diagnose and respond to your loved one’s moods. Introduction of concepts such as brain chat and emotional tags.

Bonus: Find respite in the moment.


Class #3: Developing Security in Confusion

Learn more about our two very different thought processes, the intuitive and rational. Understand how the loss of rational thought affects your loved one’s ability to function in daily life. Explore nonverbal communication and emotional tags in detail and learn tools and techniques to help your loved one find peace and safety in confusion.

Bonus: Enjoy the morphine button effect.


Class #4: Developing Security in Care

Recognize the three prerequisites to teaching a loved one that s/he is safe in receiving care from others. Learn the areas in which caregivers can help their loved ones become able to accept direction and assistance. Understand how to impart a sense of team functioning and avoid the passivity that results from failure at mastery.

Bonus: Reduced repetitive questioning.


Class #5: Giving Social Success

Learn to recognize the situations in which assistance will help your loved one avoid withdrawing and isolating. Learn to use and master the skill of managed conversation. Understand the importance of identifying and providing a blend of social stimulation that is appropriate for your loved one.

Bonus: Reduction in agitation, isolation, wandering.


Class #6: Giving a Sense of Control

Explore anosognosia in detail and how it affects your loved one’s need for control. Learn how to enhance your loved one’s ability to make decisions and develop his/her sense of control over body and life. Understand the power of catchphrases and how hiding the end goal can help your loved one feel less resistant to direction.

Bonus: Less desire for control.


Class #7: Giving a Sense of Value

Learn how to preserve and enhance your loved one’s sense of value and belonging. Understand techniques for communicating acceptance, respect, and admiration in your communications and interactions. Explore the importance of understanding and accepting altered realities. Learn ways to work with someone difficult to admire or love.

Bonus: Balancing safety and selfhood.


Class #8: Building a Secure Future

Review the previous six DAWN tools and how they help our loved ones develop a sense of security and wellbeing. Learn to identify and develop the security symbol your loved one has internalized, and its role in sustaining wellbeing. Understand the six stages that dementia presents from the perspective of changing needs and the increasing need for emotional support.

Bonus: Maximize ability to age in place.