Talking and listening to people with Alzheimer's makes many of us uncomfortable. We may be inclined to contradict, to tune out, to become impatient. This knowledgeable guide will increase your confidence and show you many ways to connect kindly with someone with dementia. The same practical points apply whether you're interacting with a family member, a patient, a client, a colleague, or even someone you know more casually. You can promote purposeful living and preserve independence, even in brief encounters or visits. The more of us who become fluent in talking and listening to people with dementia, the less socially isolated and at risk this still-growing group will be.
As neurologist William Shankle observes in the book's foreword: "From a scientific perspective, the final frontier is not space, as Star Trek proclaimed, but rather the understanding of behavior.... Dr. Jane Mahakian's direct experience, knowledge, and wisdom in finding solutions to these difficult problems is akin to that of an artist applying their creativity to express a new way of seeing the world."
At the heart of I hear you are vignettes that will give you a glimpse into the realm of forgetfulness. You may find yourself nodding or smiling as you read them, or you may be touched or surprised.
Gerontologist Jane L. Mahakian has specialized for more than 30 years in managing the care of people with forgetfulness, primarily Alzheimer's and other dementias. Writer Alyson Kuhn sought Dr. Jane's guidance when she needed to move her mother, who lived gracefully with dementia for ten years, to a memory care community. Alyson's detailed email exchanges and many phone calls with Dr. Jane over several years formed the basis for the I hear you writing partnership.
|Publisher:||Aging Matters, Inc|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)|
About the Author
Dr. Jane is a consistent advocate for those living in the "realm of forgetfulness." In 2010, she developed a continuing education curriculum for registered nurses, specifically exploring Your Reality or Theirs? Empowering the person with dementia. In 2013, she developed a memory enhancement program for residents of an assisted living community. She developed the Healthy Aging Memory Club for people with mild cognitive impairment, which educates people on how to maintain their brain health. Dr. Jane was honored to be the 2013 recipient of the Alzheimer's Association of Orange County's Visionary Women award. In 2017, she was the featured speaker at the American Association of University Women's Orange County Chapter meeting.
In 2017, Dr. Jane founded Alzheimer's Care Armenia, a non-profit at the forefront in that country in developing sustainable programs and services for people with dementia and their families. In 2018, Alzheimer's Care Armenia partnered with Silverado, a leader in memory care communities in the U.S., to organize the first-ever Alzheimer's disease conference in Armenia for family caregivers and healthcare professionals. Dr. Jane is currently collaborating with the Armenian government to create national dementia initiatives and to develop the first memory care community.
Alyson Kuhn is a freelance writer and editor. For more than 20 years, she has worked with brands in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She has served as senior editor for Heart to Heart Global Cardiac Care for well over a decade (heart-2-heart.org). Since 2017, she has collaborated with the Koret Foundation in San Francisco on stories profiling the accomplishments of its grantees (koret.org).
Alyson's writing collaboration with Dr. Jane Mahakian is personal as well as professional. Alyson's mother suffered from dementia, and Alyson benefited from Dr. Jane's coaching over several years. Dr. Jane's clinical wisdom helped Alyson to adapt compassionately to her mother's declining memory and to enjoy a richer (and more humorous) relationship than she could have imagined possible.
Alyson has also written extensively about paper, printing, art, and design, including the text for two exhibitions at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum, Alphabetilately and Trailblazers & Trendsetters. In 2018, Alyson co-presented a webinar she named Thoroughly Modern Mail, sponsored partly by the U.S. Postal Service. She is also a popular speaker about the connections made, and creativity sparked, by corresponding on paper. She has written for several design publications, in print and online. Her most recent print articles, both for UPPERCASE magazine, are Snippets and slices and shards, oh my! and Abecedary of Stationery & Epistolary Luminaries.
Alyson served as communications director on the board of AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) in San Francisco for five years, stewarding the chapter's philatelic alphabet, a project she conceived, to ever-greater visibility and licensing opportunities, including a seven-year exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. Alyson received the prestigious AIGA Fellow award in 2015.