Beth Baker and Karen Love, a longtime journalist and the CEO of the Dementia Action Alliance respectively, have written the Pathways to Well-Being with Dementia: A Manual of Help, Hope, and Inspiration, developed by the Dementia Action Alliance. It contains essential information, tips, and advice for those living with dementia. But the authors didn’t create this handbook alone: they had significant help, input, and collected narratives from 48 individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia, care partners, and leading dementia specialists— all of whom reflect the broad diversity of the dementia community. One of those individuals just so happens to be our very own Dave Baldridge, co-founder and executive director of IA2.
Dave was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare neurological disease, sometimes confused with Parkinson’s. Among his fellow 48 contributors, he makes several meaningful additions throughout the document, offering advice such as exercise having many benefits with an Alzheimer’s and related dementias (ADRD) diagnosis, how to stay positive when faced with an unexpected diagnosis (pg. 120), his irreplaceable bond with his two dogs who once participated in search-and-rescue efforts with him that often involved individuals with dementia, and more.
“Dementia has not been addressed formally or historically. There’s a lot of denial, and a great lack of education. It’s been a challenge just to get it on the radar screen in the communities we’re trying to serve […] There are some long established principles that we have used to do work with Indian country. The elders are an extremely important voice and as they are most affected by dementia, we go to them to get their input. Nothing about ’em without ’em.”
– Dave Baldridge, co-founder and executive director of IA2
Aside from Dave’s contributions, this manual also includes remarkable accounts of real people living with dementia, as well as priceless information and advice for people diagnosed with dementia, or for caretakers of a diagnosed individual. It is a great start for those who are feeling lost in the wake of a dementia diagnosis.
Feel free to check out the digital copy of the Dementia Action Alliance’s new manual, Pathways to Well-Being, below: