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This content is taken from the Purdue University & Purdue University Press's online course, Creating Moments of Joy for People with Alzheimer’s. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Hello, my name is Jolene Brackey. I am a speaker and author on Alzheimer’s dementia. People often ask me, what’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia. And Alzheimer’s is just a type of dementia. There are over 100 types of dementia, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, thyroid dementia, alcohol dementia. It’s not about figuring out what it is, it’s knowing that the information I will share with you applies to anyone who has dementia. When I share with people, that I care for people with Alzheimer’s, their reaction to me is usually that is such a horrible disease. When I think about that, I think there have been so many beautiful, teachable, learnable moments only with people who have dementia.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 seconds Because you know what, they don’t know what happened five minutes ago, they don’t know what’s gonna happen in five minutes. Guess where we’re living? Right now. So when they’re mad, they’re mad, or when they’re sad, they’re sad. And I get an opportunity to respond to authentic emotion. What I learn in that moment actually teaches me how to be with other people, cognitive people. So I want to focus on the positive side of Alzheimer’s instead of the negative because I think that too often we focus on the negative. These people are our teachers. So I’m gonna teach you what they taught me. They taught me how to create a joy.

Skip to 1 minute and 40 seconds And Creating Moments of Joy is the book that I wrote with their help. They taught me what works and what doesn’t work and it’s so simple. We may not even see it. Not about creating a perfectly wonderful day. It’s not about creating a perfectly wonderful party. It’s not possible to create perfectly wonderful parties and perfectly wonderful days. But every single one of us can create perfectly wonderful moments, every one of us. Any one of us can walk in with a bowl of strawberries and create a perfectly wonderful moment. Any one of us can walk in with our child. Any one of us can walk in with a smile on our face and create a perfectly wonderful moment.

Skip to 2 minutes and 21 seconds Five minutes later they won’t remember what you said. Five minutes later, I know, they won’t remember what you did. So people think, what’s the point? I’m gonna let you know five minutes later, they do remember how you make them feel.

Skip to 2 minutes and 36 seconds If you got them to feel joy. If you got them to feel your smile that good feeling lingers on. When we’re all creating a moment of joy who do you think will get a better day? All of us. That’s why we’re here.

Skip to 2 minutes and 54 seconds To interact, to connect, and to create better days. So that’s what you’re gonna learn, join me.


Welcome, and thank you for joining me in this short, online course.

I am your lead educator for this course, Jolene Brackey, and in this introductory video I will explain the basis of my philosophy about working with people with Alzheimer’s: creating simple moments of joy. I am an international speaker on Alzheimer’s disease and author of the book Creating Moments of Joy Along the Alzheimer’s Journey which includes a small portion of content from this course as well as plenty of additional examples, stories, quotes … and humor.

About this course

There are two weeks to this course, and each one contains videos, short excerpts from my book, and opportunities for discussion. Each week should take you no longer than two hours to complete with full participation, and you are of course free to move as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

While a few pieces of content come from my book, those pieces will be provided in the course and do not require any type of purchase or upcharge.

Every person with Alzheimer’s is completely different and your experiences with this person, in each moment, are your true teacher. However, we as caregivers, family members, or friends can find common threads that bind us together, help us through tough times, help us learn how to create joyous times, and give us a bit of hope. On most steps in this course, you are encouraged to post your own comments, tell your own stories, reflect, and ask questions to others who may be sharing similar experiences.

Let’s look beyond the challenges of Alzheimer’s and focus on creating moments of joy.

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This video is from the free online course:

Creating Moments of Joy for People with Alzheimer’s

Purdue University