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Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Cathy Braxton on Language & Dementia

Thursday – April 15th, 2021 – 2pm EST, 1pm CDT, 12pm MST, 11am PST & 7pm London, 8pm South Africa and on the 16th, at 4am in Australia AEST

Lori La Bey talks with Cathy Braxton the founder of Improv4Caregivers, a site which offers a variety of support to those who care.  Today we are going to talk with Cathy about the importance of language and how it impacts our relationships.

Contact Cathy Braxton:

Website:  improv4caregivers.com

Email:  improv4caregivers@gmail.com

Facebook: improv4caregivers (Beautiful Failure Fridays)

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I want to echo the thanks and appreciation of my colleagues… Your presentations were movingly authentic, fully engaging and wonderfully informative. Thank you for all that you are doing, and all that you’ve done for us!

Carla Koehl, Director of Community RelationsArtis Senior Living of Lexington

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Dementia Raw Talks with Alzheimer’s Speaks on their Model of Care

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio 

Talks with the Founders of

The Dementia Raw Method

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018 at 2pm EST, 1pm CST, 12pm MST, 11am PST

and 7pm London

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Cathy Braxton and Tami Neumann from Silver Dawn Training Institute talk with Lori La Bey the host and founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio.  They know caring for persons with dementia brings a unique set of challenges and their Institute equips professionals and loved ones with a new way to communicate with these individuals: introspective improv. 

Known as “Dementia Raw” their approach is unscripted, unconventional and unapologetic. They deal with real-life scenarios and consider – ‘the patients’ – vantage points. Their training is based on the company founders’ experience in long-term care.

Cathy is the Chief Education Officer of Silver Dawn Training Institute and Tami is the Chief Operations Officer.  Together they co-created the Dementia RAW Method. Collectively they have over 40 years of experience in the long-term care/aging industry.

Come learn and laugh with us as we discuss new ways to live graciously alongside dementia.

Watch the Video Interview

Contact Cathy Braxton and Tami Neumann

Buy Their Book!

Website:  www.DementiaRAW.com

Phone:  219-649-1732

Facebook:  Dementia RAW

Instagram: @DementiaRAW

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 “Feedback from the conference planning committee and our leadership team was extremely positive. Many attendees commented that she was one of the best speakers they had heard.” 

Pat Sylvia, Director of Education & Member Development LeadingAge Washington

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Speak To The Heart

By: Michelle Remold

We often do things that are seemingly minute to us, but these things can mean a great deal to others. Imagine that you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Little by little your memory fades away. Not only would you forget how to do things like use the microwave and cook, but you forget your family and friends and are no longer able to express your feelings; however, you are in there somewhere.

This would make it very difficult not only for you to communicate with others, but for others to communicate with you as well. If you are unable to use words to communicate with others, it is important to find other ways to communicate with them. The small things we can do to communicate with those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia are numerous. You can communicate through touch: a hug, holding hands, a back rub; you can communicate with them by being attentive to their needs: combing/brushing their hair, cleaning their glasses; or talking to them and not expecting a response back: tell them how nice they look, how nice their smile is – everyone likes a compliment.

All in all, at the end of the day the way you do things like hold their hand and give them a reassuring smile, that is what lets them know it will be okay. These seemingly insignificant things are what speak volumes, often without having to say a single word; these things are what speak to someone’s heart.

So when it becomes difficult to hold a conversation with someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, try holding their hand or giving them a smile. You may not know what they are thinking, but that smile or a pat on the back might be just what they need. It’s not always the big things, but rather the small things that speak to the heart.

???????????????????????????????Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.

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They Have Dementia, What Can They Do?

By: Michelle Remold

Recently I overheard a conversation about someone’s family member who had dementia. They were discussing how they disliked that their loved one seemingly spent all day in their room. One of the people appeared to pacify this concern they had by stating, “They have dementia, what else can they do?” This statement shocked me, but sadly this wasn’t the first time I have heard a statement similar to this. In the past I have been asked if I had activity ideas for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia because this person simply didn’t know what to do with them. I think that it is sad that people think just because they have dementia or Alzheimer’s the person is destined to spend their days just sitting in their rooms, when the reality is that any stimulation is good.

I have a plethora of activity ideas for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. I think that it is often overlooked how basic the stimulation can be. I have taken people down to play BINGO, sometimes they would have moments where they seemed understand the game, but most of the time they didn’t. I also have become increasingly comfortable sitting and just talking with them. Sometimes I am not sure how much I am saying is understood, but it’s better than nothing. When I would take my memory program to facilities while still at the University of Northern Iowa, staff would often tell me who would and wouldn’t participate in the discussions. It often happened that the people I was told wouldn’t talk, would participate in the discussion. It didn’t always pertain to what we were talking about, but it solicited a response. My group members and I would listen contentedly and respond, sometimes more people joined in and we had great discussions going. Occasionally some visual aids or our beach ball would get a reaction from some people. I remember at one facility we had a package of pencils and everyone was intrigued by them. We talked with the activity director and everyone left with a pencil.

It doesn’t have to be complex activities to stimulate people. It could be a conversation, puzzles, a book, music, games, and so many more other activities that can prove stimulating to different people. Any sensory motor activities are great. I don’t think there are any limits to the activities that can be offered to those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, sometimes you just need to be accommodating. Instead of stating, “They have dementia what else can they do?” I would pose this question instead, “What activities can I do that would provide them with the stimulation they need?”

008Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.

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Communication is Key

By: Michelle Remold

Being a Gerontology major; aging, dementia, and Alzheimer’s were  and are often discussed in classes. I must say though that even before heading to college, I would often talk about dementia and Alzheimer’s with friends and anyone who would listen. I found that Alzheimer’s was often the topic of many high school research papers I wrote. It never hit me that the topic of dementia and Alzheimer’s weren’t always openly discussed.

This past week Lori La Bey was in my hometown giving a presentation at Keystone Senior Living. I attended and had some people I have recently met accompany me as well. The people who attended with me hear me talk about grad school and the fact I want to work with those affected by Alzheimer’s quite frequently. During the presentation, it is mentioned that Alzheimer’s and dementia are something we need to talk more about. I couldn’t agree more.

I don’t know why it isn’t discussed more. It could be there are stigmas attached with the disease or fear of what people will say or think. The thing I have found though is that more often than not, the people I am talking with have had some experience with Alzheimer’s or dementia in one way or another. It is comforting to know that others around have experienced or are experiencing the things you are or have faced. I also enjoy listening to different stories and hearing what worked for them and what didn’t work in different situations.

However after the presentation this past week, I saw the same people ecstatic about what they had just learned. Communication lines were definitely opened. I think attending things like presentations or just talking a little more openly about Alzheimer’s and dementia can help people find others that understand them and what they are dealing with. I do hope that this does become a more openly discussed topic. No one should feel alone or have to face the challenges presented alone either. I think we can only better ourselves by increasing our knowledge of Alzheimer’s and dementia and learning how to support those with the disease and their caregivers.

008Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.

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