What Makes A Great Advocate?

Author: Anonymous

One who is always with an open mind and not paying attention to just any one speaking.

Seeks answers from multiple experts not just people’s opinions.

Need to have the attitude that anything can be accomplished.

You must be able to find a way to go around someone that stands in your way.

Don’t assume people do not hear you or react to your request. You need to constantly follow up over and over even though it is repetitive. I like to call them as baby steps and over time that lead to walking and running.

Need to go to the right person to address things not just any one.

Don’t just complain about something but put it in writing and get it to a person that can actual make the change. Not just someone who will be sympathetic with you.

When something is wrong with a organization don’t just bad mouth them but make real recommendations on how to fix it and continue to address it with multiple people in that organization. Get others to help and do the same

Use the internet to your advantage to search for key people and to learn more about the person you are talking to or need to talk to.

Rely on your key contacts to help open you doors.

You need to act like your confident even if you are not.

Insure you are accurate with the information you provide. If you are not,make sure to tell them you don’t know. Your credibility is critical.

Don’t be based on any single organization or favor any part of government. You must remain completely none biased.

When you see or hear something wrong address it with a letter to the source.

Do not be afraid to tackle any issue you may not be aware of. If you get expert feedback on issues then you can address the issue and point people in the right direction.

Do not expect to be able to measure your results as some may take years to happen and you may never realize the benefit you may have helped shape. I have seen some take 3 years. Some you never hear back on.

You need to treat this as a real job and become a expert in what you are doing.

Need to have a real passion if you want to be successful.

It will be very stressful for months but it will get easier the more you push.

You will never be in the comfort zone but as long as you do your best that is okay.

The biggest problem I see with many folks they come into this with wrong opinions that they heard from some other source and most times they are not correct. Need to learn to tune that out otherwise you will get sucked into wasting your time with the wrong people that do not matter in bringing change.

If you know you are right about something then stick with it.

Don’t assume you know everything because there is so much more to know. You only know what you learned or could remember. That does not mean there is no other answer.

You will make mistakes and that is okay as long as you let them know when you do them.

All of this can be done at anyone’s speed or skill set, but it takes determination and commitment..

What Additional Thoughts Do You Have

About Being An Advocate?

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Below: A Great Example Of Advocates Living With Dementia

Voices of Those Diagnosed with Dementia

Dementia Chats™ was created with the intention to educate people living with dementia; their care partners both family and friends as well as professionals and advocates.  Our Experts are those diagnosed with dementia.

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Ben Utecht, Super Bowl Champion

On Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

Tuesday, Oct. 25th, 2016

2pm EST, 1pm CST, 12pm MST, 11am PST and 7pm London

Click Below


Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio is thrilled to have Ben Utecht a Super Bowl champion, motivational speaker and author.  His new book Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away chronicles his miraculous journey into the NFL, his triumphs and struggles both on and off the field, and the hope he’s discovered in the face of adversity.

Contact Information For

Email:  matt@ben-utecht.com

Website:  www.ben-utecht.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/benutecht

Twitter: @benutecht


Additional Resources Provided by Alzheimer’s Speaks

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I am so proud of George Seiler for sharing his deep love for his wife Annie.  George and Annie were such a gift to not only to all of our members and facilitators at Arthur’s Memory Cafe, Minnesota in general but the world as a whole as they shared their life, their love and their insights of living graciously with dementia.

Lori La Bey, founder  of Alzheimer’s Speaks

Ode to Annie

By George Seiler

Her Smile

From across the floor

a warmth engulfed me

from a distant smile.

The smile neared,

The warmth grew.

I flushed, then stiffened.

From the smile a hand extended.

The touch connected and

stayed forever as

Two souls became one.


She made me feel

warm when I felt cold.

wanted when I felt alone.

excited when I felt dull.

proud when I felt insecure.

rich when I felt poor.

strong when I felt weak.

There was a magic in her spirit.


Her final breath

She lie unmoving.

Her face taut and pale.

Her breath- barely.

Her eyes closed- unseeing.

I don’t know if she hears me

or the soft music she loves.

I think of her beauty and warmth.

My heart beats of fondness.

My eyes flow with sadness.

Her pulse slows, then stops.

Her spirit leaves.

I am alone.


Her Spirit

in soundless night I


Then hear the soft step


Is she coming in to


I wait………………………


into my pillow

I weep.


Resources for Dementia & Caregiving

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Roseville, Minnesota Launch a New Program Called

The Dementia Caregiver Re-Entry Initiative

Learn Why



Join these Great Opportunities

Learn More About Dementia


For Additional Resources For Dementia & Caregiving

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Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

Living in a Dementia Care Community


Click Above To Go To The Show

Today we will be talking with Rachael Wonderlin, Author of When Someone You Know is Living in a Dementia Care Community.” Rachael has her Master’s degree in Gerontology.  She has worked in several senior living companies throughout the country as a Dementia Care Director. She has a blog, Dementia By Day,” which inspired her to write her book,  recently published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Contact Information For:

Email:  rachaelwonderlin@gmail.com

For Additional Resources

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Should Someone With Dementia Drive?

By Carole Larkin

FINALLY, there are tests to help doctors determine whether a person with dementia can continue to drive.

Well, they are really screening tests to predict whether a person with dementia will fail a road driving test. I found an article about the screening tests in the September/October edition of the magazine Today’s Geriatric Medicine pages 13-15. (www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com). They are meant for a doctor or his trained assistant to administer in the office when a family member or another person expresses concern about the person with dementia’s driving ability. It appears to me that it will take about a half hour to administer, grade and interpret the outcome of the tests. If the person “fails” or in my opinion, has less than a 50% score, (meaning that they have less than a 50-50 chance of passing a real driving test), then that indicates that they should have a thorough driving test given by specialized occupational therapists. That 50% cut off is just my opinion, you might think that under a 70% (or other percentage) score means that they need further evaluation. That’s up to you.

Where do you find these specialized occupational therapists? Usually in fairly large cities with large hospitals (teaching hospitals or regular hospitals). You’d probably have to call the hospitals to see if they have one in their occupational therapy department. You probably would have to talk to the occupational therapy department itself; I doubt anyone else in the hospital would even know about the specialized occupational therapists.

With this specialized evaluation, if the person with dementia fails those tests, you have proof in writing that they can no longer drive. It’s very hard for the person with dementia to argue that they can still drive when you show them in writing the proof that they can’t. If it was me, I’d make a number of copies of the findings, in case the person gets mad and rips them up every time they see them. (I believe in being prepared for the worst.) You might also send a copy of the tests to your state’s driving licensing authority, the insurance company that insures their car/truck, and the local police, just to be sure everybody involved in taking away the keys knows that the person can no longer drive.

Do I believe that primary care doctors have time to administer these tests on a regular basis? Heck no! Nowadays office visits average 7-10 minutes. Maybe some doctors will appoint someone in their office to train to administer the tests, and have them do it. That is, if they even have extra staff available to do it, along with their regular jobs. When have you seen extra staff at your doctor’s office? Aha- that’s what I thought. Instead the doctor could set aside a day a week/month when there somebody at the office to administer the tests, like maybe on a Saturday? We can hope!


I am attaching the links to the two tests used in this screening and how to score them, so you can print them out and take them to your doctor. The first test is the MMSE the most common screening test used by doctors to discover cognitive deficits. (I think there are far better tests for cognitive deficits than the MMSE. The MOCA is one of my favorites. But hey, this is not about me!) The researchers used this test in developing their tool (the Fit2Drive app) to help decide whether to refer the patient for more thorough testing, so I’m including its link here.


The second test is the Trail-Making Test Part B. There is a Trail-Making Test Part A that is used to get the person being tested a little practice in doing that type of test before actually attempting the real test, Part B. I’ve included the Link to both Part A and Part B and how to score them.



After the two tests are taken and scored, the person testing takes the total score, adding the Score on the MMSE and the Trails B time it took to complete it correctly and enters them into the slots for each on the calculator at the website, http://Fit2Drive.us or by downloading its Mobil app to your cellphone, (both Apple and Android are available) from that same website. The answer will indicate the probability that the person could pass the road part of the driving test given by the special occupational therapists.


Remember, these two tests and the Fit2Drive tool are made for doctors or their trained assistants to administer, not the general public. If you wish to administer the tests and use the tool yourself, you are doing so at your own risk. You would have to read the instructions to train yourself how to do it 100% correctly, and most importantly, when you grade it you must do so with absolute impartiality, no matter how much you want the person to fail.  After all, how embarrassed would you be if you say the person failed and they didn’t, and they insisted on taking the more complete tests given by the occupational therapists and they passed them? Yikes! I’m just warning you up front, because there is NO WAY that I’m taking the fall for what happens out of the testing when you do it. It’s truly on you.

Of course, these screening tests can always be repeated after time passes to see if the person’s abilities have deteriorated more.

Hopefully this will help get some dangerous drivers off the road, and lower your stress level about your loved one driving with dementia.

Carole Larkin can be reached via Email.

Additional Resources for those

Living and Dealing with Dementia


Watch Team Members Below Explain

Why this initiative is important

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Coconut Oil & Dementia – 

What’s All the Buzz?

On Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio – Oct 6th, 2016

2pm EST, 1pm CST, 12pm MST, 11am PST and 7pm London time


This coming Thursday, October6th, 2016, we will have Dr. Bruce Fife who is a certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician. Dr Fife is the author of over 20 books including “Stop Alzheimer’s Now.” He serves as the director of the Coconut Research Center.  Join us and learn about the benefits of coconut oil.

Contact Information For Dr Bruce Fife:

www.coconutresearchcenter.org and bruce@coconutresearchcenter.org

For Additional  Resources See Below


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