Based on a program now more than two decades old, The Elderwise Way: A Different Approach to Life With Dementia summarizes the principles and practices of a unique adult day enrichment program that has a spirit-centered approach to working with people with dementia. Based in Seattle, Elderwise is at the forefront of the expansion of our understanding of how to be with those with cognitive loss.
Reading about dementia can be hard and frightening. While there is more understanding and information available than ever before, it is easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. One of the core takeaways from many of the books is the belief that when someone is diagnosed with dementia, they are no longer there--instead, they are lost to those who know and love them, no longer accessible or knowable. One reads and grieves.
Reading The Elderwise Way: A Different Approach to Life With Dementia has a different effect. It opens the heart and mind to the awareness that cognitive losses do not eradicate the essence of a person. It opens the reader to the possibility that someone with memory loss can still expand in ways of the heart. Though relationships will change, they can still be meaningful and loving. Through stories and concepts, it illuminates approaches that can provide opportunities for persons with memory loss to become more joyful, more tolerant and more loving.
This book does not minimize the loss and necessary adjustment required by all involved. It does, however, offer concrete examples of how to adapt and enjoy the relationship in its present form. It provides opportunities for growth, for both the person with memory loss and the care partner.
The Elderwise Way: A Different Approach to Life With Dementia is filled with compassion and connection, humor and honesty. It reminds us of our own humanity and deep capacity for love.
Sandy Sabersky has, for all of her adult life, focused her professional and personal attention on the fields of aging and spiritual growth. After more than two decades as a Physical Therapist, these two threads were brought together when she co-founded Elderwise in 1997. She is grateful for all the opportunities Elderwise has given her: for learning, growth and expansion. She appreciates the opportunities it brings to express herself--artistically, verbally and through movement--and for the community of fellow travelers.
Ruth Neuwald Falcon is an Emmy Award-winning editor, writer, producer, web content creator and blogger. She has also run a small business and been executive director of two non-profit organizations. She enjoys working collaboratively with other authors and filmmakers. At the beginning of the pandemic, as a way of building virtual community, she started the Corona Support Blog. You can learn more about her work as a Creative Content Collaborator at www.ruthneuwaldfalcon.com.
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