I wish I had known…

It has been many years since I have had the privilege of taking care of a loved one and one with early onset dementia. When we first moved my mother-in-law in with us, she was living alone and had severe back issues. Her back was basically like the letter C. She was pretty frail. She wasn’t eating great, and not always great about taking medications. She
 ended up in hospital with a severe UTI and not her first one.
The decision was made that she needed more care, and I didn’t want to place her in a nursing home. She came to us weighing 98 lbs. She had good days and some “cloudy” days. She missed “home” and we eventually felt
 she knew that “home” would not be what she left, but a nursing home back in Georgia was the best place for her. She eventually would pass and sadly, she was on hospice and not a good one. She died alone and it did not have to be that way.
Fast forward to knowing what I know now.

Changing Minds, LLC truly is a different type of dementia education tool.

When you take this hands-on workshop which includes doing some interaction with your co-workers, other family members, or one on one with your certified trainer, you can literally walk away and use the training that day!!
I am not a clinician. I have been in healthcare for over 20 years, but not with a clinical degree. This workshop is like a weight that has been lifted off you. It is like WOW, that makes so much sense! The moment you can finally say to yourself, why hasn’t this been explained this way before?
When I first sat through my first workshop, I was helping Fiona, our independent PAC consultant do a workshop for a rather large group of healthcare workers. I was amazed at the tools that were being used.


One that is discussed is learning about the “client/patient” history in order to connect with them What did they do for a living, hobbies, were they active in church, things like this are very helpful in knowing how to best care for them.

I was working for a LTC/Skilled community at the time and they had a resident who had Dementia. She did nothing but walk most of the time. She spoke mostly word salad (confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases) and just seemed frantic most days.
I had great communication with her daughter in the beginning and kept in contact with her. She had given me some history on her mom and let me know she had been very involved in church and loved praying. I asked if I could pray over her.
After this workshop, I went to the community the next day and saw this resident walking. I carefully approached her (We will discuss how to approach as well), and asked her if I could pray with her. GUESS WHAT?! She immediately stopped walking. She stood still, took my hands and I stood right there and prayed over her.

When I was finished, she said Amen and thanked me.  CLEAR AS ANYTHING!

I asked if I could come in again and pray with her and she answered again very clearly, yes, she would like that. We hugged and she went back to walking and talking word salad. In those few moments, this resident had clarity. This was such a sweet blessing that I was able to witness.
I see time and time again employees getting frustrated and saying they can’t deal with behaviors. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t take it out on patients, they are just frustrated and this in turn gets the patients even more worked up potentially.
I see caregivers getting exhausted and overwhelmed and just not knowing where to turn.
Trust me…..this workshop will be the one that will end all of those frustrations! The great thing about the workshops, is they don’t stop after you leave. We will be there if you have questions later.
Dawn Haskell

Dawn Haskell

Dawn has served the healthcare community in Wichita for over 20 years. Dawn is a master at developing rapport and assessing the educational needs of family and professional care partners, then matching the perfect products to those needs.

She is a passionate advocate for excellence in dementia care. Dawn has served the community as a marketing specialist in home health, hospice, long-term care, and skilled nursing care.

Dawn is excited to offer Positive Approach to Care® training with Changing Minds.

Changing Minds