Jan 22, 2016

Dementia: A Different Way of Being

We recently heard a marvelous talk given by Dr. G. Allen Power. In this lecture, Dr. Power brings up a number of thought provoking ideas about dementia.

Can a person still be who they are if they can’t remember who they were?

Can a person still be who they are if they can’t remember who they were?

Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room
Email:

By Tom and Karen Brenner
Alzheimer's Reading Room

We would like to share a couple of Dr. Power’s ideas with you:

1. A New Definition of Dementia: “Dementia is a shift in the way a person experiences the world.”

Think about this for a moment!

G. Allen Power is inviting us to consider that a person living with dementia is not suffering from some awful disease but is, rather, living life in a different way.

Some of this new way of experiencing the world may be awful, some of it may be quite beautiful, some of it may be scary, but none of it should be considered crazy or demented.

Maybe we should try and think of a new word for dementia itself?

Custom Search - Deeply Forgetful Dementia


2. Another of Dr. Power’s revolutionary ideas is this:

When a person is living with dementia, their experience will be the “new normal.”

If this is the case, isn’t it up to us to provide the people living with this new normal all of the assistance we can offer?

Dr. Power calls this creating “ramps” for people living with dementia, just as we create wheelchair ramps, sensory gardens for the blind, hearing aids for the deaf.

What if we begin to think of dementia as a disability and not a disease? 

There are many proactive accommodations we could make for people who are living with dementia so that their lives could be more successful, more integrated into society, more joyful!

Custom Search - Are Alzheimer's Patients Irrational


3. Dr. Power very kindly read our book, You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello: The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care.

He told us that one of the concepts in our book that really jumped out at him was when we posed this question:
Can a person still be who they are if they can’t remember who they were?

We consider this to be the central question of our work with people who are living with dementia. We know very well what our answer to this question is. What is YOUR answer?

Custom Search - Can a person still be who they are if they can’t remember who they were?


Dr. G. Allen Power is a board certified Internist and Geriatrician. He is the author of the books, Dementia Beyond Disease and Dementia Beyond Drugs.

What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia

Test Your Memory for Alzheimer's and Dementia (5 Best Memory Tests)

Tom Brenner is a gerontologist who specializes in creating dementia care programs that are strength based and positive leaning. His wife, Karen, is a Montessori educator who co-founded a Montessori school for children who are deaf. The Brenner’s have worked together for the past twenty years researching and implementing the application of the Montessori Method for positive dementia care.

After years of working directly with people living with dementia and their caregivers, the Brenners published a book about their work, You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello: The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care. Tom and Karen travel throughout the United States presenting workshops, training programs and speaking engagements about their uplifting and positive approach to dementia care.

You are reading original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room