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On Dementia: Care, Community and Creativity

Demntia book authors

Hope, joy, and better ways to care for and support individuals living with dementia and their care partners

Over 120,000 people age 65+ in Washington state live with Alzheimer’s disease, and 353,000 family members, friends and volunteers serve as care partners. Individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias do not stop living because of a diagnosis. They are still people—needing and deserving engagement, community, and purpose. And their care partners also benefit from this community support.

So, how can others help to make an impact, address stigma, and enable people living with dementia to become integral parts of their communities and create opportunities for inclusion?

This spring, the Frye Art Museum Creative Aging Program, the University of Washington Memory and Brain Wellness Center, and Aging Wisdom are collaborating on a three-part series of enriching conversations with pioneers in dementia care, support, community building, creative engagement, and artistic exploration. The virtual series begins March 11, 2021.

Each dementia care expert is also an author of engaging books that challenge, even disrupt, our assumptions about dementia, providing new perspectives and a deeper understanding of care, community, and creativity. Their books also offer practical suggestions on how to implement what they have put into evidence-based practice in support of individuals living with dementia, their care partners, and those who support them. Elliott Bay Book Company will have the authors’ books available for purchase online. Currently, at least two of the books are available to check out from the King County Library System or The Seattle Public Library.

Author discussions will be offered as virtual programs through Zoom. The series is listed below. Pre-registration is required. There is no fee. To register, visit the Frye Art Museum at

Each program is scheduled on a Thursday at 12 noon Pacific Time.

March 11, 2021: Lynn Casteel Harper
On Vanishing: Mortality, Dementia, and What It Means to Disappear

Lynn Casteel Harper, author of On Vanishing: Mortality, Dementia, and What It Means to Disappear, will expand our understanding of dementia beyond the typical fear-driven and tragedy narrative, On Vanishing provides encouragement and meaningful examples of better ways of caring for, and thinking about, our fellow beings.

April 8, 2021: Susan H. McFadden
Dementia-Friendly Communities: Why We Need Them and How We Can Create Them

Susan H. McFadden, PhD, author of Dementia-Friendly Communities: Why We Need Them and How We Can Create Them, will discuss how intentional, thoughtfully engaged dementia-friendly communities can give people with dementia the opportunity to continue living with purpose, reciprocal personal relationships, and enrichment. A positive thread throughout the book is that “underpinning successful dementia-friendly communities is an awareness of people with dementia as active citizens, and the importance of supporting engagement in community life.”

May 13, 2021: Anne Basting
Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care

Anne Basting, PhD, author of Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care, is a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient who pioneers a radical change in how we interact with people who struggle with dementia. Basting’s proven methods use storytelling and active listening to stimulate the brain and awaken imagination. Learn how to “use the creative arts to bring connection, light and joy to the lives of elders and to those who care for them.”

Keri PollockContributor Keri Pollock directs marketing and communications for Aging Wisdom, a care management, consultation, and creative engagement practice based in Seattle. She is a member of the Age Friendly Coalition for Seattle and King County and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Frye Art Museum Creative Aging Programs and the Marcom Council of the Alzheimer’s Association, Washington State Chapter.