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Gail Elliot

An international dementia expert providing insights on how to best care for people with dementia.

Gail Elliot, BASc, MA, Author, Gerontologist & Dementia Specialist, is the Founder and CEO of DementiAbility Enterprises Inc. She was the Assistant Director, Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging, at McMaster University for 17 years and took early retirement in March 2012 to focus on dementia education. Gail’s work is being used across Canada and has been implemented globally. In Ontario, the Ministry of Health’s BSO programs include DementiAbility Methods and Validation Communication workshops in their list of course offerings and these two courses are also included as two of the core courses in the McMaster University Geriatric Certificate Program. Gail works closely with the Occupational Therapists Association of Hong Kong, Montessori Aged Support Services in Australia and with colleagues in the United States.

Gail is the author of the book Montessori Methods for Dementia: Focusing on the Person in the Prepared Environment (currently available in English and Chinese), Memory Aids for Dementia, Helping Me – Helping You: A Resource for the Dementia Caregiver and is co-author of Checklist for Change: A Guide for Facilitating Culture Change in LTC. She is also editor, and author, of the many titles available as part of the Carry on Reading in Dementia series, author of the “Work It” series and creator of the i-Pad app “Best Guess”, a trivia game incorporates the DementiAbility principles into a game that has been set up for success.
How Should You Feel When A Loved One Is Placed In A Nursing

How Should You Feel When A Loved One Is Placed In A Nursing Home?

If you are in the situation of caring for a loved one and have made a commitment to placing a loved one on a nursing home placement list, be prepared for the vast array of mixed emotions that might arise when you get that much awaited (or dreaded) call. While you may look forward to lightening the burden that has accompanied your caregiving commitments, you may also feel a deep loss, much like grief. This is normal.
06/08/2017 04:36 EDT
How To Create Holiday Joy For Someone With

How To Create Holiday Joy For Someone With Dementia

The hustle and bustle of the holidays often brings people together. This can be a problem for those who are challenged by memory loss. While the person with dementia may recognize someone's face, they may struggle to remember the person's name. Nametags can help to address this frustration.
12/12/2016 08:01 EST
Maintaining Meaningful Conversations With People Living With

Maintaining Meaningful Conversations With People Living With Dementia

Do you find it difficult to maintain a conversation with older adults who are living with dementia? Many people find that once they get past talking about the weather, how they slept that night or what they had to eat today, they struggle to find ways to stimulate conversation in a way that is meaningful, interesting and mutually rewarding.
11/28/2016 03:04 EST
People Living With Dementia Need Their Feelings

People Living With Dementia Need Their Feelings Validated

There are times when some people with dementia just want to talk about the frustrations they are experiencing in the moment. These people are in need of chatting about the circumstances related to where they believe they are now.
11/18/2016 10:42 EST
The Value Of Roles And Routines In Dementia

The Value Of Roles And Routines In Dementia Care

The main reason we want to put chores, roles or tasks back into the world of those living with dementia is that each person needs to enjoy a life filled with meaning and purpose, regardless of physical and mental health. My favourite expression, which speaks to this, is "The purpose of life, is a life with purpose."
10/11/2016 01:21 EDT
Why Do We React So Differently To A Diagnosis Of

Why Do We React So Differently To A Diagnosis Of Dementia?

Have you ever wondered why some people will acknowledge that they have dementia, yet others will clearly deny there is anything wrong? Why do some people argue with the diagnosis? Why do some people know they have dementia but refuse to tell anyone? Why do some discuss openly? Let's explore.
07/18/2016 02:32 EDT
Acknowledging The Silent Contributions Of Personal Support

Acknowledging The Silent Contributions Of Personal Support Workers

Personal Support Workers attend to the diverse needs of individuals who rely heavily on the help of others. They have a variety of roles including caring for a person's hygiene, making sure they are nourished, dressed, toileted, validated, comfortable and happy. Most importantly, PSWs may be the only human connection some individuals receive in a single day. Yet, while they are offering their valuable support, it can feel thankless when trying to bathe and clean an uncooperative incontinent person, soothe the irritable and feed the ungrateful who are not longer able to do things themselves.
04/26/2016 02:54 EDT
10 Common Myths About

10 Common Myths About Dementia

It is important to correct the person with dementia when they say things that are not true - FALSE. The cardinal rule is "never argue with a person with dementia". A person with dementia is simply taking files from their memory bank that come from another place and time. They are sure they are telling the truth.
01/06/2016 12:03 EST