In light of the fact that September is World Alzheimer’s month, I’d like to invite you to view a video that CPI created, titled “Unlocking Abilities: Nurturing Capabilities to Improve Quality of Life.”


We created this video so that Kim Warchol, OTR/L and president of Dementia Care Specialists, could share the story of a woman with Alzheimer’s—a story that demonstrates the true power of the DCS training program and way of approaching care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Kim begins her story by sharing the profile of a resident at an assisted living facility who had been placed in hospice, as the resident was no longer participating in activities, or even eating, for that matter. The staff at the facility told Kim and her colleague that the woman couldn’t do anything anymore. 

Kim, along with a nurse, took one look at the situation, and immediately began to think about what she could do to facilitate some type of reaction or recognition from the woman. After doing some research, Kim learned that the woman had been a secretary before retirement. Kim found an old typewriter in the facility, and placed it in front of the woman. Kim began to hit the keys . . . and soon enough, the woman began to do the same. She even attempted to type her own name. “She awakened before our eyes,” Kim says.

I won’t spoil the rest of the video for you, but I can tell you that that small victory was just the first in a series of many. By focusing on the woman’s abilities instead of her deficits, Kim and her staff were able to bring this woman a higher quality of life. 

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“Caring isn’t enough,” Kim says in the video. “You need to have the skills to be able to understand and identify the abilities that lie with someone at these advanced stages of dementia. This is the way in which we can make significant changes and improvements.”

This month, take the opportunity to change your way of thinking, by focusing on an individual’s abilities, rather than things he cannot do. For more information about Alzheimer’s awareness activities in your area, or to read about the activities that have taken place nationwide this September, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Get resources to help you provide high-quality dementia care.