From Trainwreck To…

Optimizing quality of life is a struggle when you aren’t sure if it’s even possible. The general public (i.e., people who don’t have any personal experiences with people living with dementia) often think it’s a straight line from dementia diagnosis to complete absence of quality of life.

We care partners know that’s not true. But when you’re in the midst of a difficult day, thinking about how to make life delightful does feel like a heavy lift.

The good news? Optimizing quality of life is totally doable! I was a trainwreck on my first day as a professional. By lunch time, I’d been hit upside the head and knocked on my butt. After lunch, I made a nice lady cry because of my stupidity.

I went from that, to speaking on stages as an expert. (Like, stages where Teepa Snow herself has spoken!)

It took me almost 15 years to go from one extreme to the other. You don’t have that kind of time, to be messing around with trial and error, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. You just need life to be as awesome as it possibly can be for your parent or partner right now.

Optimizing Quality of Life

At the end of every post, I mention I’ve enjoyed the privilege for working 1,123 people living with dementia and their families. That’s my shorthand for saying I’ve had many, many opportunities to test theories, learn from mistakes, make refinements, and seriously drill down on what works.

I’m excited to share with you some of what I know works. I was delighted to present 9 Ways To Optimize Quality of Life at the Alzheimer’s Association’s 18th Annual McGinty Conference on Thursday, November 10, 2016.

Check out the video, where I also touch on barriers to optimizing quality of life and how to get past them. Plus some other good stuff. And then let me know your ideas in the comments below.

One great way to optimize quality of life? Put the kibosh on arguing! Grab How To Stop Arguing with Your Parent or Partner for a deeper dive into how to do that. Just click here for your content upgrade!


Christy Turner is the founder of and has enjoyed the privilege of working with 1,123 people living with dementia and their families. In addition to the McGinty Conference, she’s been invited to speak at some other great organizations’ very cool conferences. Like, the Oregon Health Care Association‘s Annual Conference (where Teepa Snow herself has spoken many a time!). And LeadingAge Oregon‘s Annual Conference. Plus, the Oregon Senior Referral Agency Association‘s Fall Conference. And many more.

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