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Areas of Expertise

The DAWN Method is a strength-based approach to dementia care that helps families put off the high cost of long-term care by creating a more comfortable home caregiving environment for their loved ones experiencing dementia. With the DAWN approach, it is possible to experience less stress and more happiness even when dementia is in the picture.

The DAWN Method teaches families to recognize the strengths in their loved ones that are not lost to dementia and to support the changes that are part of the reality of dementia. It was created by Judy Cornish, founder of the Dementia & Alzheimer’s Wellbeing Network® (DAWN).

Dementia Live is a Dementia Simulation and Awareness Training by AGE-u-cate Training Institute. As an Authorized Provider of the Dementia Live Program, Teri empowers caregivers, families and local community partners with a transformative, first-hand dementia experience which heightens understanding, deepens empathy, and elevates care. 

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Dementia Friendly Iowa promotes change and education in communities across Iowa to create a more informed, safe, and respectful place for people living with dementia and their caregivers. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, at least 66,000 people are living with dementia in Iowa, and this number is expected to grow to at least 73,000 by 2025.

My Approach
SKOOG – Swedish, dweller in or near the forest.

My mom was one of the biggest cheerleaders I had during my early parenting years. She was absolutely, crazy in love with my little girls and they were crazy about her. I welcomed her perspective especially when I found myself in the middle of a challenging situation. She told me once “Teri, you’re so close to the problem you have bark marks on your forehead.” She advised I take a step back, wipe the worry from my brow, sit quietly in the vicinity of the question and look for a path through it. What a wise and beautiful illustration of how we should navigate unfamiliar terrain.

Years later when she started to show challenges with her diabetes, memory, attention, and judgement, we sat together to watch, listen, and understand what path may be laid out before us. When it was revealed to be the path of dementia, we trusted each other to walk the journey together, being sure to check every now and again for bark marks on our foreheads.
I bring a unique perspective to care and understanding on the walk into unfamiliar terrain many individuals experiencing dementia may be navigating. I can identify the bark marks on foreheads. My intent is to provide guidance to take a step back, wipe the worry from the brow, sit quietly in the vicinity of the question and look for a path through it.
Walking into an unfamiliar terrain can be either frightening or it can be exciting based on whether we have the tools to navigate and have someone we trust to journey with us. There are gifts we give ourselves and our loved ones along the path. When we look for light shining through the forest canopy, we have direction. When we breath in the wildflowers growing from the base of an uprooted tree, we experience hope. When we hear the hum of bees and the song of birds, we relax into the rhythm of possibilities. When we taste the breeze as it moves through the branches, we nurture our souls. And, when we connect with the earth under our feet, we feel grounded and ready to journey.
Dementia does not have to be a dark or suffering experience. With the right tools and walking partner, it can be filled with love and joy and opportunities.

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