The Importance of Open Communication in Dementia Care with Kate Hanley

Breaking the Silence: The Importance of Open Communication in Dementia Care with Kate Hanley

By Marianne Sciucco, New York, USA

Let’s welcome Kate Hanley to the podcast this week. Author of Breakfast Memories: A Dementia Love Story, she’s a seasoned storyteller whose personal connection to dementia care echoes through her narratives.

As a caregiver to her mother, Kate navigated the complexities of family caregiving while managing her responsibilities as a mother and professional. Her stories are a testament to the importance of communication in caregiving and the indomitable power of love in overcoming life’s biggest challenges.

Kate’s discovery of her parent’s unique love language set her on a path she never anticipated—writing a book. Yet these beautiful “paper napkin sonnets,” and the story that surrounds them, were too precious and inspiring not to share, as they offer hope for anyone in the throes of caring for someone with dementia. The overwhelming peace she had when she witnessed her mother’s love for her seven children overpower dementia further encouraged her to write her story.

Kate shares her personal experiences as a caregiver emphasizing the power of storytelling and open communication.Through her own journey, she learned the importance of having meaningful personal conversations and not relying solely on digital communication. She believes that open and direct communication allows for a deeper understanding and processing of emotions, which is crucial in dementia caregiving.,

This episode will resonate with family caregivers who are in need of support and guidance in managing the challenges of dementia caregiving. Kate’s insights shed light on the emotional toll of caregiving, the strain it can put on sibling relationships, and the importance of seeking counseling and support from hospice organizations. It’s her hope others will learn that their compassion and resilience in caring for someone with dementia will not be forgotten.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Realize the value of anecdotes related to dementia care, shedding light on love’s strength and the hurdles encountered on the journey.
  • Expound on the essence of memory preservation techniques and harnessing the senses in dementia care.
  • Grasp the emotional aspects of caregiving and the importance of forging supportive alliances for mental well-being.
  • Recognize the early warning signs of dementia, distinguishing it from the natural aging process.
  • Acknowledge the efficacy of storytelling and clear-cut communication in enhancing the caregiving experience.

After the Podcast

Read Kate’s AlzAuthors post: Love is Never Forgotten in Breakfast Memories: A Dementia Love Story

Purchase Breakfast Memories: A Dementia Love Story

Note: We are an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

About Kate Hanley

Kate is passionate about the work she does with her own consultancy, Kate Hanley Cominsky Associates, LLC. She is also an adjunct professor with Utica College and Teacher Education Programs. She and her husband live in Old Forge, NY with two dogs and two grown sons who come home as often as possible to enjoy the peace and beauty of the Adirondack Mountains.

Connect with Kate Hanley




About the Podcast

AlzAuthors is the global community of authors writing about Alzheimer’s and dementia from personal experience to light the way for others. Our podcast introduces you to our authors who share their stories and insights to provide knowledge, comfort, and support.  Please subscribe so you don’t miss a word. If our authors’ stories move you, please leave a review. And don’t forget to share our podcast with family and friends on their own dementia journeys.

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