The Marvels of Misplacing

July 18, 2017

“These days I am constantly losing things,” a friend tells me. I understand, because I frequently misplace  objects and even words! As I was worrying over this issue, which seems to plague so many people I know, I came across this piece I wrote several years ago. It reminded me to “seek” the creativity and joy hidden in every…

Boost Energy with Savvy Smoothies

July 11, 2017

Ever wish you could have an instant jolt of muscle and energy like Popeye did when he gulped down his can of vitamin-rich spinach? I asked renowned cookbook writer and fiction author Judith Fertig for some easy and healthy ways for us all to boost energy with savvy smoothies.  Judith agreed to share a few…

They Yearned for Freedom

July 4, 2017

I often think of my grandparents, each of whom bravely made his and her way to America. They sought opportunity and they yearned for freedom. Freedom to be safe from persecution, freedom to practice their religion, freedom from stigma,  freedom to be their own true selves. The same things we all want. Here’s to living…

Boost Body and Spirit with Nature: Tips for Care Partners and People Living with Dementia

June 27, 2017

“I can’t imagine a world where I couldn’t enjoy outdoor pleasures whenever I want,” said Mike Good, founder of Together in This. As I listened to Mike’s Podcast on the power of nature, I thought of my mother. Mom taught me to love birds, flowers, trees, and mountains. Even in her last days, a yellow rose…

Redefining Dementia and Focusing on Wellbeing

June 20, 2017

Several months ago, I was delighted to write an article highlighting some of the American leaders in dementia care. I will be occasionally spotlighting luminaries from that article who are redefining dementia and focusing on wellbeing. A version of this piece appeared in Signpost Journal: Journal of Dementia and Mental Health of Older People. This…

Passing Down the Punchline: A Father’s Day Retrospective

June 13, 2017

This blog is a tribute to my father, an honoring of my amazing brother, and a chance to share one of my dad’s favorite jokes. I welcome your favorite jokes and I wish you a lovely day of celebrating good fathers. Warmly,  Deborah THE JOKES ON HIM It’s the fifties. My brother Dan and I…

Laughing During the Dementia Journey: A Map to Increased Health and Happiness

June 6, 2017

“I feel so much better after all this laughing,” our friend told us. “My brain fog has lifted. I feel myself again.” Our friend has been struggling with memory issues and a dimness in her thinking. We had a wonderful time practicing laughing exercises with her.  The more we laughed together, the easier and more…

Laughing Increases Happiness and Health: Enriching the Dementia Journey

May 30, 2017

Ever since I interviewed Dr. Madan Kataria, the founder of Laughter Yoga, I’ve wanted to learn more and laugh more. That’s because laughing increases health and happiness. There are no Downward Facing Dogs, Warriors, or other traditional yoga postures in the laughter practice.  Instead the focus is on gentle breathing exercises, easy movements, and, of…

Make Dreams Come True 

May 23, 2017

All her life, my mother dreamed of visiting Japan.  She loved Japanese art, food, and culture. But she thought such a trip was too expensive and complicated. Even as Mom struggled with cognitive impairment, her yearning of Japan remained. Then my brother moved to Tokyo and prepared to make dreams come true. He arranged for…

Adapting Hobbies to Meet Changing Abilities

May 16, 2017

Years ago, I worked as an activity director at a county home in Butler, Mo. There I learned about adapting hobbies to meet changing abilities. Albert taught me that even when you can’t grip a domino, you can still enjoy the game. Every Wednesday, we dropped him off at the town square for his weekly…

Deborah Head shot small

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Books & Videos

A ‘must read’ for every care partner because it really helps you to look at things differently! This book is very special in the way it provides you with hundreds of suggestions on how to be a good care partner for someone with dementia and enjoy this yourself as well. Deborah inspired me by bringing together so many positive examples of using creativity to engage with people with dementia.”--Marc Wortmann, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Disease International

“Deborah Shouse’s inspiring book provides caregivers with tools from which to create meaningful, life-enhancing activities that can strengthen their connections. Buy the book, read it, highlight what inspires you. As you make notes and bend pages to personalize this guide, you are creating a family treasure.”--Carol Bradley Bursack, Founder of Minding Our Elders

“Once again, Deborah Shouse delivers a book that softens our hearts and opens our minds to find fun ways to connect to the soul. No matter what our situation in life, no matter what our ability is to communicate, we all crave and need to be connected to one another.”--Lori La Bey, Founder of Alzheimersspeaks website