Listen to Ron's Interview with Judy Cornish
What’s the Latest Research in the Global Fight against Alzheimer’s?
As we close out the month of June—Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month—today’s episode features Judy Cornish, an author and founder of the Dementia & Alzheimer’s Wellbeing Network (DAWN). Several years ago, Judy, a retired elder law attorney, had planned to lead a quiet life in a small Idaho town. Instead, through a chance encounter with a neighbor, she became deeply involved in the world of dementia care, creating an unusual approach she calls the DAWN Method. This “patient-centered approach” focuses not on a medical model of dementia, but on an understanding of how people experience the disease, particularly how they respond to the loss of skills such as memory, language, judgment and perception--and how this response affects their emotions and subsequent behaviors. In confronting this devastating disease, the DAWN method acknowledges the impact of these losses, but also emphasizes the skills that remain. Skills like intuitive thinking and “mindlessness”—automatic mental tools like muscle memory that can extend a person’s ability to function. Judy, who has written two books, The Dementia Handbook and Dementia With Dignity, will explain how finding the strengths in these remaining skills can help shape how people react and enhance companionship with caregivers. In the process, we can discover the unexpected gifts of dementia, appreciating the ability to be fully present in the “now,” enjoying life’s beauty together, while ensuring a sense of safety, security and dignity for our loved ones.
Featured Guest: Judy Cornish
Judy Cornish is an author and founder of the Dementia & Alzheimer’s Wellbeing Network. A retired elder law attorney, she is the creator of the DAWN Method® of dementia care. Her two books, The Dementia Handbook and Dementia With Dignity, take person-centered dementia care from theory to practice by identifying a person’s skills not lost to dementia. Through DAWN, Cornish provides online training programs for families and professional caregivers, as well as certification courses for agencies and facilities. Her goal is to see dignified dementia care and aging in place become available for all.