Guest Author: Virginia Garberding RN

Imagine You by Virginia Garberding RN Memory Cafe Directory

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Imagine You The Best Caregiver

By Virginia Garberding RN

I am a registered nurse, for what I like to refer to as “a significant number of years.” When I began my nursing career, my mentors were the retiring nurses from the Vietnam War. This I am sure impacted not only all of our care but also the way we approached caring for those with dementia.

It was a time of “no nonsense.”

I well remember one wonderful nurse, who announced every day as she walked on the floor, “let’s get going people, we’re in the trenches now.”

Old Techniques, But We’ve Learned

This was a time when reorientation was very popular, and considered state of the art. An elderly, confused woman would wake up every morning looking for her mother. A nursing assistant would inform her that her mother was dead and then say, “look in the mirror at how old you are. How could your mother still be alive?”

Yes, that lady could then mourn the loss of her mother day after day after day. Fortunately, we have learned!

While I learned so much about nursing from these seasoned nurses, I was truly impacted as they began to retire, one by one, to walk away and leave nursing. As I watched these talented, knowledgeable nurses walk out the door with all the history that they knew, I knew I would not be doing that.

Imagine You the Best Caregiver represents for me, an opportunity to place what I have learned and observed into the hands of those who need this information, the family caregiver.

Through the over 30 years of training nurses and nursing assistants in the care of those with a dementing disease, I too learned. I learned from watching those skilled caregivers I was honored to work with, as well as the very dear elders we cared for.

Designed For The Caregiver, Too

Imagine You the Best Caregiver is a program designed to improve the quality of life for the person with dementia, as well as their caregiver. Learn everything from the extremely practical issues such as how to bathe another adult (especially when it is your mother) to understanding just what is going on in mom’s brain as she experiences increased confusion. Learn how to support the abilities that remain while compensating for the abilities lost.

Imagine You the Best Caregiver, reveals the solutions to so many caregiving challenges, while it answers the “why” questions:

Why doesn’t my husband remember how to brush his teeth anymore? Why won’t my wife stop wearing the same purple sweat suit every day? Why does my mom get so angry, when she was such an easy going person?

What You’ll Learn

In Imagine You the Best Caregiver, you will learn:

  • What is going on in the brain, and what type of memory lasts the longest
  • What an “enriched environment” for a person with dementia looks like
  • What the physical environment looks like to a person with dementia, and simple ways to support that person through their environment
  • A simple skill every caregiver can learn to improve their communication with the confused elder – a skill that can not only create a warm relationship, but also powerful enough to fix a damaged one
  • The ability that remains into the late stages of dementia, and how to incorporate that ability into your daily care
  • How to join the person with dementia in their “moment”
  • What “Person-centered care” means and looks like
  • How to create your own community of help and support
Imagine You the Best Caregiver Virginia Garberding RN Memory Cafe Directory

Available on Amazon

My passion is to share what I have learned and experienced with that family caregiver going it alone. That is what prompted me to start blogging about dementia in 2008. Please visit me at, and currently as I begin my own on line support community using facebook at: Nurse Virginia’s Memory Cafe.

Imagine You the Best Caregiver by Virginia Garberding RN is Available on Amazon.

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