Seeking Positive Pathways

Carol Waarala, MSW, LMSW, Certified Specialist in Aging & Dementia

Finding the “Me” in Dementia

finding-the-meSometimes life takes us off the beaten path. The unplanned intrusion of dementia into our lives not only can stop us in our tracks, but can certainly take us off the planned path we had imagined was our future.

Cairns are man-made piles of rock; trail markers left by others to mark their paths and a way home on uncharted journeys. This presentation will help us to build cairns for ourselves and others – to mark newer paths in dementia care. Paths that are discovered through empowerment – not dependency. Paths that are discovered through recognizing and encouraging talents, skills and strengths – not assuming problems and deficits. Paths that are discovered through honoring and respecting collaboration and partnerships – not through exclusion and disabling.

We will look at the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s, examine negative social stigma and ways to reduce it, and learn to better understand and respect the persons living with dementia.