Seniors Situation Room by Dawn Ford – Dementia Friends Campaign JAN 8, 2017



CORNWALL ONTARIO – The Dementia Friends Canada campaign has ten tips for us to help communicate with a person with dementia. They suggest:

1) Approach the person from the front. If they are seated go down to their level.

2) Identify yourself. Tell them your name and offer to help.

3) Maintain eye contact. It will help them focus on what you are saying.

4) Address the person by name. Speak slowly and clearly.

5) Present one idea at a time. It will help them understand.

6) Repeat or rephrase the person’s responses. This can help clarify what they are trying to tell you.

7) Ask “yes” or “no” questions. Allow time for a response.

8) Use gestures. They can help back up your words.

9) Listen actively. Acknowledge their emotional state.

10) Let the person know if you are going to touch them. It prevents startling them.

For more information on how you can help in creating a dementia-friendly-community, go to or You can also contact our local Alzheimer’s Society at 613-932-4914 or visit the office at 106B Second Street west, Time Square or email at .They have a sign in the window of their office that says, “Welcome’ and you are.

The Alzheimer’s Society will be hosting a March 2017 Conference at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall on March 6th. from 10 am to 4pm. Guest speaker will be David Troxel. Mr. Troxel is an expert in the dementia research field and along with co-researcher Virginia Bell, he has co-authored a book titled, “The Best Friends’ Approach”.

There is an Early Bird Special of a 25% discount on tickets ($75 cost if you book before January 23. Ticket cost after January 23 is $100.For more information contact the Alzheimer Society of Cornwall and District. office.

When I was wrapping some Christmas presents with foil wrap Tiger tried his hardest to get on the table. The crackling sound of the paper intrigued him and I knew he wanted to get right into the middle of it all. After Christmas, I heard him one day rushing around in the living room. I peeked in but by then he was just standing there. Soon he was doing it again and ended up in front of the sofa. I got a yardstick because I thought he had pushed his catnip mouse or ball under it. Out came a 3x3x3 triangle of foil wrap and as soon as he saw it and heard it crackle, he started batting it around again. Wonder what he thinks it is?? He loves it anyway and plays it and has more fun more than with the $30 toy I bought him. Just like a kid.

The Child Haven International December newsletter has arrived and again has so many wonderful articles and pictures in it that is always hard to find only one to share. There are many photos of happy children and usually a baby. Fred always calls that baby and every baby,”the most beautiful baby in the world’ and he is right. Child Haven International was founded in 1985 by Dr. Nat Shah and Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino to help orphaned and destitute children and women in need of food, clothing, health care, education, moral and emotional support.

There are ten projects in four countries: Tibet in China, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

The newsletter says that there is more space for Overseas -interns to provide volunteer services for three to six months in India, Nepal or Bangladesh. There is a new Intern brochure on the CHI web-site at or call the office in Maxville at 613-527-2829 . According to the newsletter, Volunteer-Interns supplement the loving care provided by the dedicated staff. Typically they spend time tutoring the children, helping with homework, helping with English skills, helping in the kitchen and a variety of other activities depending on their special interests and skills.

In the December newsletter is a very interesting two page article by one the Volunteer- Interns, Nancy Burns of Ottawa. You can read it on the CHI website.

The newsletters always close with a quote from Rabindranath Tagore: “Let me light my light, says the star, and never debate if it will dispel the dark.”

A few friends and I were reminiscing again..easy to do when you are older because you have so much to reminisce about. One said they loved to listen when they were young to ‘The Green Hornet’ on the radio as well as’ Amos and Andy” and The Shadow Knows’. Remember that squeaky door? Gave us the willies but we loved it. When TV came into our homes, The Lone Ranger and Patti Page Shows were on different channels but at the same time. My older brother Gerry and I were at odds as who was going to watch what!! Mom said for us to alternate each week but Gerry had a short memory it seemed to me and we ended up hearing “Hi-yo Silver! Away!” more often than “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”

From the old photo album: One wintry day I put a new beautiful heavy brocade bedspread on the bed. The next day I came into the bedroom to see two creatures on the bed: Mark, our dog , asleep between two pillows and his cohort Mouchon, our cat, nestled on the bed also. It is hard to see her in the photo on the front left of the picture in the shadows but you can see her little ears. She is nestled contently on an afghan…sound asleep just like Mark. Mark was not allowed on the bed but you can see how obedient he was when such a snug place was waiting for him. The cat was allowed so I guess Mark figured what was good for the goose was good for the gander.

In this case the gander loved every moment of it.

Here is a cute joke a friend sent me:

A guy was driving at 100mph with his top down in his convertible and enjoying it so much that he decided to go even faster. Soon he heard the siren and saw flashing red lights of a police cruiser coming after him. He went even faster but then decided it was the wrong thing to do and pulled over. The policeman told him that it had been a very long and tiring day and if the guy could give him one excuse for speeding that he had never heard before, he would let the man off.

The guy said that his wife had left him for a policeman a week ago and he was afraid that he was the cop trying to bring her back.

He got off.

Have a good week, Dawn


  1. Your articles are meant to touch everyone’s heart and get the best out of everyone of us. I am still laughing about the policeman joke. It is sure a good one.

  2. Thank you Dawn. Very nice article!

    Mylaine Habel, Family Support Caseworker, Alzheimer Society Cornwall.

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