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Deborah Bier, PhD

Deborah Bier, PhD, has a master's in counseling psychology and a doctorate in therapeutic counseling. In addition, Debbie has obtained the following credentials: Certified Alzheimer's Educator™ – National Certification Board for Alzheimer & Aging Care Certified Dementia Practitioner® – National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners Certified Dementia Care Partner – Dementia Care Professionals of America, a division of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Certificate in Gerontology – Allegra Learning Solutions, LLC Mental Health First Aid – National Council for Behavioral Health

Recent Posts

Malcolm Young, David Cassidy and Young Onset Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 21, 2017 at 1:13 PM

Both Malcolm Young, guitarist with the band AC/DC, and David Cassidy, 1970s teen musical sensation, have been in the news lately due to their  young onset  dementia. Young, 64, died Nov.18, and Cassidy, 67, died Nov. 21.

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living

Happy Holidays and Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM

When there is dementia in the family, we encounter new challenges with holiday gatherings. Dad wants to tell his World War II story many times over Christmas dinner. Mom gets overheated from the cheerful fire in the fireplace and removes her shirt. 

Where you had hoped for smiles, hugs and happy chatter, instead there are shouts, tears and toileting accidents.

With the right approach, everyone can enjoy the holidays, especially the person with dementia. Keep these three important ideas in mind:

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Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Alzheimer's and Dementia

Respecting Preferences Makes a Difference

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM

How do you make a parent’s birthday special? Maybe Mom or Dad has their favorite breakfast in bed. Maybe there’s a special card, gift or places to go together. Everything is meant to say “You’re important to me, I know what makes you happy and I love you.” This is communicated through the choices made: Mom’s favorite coffee. A shirt for Dad in his favorite color. Specially chosen sights and sounds that hit them right in their “Ahhhhh!” spots as we try to make them feel happy and honored.

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living

Dementia, Home Safety and Medications

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on October 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Elders too often are harmed at home due to inadvertently taking too much medication. This risk is greater with dementia because the person may not recall if or when they had their last dose. So, they take it again… and sometimes, even again. Or take the wrong medication or get confused about the instructions. Was it one pill every four hours or four pills every one hour?

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia, Safety, Healthy Living

Will You Get Dementia From Soda?

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on April 27, 2017 at 9:05 AM

You may have seen it on the news or social media – two new studies suggest soda pop may be linked to stroke and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The studies appeared in the journals Stroke and Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

If you’re a soda pop drinker – sugary or diet – this may give you pause for thought. Here are four things to consider:

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living

Let’s Talk About Frontotemporal Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on April 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Recently, I came across an article that struck a chord with me. Terry Jones, a member of the comedy team, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, announced his diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in September 2016. A newer interview provided an update about Terry’s condition, and also a request from his family: raise awareness about FTD and help others cope with it.

As an advocate and educator of dementia care practices, I want to honor their wishes by sharing more information about this less well-known form of dementia.

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia

Dementia Isn’t Just a Memory Disorder

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on March 22, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Memory loss is the most commonly known disability connected with dementia. Yet, dementia is so much more than just a memory disorder. Here are some other types of disorders that may occur with dementia:

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia, Healthy Living

Confused About Dementia? You’re Not Alone.

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on February 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM

People are frequently puzzled by statements they hear about older adults and dementia. If you have an aging loved one with dementia, chances are you may be confused yourself. Let’s untangle three serious misconceptions often heard about dementia.

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia

The Holidays and a Loved One With Dementia

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on November 22, 2016 at 10:00 AM

When someone in the family has dementia, two important facts need to be respected, particularly around the winter holidays:

We want to spend the time we can with our loved ones. Yet, people, noise and activity can easily overwhelm those with dementia.

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Topics: Alzheimer's and Dementia, Holidays

Helping People With Dementia Live at Home Longer

Posted by Deborah Bier, PhD on October 19, 2016 at 2:00 PM

By Deborah Bier, PhD, director of special populations

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Topics: Aging, Alzheimer's and Dementia

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