Sooner or later we will all have to deal with old age and dementia, directly or indirectly. That prospect does not make most of us happy. But is that picture correct? Why should living with dementia or Alzheimer's be only negative? Researcher Kasper Bormans (KULeuven) started a project in a residential care center and as a 'scientific dream catcher' he came to surprising insights.
'What if?' With this two-word sentence you immediately access someone's imagination. Kasper asked people with dementia this question at various stages of their deterioration process. In this book, Kasper gives a voice to the lost pleasures and daydreams of people with dementia or Alzheimer's, and shows how small things can greatly improve their quality of life. Or how a child's drawing or an altered walk through the corridor can make a world of difference.
I don't know you personally but I'm currently reading your book and watched your TEDtalk presentation on youtube. Fantastic! My daughter is a geriatric nurse in a department for people with dementia. We would just like to follow your projects out of interest. I have been a fire-fighter ambulance officer for 31 years and was enrolled in a course on dementia because we are increasingly confronted with that disorder. I also took part in a course on dementia for my work as a police officer. Hence my interest. Very nice and I will approach these people differently from now on. Thanks to you!
An important book. Kasper teaches us how every person is a story and that people with Alzheimer's can still tell their stories. By catching dreams with the residents of a retirement home, he searches for the essence of being human. A must-have for anyone who works with old older people.
Yesterday we discovered your book "Wat Alz?", Only leafed through a little, but it's very nice to see that people look at dementia in a positive way! We have been trying to do this in our work in Ardooie, for years at our living group the "Souvenir" we look for the talents of our residents .. This summer we made a similar project: "the little happiness". Hopefully more and more people will see the power of dreams and the miracle of relationships.
I just read your article in ‘De Bond’, watched the interview on TV and saw the Ted Talk. I'm preparing a music theater show and somewhere (I don't know how yet) your story fits in. I will already start reading your book but I would also appreciate it if you could come and see our try-out. Greetings!
After hearing the interview on the Radio I started reading your book "Wat Alz?" Your original approach to breaking open communication with people with dementia and your creative mind have already provided interesting insights for patients with dementia, their families, the environment and healthcare professionals. The tips that you give in your book to communicate with people with dementia have been written from the heart of the practice. A really fantastic book.
As a professor and as a researcher in speech-therapy and audiology at Thomas More (Antwerp), I am closely involved in the subject of your study. I give lectures on language and communication in dementia and I also conduct research on language processing in this target group. The results of your research into the development of virtual memory palaces could be a valuable contribution. The out-of-the-box perspective for looking at communication is innovative for speech therapists.
My question to you is whether you would like give a lecture to our students? I sincerely hope that you want to / can cooperate with this. Thank you in advance for considering my question. I’m looking forward to your answer.
At ‘Zorgbedrijf Antwerpen’ we are setting up a special project on Narrative Care. We offer extra personal care by letting seniors tell their own stories. We then record that information in the book of their lives, accessible for the senior and possibly his/her family. Because of Narrative Care, seniors revive, and that is fantastic to experience. Both the process of storytelling and the final, lasting result - the book - matter in the narrative care trajectory. We strongly believe in the power of the story. During our interviews with seniors we learn a lot about their past. It’s really state of the art what you are doing in the field of communication with people with dementia.
The author is a PhD-researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the KULeuven, Belgium. He investigates how human motivation is influenced by visual and persuasive communication techniques, and how this can influence the behavior of older people suffering from dementia. He describes his visits to a residential care center, where there is no mention of patients but of residents, of whom there are a hundred. He has conversations with the residents. Moreover, he makes a drawing of them. These drawings are shown in the book. The conversations are literally displayed in the book. Each report ends with what the author calls "memory tracks." These are recommendations that he developed in response to the conversation with the resident. The purpose of this is not to stop or perhaps delay the disease, but to improve the quality of life of the patients. These and other techniques described in this book are very useful for caregivers and family members of dementia patients.
I can't resist proclaiming it now already: I read your book this holiday & I'm totally a fan!
I could hardly stop reading & was completely happy with everything. It made me smile all the time! There is a literary talent in you, this is written so beautifully!
Our intentions are similar to each other. After reading this book I am only more certain. I look forward to meeting you and going through our future plans together!
This week I am reading your book "What Alz?". It makes sense that I am sending you a message now. The book is really so beautifully worded, word for word I feel what you want to convey. It really goes back to the core ... of being.
I myself have been working as an occupational therapist for 12 years in a residence in Genk, and everything you write is so recognizable, I couldn't put it more nicely. I hope it can inspire many others as it did with me. It remains in my top 10 reading list and a it’s a must-have for my future students.
Congratulations and many inspiring thoughts for future works!
This message is to say 'thank you' for the wonderful book you wrote. Hopefully 'what Alz' brings more humanity in dealing with older people. It is a gem! We can, of course, continue to say that we have too little time in healthcare, but if we spend the time we have on communicating with them well, we are already one step ahead.
I'm on vacation for a week to get some energy. In my travel suitcase is your book, among other things. Your book has positively stimulated me to suddenly treat the elderly differently as a doctor. "Wat Alz" is fantastic. I will certainly take the ideas with me and use them in my daily work and beyond. Thanks for your inspiring book!
Inspired by your book "What Alz?" our caregivers have made a self-portrait with the people with young dementia. Hereby (in attachment) I proudly show these drawings ... Thank you for your book. It has been an inspiration for us health care professionals!
With a group of eight people we have been working as ‘contact clowns’ in healthcare for two years. We meet with our group eight times a year to learn from each other, we also invite people from outside. Healthcare providers and counselors sometimes describe our interventions as small miracles. My colleagues and I would like to meet you. Is that possible for you? We would love to meet you, your book is beautiful and also very useful for us as a contact clown.
Book ‘What Alz?’ van Kasper Bormans manages to nuance the image of people with dementia. Nice contribution for dementia care!
It was so unexpected to see you participate as a student yesterday at the premiere of my course 'Communicating with people with dementia' at Odisee Brussels.
Your presence was an enrichment for me as I gratefully use your book 'What Alz' as a part of my source material when developing the training. Your work and insights are clear and your methods easy to apply in practice. In addition, they are fully in line with our insights into how care provided to the elderly, and in particular the need for more and better communication with people with dementia, can be applied by every caregiver in the context of more and better psychosocial and personal care.
In our opinion, psychosocial care is the necessary new pathway that we will have to take in the future. To do so, we will have to leave the approach of purely curative care.
Your book 'What Alz' is not only very relevant in that respect, I think it should certainly become a standard work to inspire care providers to take a different approach in their communication with people with dementia. I will happily promote your work whenever I can and will gratefully refer to your ideas during our training.