Dementia Together

How to Communicate to Connect

By Pati Bielak-Smith

Endorsements Read a Chapter Buy this Book

Please scroll down for more information.

  • Dementia Together front cover
  • Dementia Together back cover

Description

A practical guide to building and sustaining healthy relationships with someone experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
Dementia is an illness that causes no physical pain. But just ask anyone who cares about someone with Alzheimer’s or another dementia if their heart isn’t aching. The pain in dementia comes from feeling hopeless, alone, or disconnected from loved ones—but a broken relationship can be healed. This book is for family members and friends, for spouses, caregivers, and those who simply care. It outlines a path to a life with dementia that includes more life and less illness. With imagination, compassion, empathy, and quiet humor, the real-life stories in Dementia Together show you how to build a healthy dementia relationship. Because there are ways to communicate that result in greater capacity to receive as well as to provide both warm connection and practical collaboration. Living with dementia gives everyone an opportunity to grow their hearts bigger. This book shows you how.

Endorsements

Cover endorsements:

“Practical and humane, this book is recommended for anyone caring for or about a person with dementia.”
—TIM BEANLAND, PhD, Head of Knowledge, Alzheimer’s Society

“A book that acts as a guide in the richest sense: lucid, compassionate, and illuminating.”
—NICCI GERRARD, award-winning journalist and author of The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting

“A new and fresh perspective on communication and connection. This book offers easy-to-follow steps we can all take to make a difference.”
—DANUTA LIPIŃSKA, MA, National Dementia Care Award winner and author of Dementia, Sex and Wellbeing

“Pati Bielak-Smith’s emphasis on relationships and thinking about fulfilling everyone’s needs can help caregivers and professionals develop healthier ways of working together and avoid the distress that can lead to burnout.”
—DR. AVRIL DANCZAK, medical educator and lead author of Mapping Uncertainty in Medicine: What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?

“A vitally important and helpful book on an essential topic.”
—PETER J. CONRADI, PhD, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and author of Iris Murdoch: A Life

Interior endorsements:

ENDORSEMENTS OF DEMENTIA TOGETHER

“Emphasises how authentic relationships are at the heart of supporting someone with dementia. Makes a compelling case for how—with a curious and empathic approach to communicating—two-way connections can be enriched over time. Practical and humane, this book is recommended for anyone caring for or about a person with dementia.”
—TIM BEANLAND, PhD, Head of Knowledge, Alzheimer’s Society

“A vitally important and helpful book on an essential topic.”
—PETER J. CONRADI, PhD, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and author of Iris Murdoch: A Life

“A book that acts as a guide in the richest sense: lucid, compassionate, and illuminating.”
—NICCI GERRARD, award-winning journalist and author of The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting

“Many recent books have been written about dementia care but none attempt to understand the experience of dementia for the sufferer as well as Dementia Together. Pati Bielak-Smith’s insights will be both practical and inspiring to professional and family caregivers who are often running to stand still in their caring roles and preoccupied with what the person with dementia cannot do rather than what they can.”
—DR. CLAIRE LAWTON, consultant in old age psychiatry

“This delightful book introduces the reader to the possibility that dementia does not have to be the end of our relationship with a loved one but the beginning of a new and possibly an even closer one. For all of us, this book brings home how empathy is the key to a good relationship.”
—LAMA SHENPEN HOOKHAM, PhD, author of There Is More to Dying Than Death

“This book changed my life in my relationship with my mother who has dementia. It has helped me find a heart-to-heart connection that allows me to communicate from a place of deep compassion. Through being curious about her experience, I can find meaning beneath what might otherwise make no sense. In connecting with curiosity and compassion, we can each
feel heard and understood by the other. In some ways our relationship is closer than it has ever been.”
—RACHEL EDWARDS, family caregiver

“A fascinating insight into dementia through the eyes of another health care assistant. A very interesting read, one that I highly recommend.”
—SOPHIE ANN ELIZABETH Mc CLAY, professional caregiver

“This is a very sweet book about connecting with people who have dementia using empathy and honesty. All people who care for others need to read this book. Not only will it help you do a better job, but it will make your life more wonderful by decreasing stress and increasing enjoyment of the moment. By understanding how to listen to the meaning under the words and the behavior of people, you will save yourself a lot of angst judging people, creating separation, and adding more violence to the world, and you will be able to create intimacy and connection.”
—MELANIE SEARS, RN, MBA, PhD, author of Humanizing Health Care: Creating Cultures of Compassion With Nonviolent Communication

“Written in a clear and confident style, with honesty, humility, and empathy based upon her own relationships with people living with dementia, the narrative is often poignant, sometimes funny, and always respectful, even when communication is tricky and connection seems elusive. The power of this book is in its honest simplicity and the heartfelt courage to share joint experiences and learning. We are invited to ‘grow a bigger heart.’ That’s a challenge we can all aspire to, and at the end of the day, what we all hope we might be offered, especially if living with a dementia.”
—DANUTA LIPIŃSKA, National Dementia Care Award winner, and author of Dementia, Sex and Wellbeing

“Contented Dementia by Oliver James opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about dementia care. This book by Pati Bielak-Smith goes much further, with real practical approaches that will help carers, families, and professionals develop better ways to work with people who have this condition.”
—DR. AVRIL DANCZAK, FRCGP FRCP AoME BSc PGCE, GP/primary care medical educator and lead author of Mapping Uncertainty in Medicine: What Do You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do?

NVC Dementia Web Resources

Click here for Marshall Rosenberg Dementia Articles
Click here for Marshall Rosenberg Dementia Videos
Click here for Nonviolent Communication Dementia Articles
Click here for Nonviolent Communication Dementia Videos
There is a wealth of information on Nonviolent Communication – in articles and videos. Of course we endorse all of Marshall’s sharing’s, however, there are many transcripts and videos created by others. Due to limited resources we do not verify the full accuracy of any particular video or articles created by others, even though there is plenty of wonderful and educational information on the web.

Related Books: