By Suzanne Bottum-Jones, RN
Nice To Meet You… Again is the representation of years of sitting with families as a Registered Nurse, holding their hands, witnessing their frustrations, and sharing in their journeys through dementia. After fifteen years of wishing for a tool to help families learn strategies and see hope for their interactions, my father developed dementia, and I decided I needed to move my teaching outside of myself as the deliverer and multiply the effects that I, alone, could not make. As I prepped for this, I remembered the countless families that made their final decision to stop visiting their loved ones because it was so upsetting to see the changes in their loved one and because of their fear of how these visits were affecting their children. This became my mission: to develop a tool that would help families change these moments of frustration by giving them the tools to help “see” a different expectation and journey, and change the flavor of their interactions.
In the short time the book has been available I have been blessed with many responses from families of how they wished they would have had this resource when they were in this journey, or how it is currently changing their journeys and giving them back their joy with their loved one. Professionals and family caregivers have stated they carry the book with them because hardly a day goes by in which someone they know or meet shares their journey of dementia. By offering this book, they state that they feel like they can finally do more then just say, “I understand;” in addition they can offer hope.
As I look back over the last 2 years, I am so glad I had the courage and support to do something new and scary, like write a book, in the hopes of affecting lives and making a difference. I am currently battling a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, making me even more grateful for the opportunity to share what I have learned and my love for these families without needing to be physically there myself. My goals for this book are very humble. If I am able to shed the light of understanding compassion for people experiencing dementia and their families and therefore decrease, by even a few families, feelings of isolation and despair, I will consider this project a shining success. The best thing we can do is talk about the behaviors, symptoms and compounding effects of dementia on our families and society openly, to help engage our public in empathy for these issues. In this way we empower everyone and multiply our efforts towards moments of joy and love. I wish you peace, hope and understanding in your journey.
About the Author
Suzanne Bottum-Jones is a Registered Nurse with over 15 years of experience working with the management of behaviors and psychological symptoms associated with dementia, brain injury, and other forms of cognitive impairment. She is a nationally recognized speaker, behavioral consultant, educator, and advocate who works to encourage health professionals and caregivers to include behavioral strategies designed to move beyond pharmacologic only interventions. Suzanne is currently involved in developing and piloting ABAIT (Agitated Behavioral Assessment and Intervention Tools), a software platform designed to merge with electronic medical records that assist health care professionals and caregivers to improve quality of life and health outcomes for dementia patients. She resides in rural Wisconsin with her family on a five-generation farm. She loves sharing the beauty of the farm with friends, caring for her family, and helping families experiencing difficulties with dementia. Her motto in life has been to live gently, love passionately, and to choose joy everyday.
Connect with Suzanne Bottum-Jones
For more vetted books about Alzheimer’s and dementia please visit the AlzAuthors Bookstore.
Reposted with permission of AlzAuthors.