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In her ground breaking book, Dr. Lord lays out her vision and strong rationale for why such
a profession is sorely needed but fortunately for all of us she doesn’t stop there. As a true
pioneer committed to her mission in action, she is leading an unprecedented undertaking
to develop and build an educational and coaching infrastructure through her Remembering
4 You Training Institute and the International Caregivers Association (consisting a clear
person-directed care philosophy, high standards and set of expectations, and
comprehensive training and certification program) that I anticipate will prove essential and
highly beneficial to a rapidly growing number of people living with dementia and their family
care partners.

With her deeply humanistic approach, Dr. Lord encourages us all to never accept
substandard care for this population no matter where it takes place. She accurately _
identifies the majority of gaps and problems in care for this population as systemic (and
uses assisted living residences without adequate regulatory standards and protective
measures as one example of a potential systemic failure) and points out that the real
solutions should also be identified and implemented at the system level (such as at the
highest level of any care organization). She also makes a strong case as to why expecting
and respectfully and skillfully demanding to attain and maintain these individuals’ “highest
practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being” in all communities and care
settings is a moral and legal human right we should all cherish and protect.

Among other precious resources and useful tools, the book is filled with numerous
practical suggestions, skills, tips, and insights (some of which are life-saving) that could be
readily applied to improve the quality of care and life of people living with dementia and
their family and professional care partners. It also includes real-life moving stories
illustrating important but often overlooked educational messages as well as inspiring
statements such as “The mind may forget. The heart never will” (p.226) and “Love is an
instinct that even a person who is living with Alzheimer’s retains to the end” (228). In
addition, informative statistics and findings from various research studies are shared
throughout the book.

Dr. Lord’s strong emphasis on seeing close family care partners of people living with
dementia as integral and equal partners of every interprofessional team (a commonly
overlooked day-to-day care situation) lies at the heart of successful and sustainable efforts
to optimize the well being of this population in all care settings. Close collaboration, the
tremendous preventative and healing value of teamwork, and effective communication
between all members of the interprofessional team (such as in nursing homes and
assisted living residences) also receives much needed special attention in the book.

In her book, Dr. Lord does an excellent job in empowering family members of people with
dementia to become informed, effective care partners, and advocates for nothing less than
dignified and truly person-directed care. As importantly, she addresses the critical but often
neglected need to empower, improve the working conditions of, and adequately train the
most important employees in the care organization – direct care partners (such as home
health aides, nurse aides, and certified nursing assistants). At the same time, Dr. Lord
makes it clear that without strong education and commitment of managers and owners of
long-term care homes and home health care organizations to person-directed care
practices and endless culture change journeys, positive care outcomes are unlikely to be
realized in the long term.

The book is an honest account about the sad realities of low quality of care in a large
proportion of care settings serving this population around the world (such as at home, adult
day health centers, nursing homes, assisted living residences, and acute and psychiatric
hospitals). As part of a growing culture change movement, the book outlines key
parameters of high standard of care of people with dementia and the expectation that our
society and all those involved in caring for this underserved population should aspire to
realize.

Most importantly, the book could prove very useful in reducing the harmful stigma
commonly experienced by this population, alleviating the social isolation and feelings of
depression experienced by substantial portion of family care partners, and instilling hope in
these unrecognized and often invisible heroes that when they receive timely evidence-
based guidance, training and emotional supports, their loved ones with dementia will be
able live their life to the fullest despite substantial cognitive disabilities. In her personal,
direct, and easy to understand way of writing combined with her clear vision for a
Dementia-Friendly Healthcare Workforce, Dr. Lord shows us the way and we would all be wise to
follow her footsteps.

Dr. Lord’s hands-on experiences, extensive knowledge, deep passion and commitment to
bringing lasting positive changes in the lives of people living with dementia and their family
care partners are strongly felt throughout the book. She clearly has deep appreciation of
the fact that the best teachers when it comes to interacting with people with dementia
are … people living with dementia. Throughout the book, she reminds us and demonstrates
what the late Professor Tom Kitwood, author of the groundbreaking book Dementia
Reconsidered: The Person Comes First, taught us 20 years ago:
“People with dementia may have something important to teach the rest of
humankind. If we make the venture one of genuine and open engagement, we will
learn a great deal about ourselves.”

I hope that you will find this book inspiring, empowering, and useful as I did,

Eilon Caspi Ph.D.

Founder and Director, Dementia Behavior Consulting, LLC

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