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Dr. Rita Jablonski

Rita Jablonski, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FGSA is a nurse practitioner, researcher, tenured professor, and former family caregiver. Her research and practice involve all aspects of dementia management; she is best known for non-drug strategies to address dementia-related behaviors.

“If I Can’t Recall Your Name.”

Dear Readers: Three UAB students created a documentary about Alzheimer’s Disease as part of their media class project. The poignant film is titled, “If I Can’t Recall Your Name.” I was honored to be one of 2 clinicians interviewed by them, along with some dementia activists and a person with […]

Are Memories Gone Forever in Alzheimer’s Disease?

Memories in Alzheimer’s: Gone or Not Accessible? “Will my mother forget who I am?” I receive this question, or variations of it, daily in my work with Alzheimer’s patients. It is a hard question to answer. Some memories do become “erased” when nerve cells die. Other memories become hard to […]

When Should We Start Respite Care?

I was honored to be one of the keynote speakers for the 29th Annual Alzheimer’s Conference, sponsored by Dothan’s Alzheimer’s Resource Center and Wallace Community College.  Part of my talk referenced a wonderful ministry embraced by churches and synagogues throughout Alabama: respite care. During a conversation I had with Katie […]

The Special Challenges Faced by Male Care Partners of Persons with Dementia

Men seem to have a more difficult time with the role of care partner. There are published studies that examine the differences between men and women who are care partners. Often, the gender differences are often affected by the relationship between the care partner and the care recipient. For the […]

Crash Course in Dementia-Centric Communication

Dementia-Centric Communication Dementia-centric communication is the ability to interact with people who have dementia in a respectful and meaningful way. I hear, over and over again, “I don’t know what to say to a person with dementia.” “What if I do something wrong?” Fear not, I am here to help […]

Bladder Infections Trigger Increased Irritability (and other behaviors!) in Persons with Dementia

Caregivers or care partners are often surprised when their loved one with dementia suddenly becomes irritable, nasty, even physically violent. A bladder infection, also known as a urinary tract infection, may be the culprit.

Why do People with Dementia Wander?

People with dementia wander for a variety of reasons. Many times, the wandering behavior is a reaction to an unrelated event–that is, people with dementia do not simply decide to go on a journey. Some people are at higher risk for wandering than others. Read on for the reasons behind […]

Is my spouse turning into a jerk or is it dementia?

Frontotemporal Dementia & The Jerk Factor When I say “dementia,” most people think “Alzheimer’s Disease.” The truth is that in people under 65, the more common dementia is “frontotemporal dementia” for FTD. FTD refers to a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases that include behavioral, motor, and/or speech symptoms. The one I am talking […]

Dementia and “Entering Their Reality:” Combining Elements of Truth with Preserving Dignity

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Think of “Entering Their Reality” as a gentle and kind approach to delivering truth with dignity

Crankiness and Irritability in Persons with Dementia

There is a very good reason why people with dementia may seem more irritable or cranky: “laid off” workers!

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