Habilitation therapy views unacceptable behavior as a mismatch between the environment and the person's emotions. By capitalizing on the skills and interests the person with dementia has retained, caregivers can enhance the ways in which that person functions. When experiencing successful interactions,the person also experiences pleasure and positive emotions. The goal is to maximize potential through use of positive emotions that are intentionally maintained throughout the course of the day. 

Habilitation therapy focuses on six domains: 1) Physical Environment, 2) Social Domain, 3) Communication, 4) Functional Domain, 5) Personal Care, and 6) Understanding Difficult Behaviors. In the July Issue of Together With Alzheimer's, we discussed the first three domains. This issue focuses on the remaining domains: Functional, Personal Care, and Understanding Difficult Behaviors.


* When it comes to daily activities, persons with Alzheimer's/dementia s have the same needs as everyone else. These  include: a) proper nutrition, b) exercise--both physical and mental, and c) social activity.

* ACTIVITIES are the single, MOST IMPORTANT, piece of this therapeutic model. Persons engaged in activities experience IMPROVED EMOTIONS.

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Tips for August:

  • Socialization is one of the most powerful stimulants for the brain. Engaging in regular opportunities to be with others helps your loved one--and you--maintain a positive outlook.

  • Physical activity, especially with others, is important for maintaining brain health. This can be in the form of everyday household or gardening activities, walking, swimming, or adapted gym programs. Teaming up with walking partners or organizing a walking club are a couple of ways in which to provide opportunities for regular exercise and socialization. Add to the enjoyment by stopping for a cup of coffee.

FOR MORE TIPS: Sign Up for: Together With Alzheimer's Ezine. 


Give Your Loved One Gentle Directions: Hand-Over-Hand Walking

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Increases My Anxiety


Practical Alzheimer's:

A publication in ebook format

by Catherine Gentile

Coming Soon!


Fall is Coming-- Start Planning Now

​This month, our Alzheimer's Caregivers Support Group enjoyed a lively discussion about how to engage our loved ones in meaningful activities for the fall. We want to prepare a slate of socialization opportunities that our loved ones will enjoy during the crisp autumn days and that we can adapt to the winter months. One activity is the formation of a Walkers Club. With many lovely trails in the area, we can easily meet to enjoy one another's company and the outdoors while exercising. Afterward, we plan to stop for a cup of coffee. During the winter, we can convene indoors at a local mall.

​Winter months are also a great time for wine and cheese gatherings. Stay tuned; we'll keep you posted as we refine these ideas. Do you have a suggestion for an activity? Let us share it with other readers.

​Email me: ezine@catherinegentile.com. 



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Part 2 of 2

A Summary of a Presentation
Paul Rais, PhD and Joane Koenig Coste

"Your beautiful prose reaches out like a kind hand that offers understanding and experience. You are making life easier for those who are now facing the heart wrenching illness called Alzheimer's." JA, Florida
​ ​"Your ezine was particularly close to the heart and helpful! Thank you for the insight the ezine shed on denial and confusion... Ultimately being human comes with a plethora of raw emotions!" LS, Connecticut

"So many people are looking for ideas that make sense and things they can DO to help a loved one. Without the information in Together With Alzheimer's, not only is the loved one lost, but so is the caregiver." JE, Maine

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Being a caregiver is a tough job, one we can do, especially when we have the right support. 

As Christopher Robin tells Pooh: 

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

So are we. 

With kind regards,  
Catherine Gentile, editor

Together With Alzheimer's Ezine
Email: ezine@catherinegentile.com
Website: http://www.catherinegentile.com


Effective January 1, 2014: In order to maintain the level of functioning and prevent deterioration of conditions typical of chronic diseases like Alzheimer's, Medicare will pay for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, home health and nursing home care, home health care aides, and other services without requiring an improvement in functioning (as was the case earlier).

     TO LEARN MORE Sign Up For: Together With Alzheimer's Ezine

Improved Eligibility Requirements


To help raise money for the Alzheimer's Association in honor of her great-grandmother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, four-year-old Lilly Meyer made a YouTube video. Her goal? To land a donation from every state.  So far, she's received donations from 29 states and 3 countries. She's also held several lemonade stands this summer and is planning a few more before the cold weather sets in.  

Lilly is one of her Nanny's 21 great-grandchildren. While her Nanny may not remember the names of these children, her face lights up when they walk through the door. Nanny forgets that she gave Lilly hugs and kisses, and often hugs and kisses her many times. This doesn't bother Lilly; she knows that Nanny never forgets that she loves her.

To see Lilly's YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k98wm7o4pfw

Also, take a look at Lilly's fund raising information on the Alzheimer's Association web page: http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2014/PA-GreaterPennsylvania?px=7981835&pg=personal&fr_id=5382

Lilly and her parents thank you in advance for helping in any way possible!  They are not necessarily asking you to donate, but please be sure to pass this information along to others. 

Whose "quiet roars" are making a difference in the lives of those with dementia.

​I love learning about persons and organizations that go the extra mile in caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias. I share the fine work they're doing by writing about their approaches in this ezine--the two-part series in September and October, 2013 on Vicki Dyer's "Drug-Free Alzheimer's Care" is on such example. In an effort to continue to recognize their outstanding contributions, I'm dedicating a page on my website to them. 

Entitled, "The Quiet Roar Hall of Fame," this web page identifies the contributions of key persons within various organizations. As many of you know from reading my novel, "The Quiet Roar of a Hummingbird", the seventeen-year-old protagonist nicknamed "Hummingbird" quietly roars as she works to protect the dignity of her beloved grandmother who has been placed within a locked memory care unit.

Three individuals whose dedication and quiet roaring helps support those with Alzheimer's are honored in this month's Hall of Fame. I invite you to meet these people and learn about what they are doing. 

​Visit my web page: "The Quiet Roar Hall of Fame."