Love Conquers Alz

DR. KELLYN LEE: MATERIAL CITIZENSHIP - Functional Objects Make Lives Meaningful for People Living with Dementia

December 18, 2022 DR. Kellyn Lee, Susie Singer Carter and Don Priess Season 5 Episode 66
Love Conquers Alz
DR. KELLYN LEE: MATERIAL CITIZENSHIP - Functional Objects Make Lives Meaningful for People Living with Dementia
Show Notes Transcript

In Episode 66, Hosts Susie Singer Carter and Don Priess have a fantastic meeting of the minds with their guest from the UK, Dr. Kellyn Lee, as she breaks down her new approach to dementia care – Material Citizenship - which focuses on the important role and function of everyday - personal - physical objects & tasks make a HUGE positive impact  in the caring process.

Dr. Lee is the founder of WISER Health & Social Care Ltd and The Dementia Care Hub - supporting people living-well with dementia, both at home and in formal care settings. 

Dr. Lee is an accomplished academic with a BPS Chartered Psychologist and over 11 years-experience in “research in aging” and dementia. She has lectured in psychological research methods & fundamentals in older persons’ complex care, Chairs the Innovation and Impact Board for the Institute of Health & Social Care Management,  and is the former Co-Director of the Doctoral Training Centre for Dementia Care at the University of Southampton. 

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Don Priess:

Alzheimer's sucks. It's an equal opportunity disease that chips away at everything we hold dear. And to date, there's no cure. So until there is we continue to fight with the most powerful tool in our arsenal. Love. This is Love Conquers Alz. A real and really positive podcast that takes a deep dive into everything. Alzheimer's, The Good, the Bad, and everything in between. And now, here are your hosts Susie Singer, Carter, and me, Don Priess.

Susie Singer Carter:

Hi, everybody. I'm Susie Singer Carter.

Don Priess:

And I'm Don Priess and this is Love Conquers Alz. Hello, Susan.

Susie Singer Carter:

Hi, Donald. How'd you doign?

Don Priess:

I'm doing okay. You know, just getting through getting ready for the big holidays as they say. I think

Susie Singer Carter:

In what way are you getting ready? x

Don Priess:

Well, in no way I've given up and I'm not

Susie Singer Carter:

Because I haven't seen that.

Don Priess:

getting all ready.

Susie Singer Carter:

You're getting ready. Such a liar.

Don Priess:

Get ready. Yeah, I mean, you know, I've been out you know, fighting the crowds every day at the mall. Go to the mall every day. Walk around, look at things.

Susie Singer Carter:

Like you do. Like, you know,

Don Priess:

Maybe I'll wait till Christmas.

Susie Singer Carter:

I did do that. Yesterday. I went to the mall. I which I hate to do?

Don Priess:

Oh, no, I know. You must have been just hell, just you know. Did you go see Santa? Did you?

Susie Singer Carter:

Was there said no, no, Santa was in a house now. Now Santa is in a house not outside.

Don Priess:

He's in quarantine. And you have to you have to go to the window.

Susie Singer Carter:

You do and you have to go. You have to set an appointment. It's not like the olden days.

Don Priess:

Oh my God.

Susie Singer Carter:

You have to set it up. You have appointemnt,

Don Priess:

to do it. COVID tests before you walk in there.

Susie Singer Carter:

Think you do? I'm not kidding.

Don Priess:

Was he wearing a mask?

Susie Singer Carter:

We can't tell because of the beard. Right? It's like a two for one.

Don Priess:

You should put the mask under the beard. Yeah.

Susie Singer Carter:

Well, it's a two for one. It's like it's Yeah, it is. So it's 2022 2022. And it's Christmas time. And this will probably be the first Christmas since COVID that people can actually get together. Right?

Don Priess:

I think so. Last year. I think people were doing it but not that full force like I think so. I know. We I have not been together with my family for She's three years. 2020 Yeah. Well, whatever that

Susie Singer Carter:

that sounds for years. Two years. Yeah,

Don Priess:

I don't know. A long time.

Susie Singer Carter:

It's been a long time

Don Priess:

It will be different.

Susie Singer Carter:

Yeah, yeah. And this will be this will be my first my first year without my mom. So which is very, very strange. I know, other people go, you know, everybody goes through it. It's just this little empty feeling. And when you go out and you see families together, or I see something that I know, my mom would have loved. It's that phenomenon that they're just not here anymore. Even Even if she was i Yeah, sorry. I just gotta say that every you know, even when my mom was in assisted living, I always felt so fortunate that I could go and visit her. I think I'm lucky because I can sit here, I can schmooze her and love her up and make her laugh and bring her presence and and see her. Yeah, and so you know, you know, the day is coming. But it's, it's still hard. So my heart goes out to everybody that's going through this right now. And it's when you love somebody dearly, you know, it's it's a hole in your heart, which is a great segue into our documentary, No Country for Old people, which, you know, is very much It's my gift, it's a love letter, in a way in an ironic way to my mom, because of the of the suffering that she did in the last six months of her life. And that, you know, I can take that and parlay it into a message. So it becomes a legacy, it becomes a tribute and it becomes you know, a tool, a tool for her that she left me so that everything she experienced wasn't in vain. So that makes me feel that gives me the power and it drives me so I think you know, like they said love songs don't come out of happiness, right? For the most part, they come come out of pain, like the best art comes out of pain. And and that's what we have to do. We have to channel the things that are that have happened to us that have been the biggest challenges and then use them to for good. Yes, and that's what I'm doing so

Don Priess:

Yea, and it's it's going to be so important. And we're right now in the process of of raising the funds that allow us to do this and you can go on our website, if you want to be part of the community that we're creating that will help get this thing going and get the word out there and, and help everyone. So

Susie Singer Carter:

all your donations are 100% tax deductible, we are partnered with the National Consumer voice of quality long term care, and they are providing us a 501 C three status. So you will you will, you'll get a gift of helping provide this this really critical film. And also you'll get a tax deduction. So it's a win win. Yeah, if you're listening to this two years from now, never mind, you know, we can we can really use your help. And it's for you, this film's for everybody. It's not, it's not for us, it's for everybody. And, and we have today, such a cool guest all the way from the UK. That's the benefit of the virtual platforms that we have. I met this incredible human being online on one of my communities, and she had posted a video which I what she was saying resonated so much to me. And, and I always I think it's interesting because my mom would always say water meets its own level. And it certainly does because, you know, out of out of nowhere came this this woman with this philosophy and this this kind of strategy for dealing with with people with dementia that just is spot on. So let's talk to her. Donald,

Don Priess:

Let me tell you a little bit about her. Dr. Kellyn Lee is the founder of wiser health and social care limited and the dementia care hub, supporting people living with dementia both at home and in formal care settings.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

Think about the objects that you use every day. If I took them all away from you, how would your day go?

Don Priess:

A BPS chartered psychologist with over 11 years experience in research in aging and dementia, Dr. Li has lectured in psychological research methods and fundamentals in older persons complex care. She is the chair of the innovation and impact board for the Institute of Health and Social Care Management and the former co director of the doctoral training center for dementia care at the University of Southampton. As an academic Dr. Lee has developed a new approach to dementia care, Material Citizenship, which focuses on the role or function of everyday physical objects and tasks in the carrying process. It's a fascinating new advanced dementia care and we have approximately I'd say 1 million questions. So let's wait no longer and say hello to Dr. Kellyn Lee Hello, Dr. Lee.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

Thank you. So Hi,

Susie Singer Carter:

Dr. Lee. First of all, could you have more credits? That's my tribute to Matthew Perry. Could you have

Don Priess:

I only said a few of them

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

I've been doing it a while

Susie Singer Carter:

not not while I mean it's you've packed it in my friend. You've done a lot. I'm so I'm so fascinated with your material citizenship and and what you do and and first a little background, what brought you to this focus of people that are dealing with dementia and Alzheimer's.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

So I guess for me this it started back in the mid 1990s. When I was 19 years old. And I worked in I worked in what we call a care home. So when I'm talking about a care home, we're talking about long term care, long term care facilities. So when I talk about care homes, it could be something that in the UK is a residential home. So it's somewhere where people go that they're still usually very able bodied, they can still look after themselves, but just need a bit more support. Or it could be a nursing home where there would be a registered nurse on every shift, and they provide nursing care. But what we are starting to find is that actually people with dementia are in all of them. So in the UK, around 80% of people living in care homes have a dementia of some kind. So when I was working in a care home back in the mid 1990s, either dementia wasn't something that was really that widespread in relation to knowledge. You know, people were called senile, or you know, it was this sense of it was just a it was old age, it was forgetfulness. It was what happened as a normal part of the aging process. But what I saw then, was that people that were living in care homes, lacked real choice and control over their lives. So although they were paying out large sums of money to live in these places, they weren't actually being listened to, you know, they had to certain and that and that's not because there was any malice involved or because there's care staff didn't care because actually some of the relationships that you see with people that are living in a care home and also the staff you know, they There is a real strong relationship between them, they care about each other. However, for some reason, within this environment, there is a situation in which there are two vulnerable groups, you have a group of people that are care staff who were undervalued, and you have a group of people because of their age. And because of the fact that they may have dementia, there is still ageism, that is widespread in care homes, that you don't need to do anything, because you're old, you've had your life, you're less valuable, you know, all the wisdom that you have, as an older person, actually, we're really not that interested, while I am. So for me, it actually stemmed out of the injustice of people that are living in these spaces that deserve to be listened to whose voices deserve to be heard. who currently, or not currently, for a long time haven't been,

Susie Singer Carter:

Oh, my God, I so agree with you, 100%. This is why I loved listening to you. I, I really resent that perspective that, that people at a certain age are no longer valuable, that they have nothing to contribute. Without sounding mercenary, it just feels that it always goes back to money. And that's what makes that that that that assigns your value, you know, children have a future. So they are potentially, you know, worth a lot. I met so many people in my mom's assisted living along the way, in the 16 year journey I've had that became really good friends of mine. And these were people in their 90s. I don't know if it's the same, exactly the same in the UK, I'd get a feeling it is. But we're, we don't like to look at age, we don't look at it. So we put it away. And therefore we don't have to be afraid of it or deal with it or learn how to, to understand it. Because I remember walking into assisted living with my family and members of my family were and I was too a little overwhelmed. Right, and not knowing how to communicate properly. And it didn't take that long Dawn, you were there you get it with me.

Don Priess:

And you all of a sudden just realized, Oh, you do they're just people

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

Talking about age and it not being something that's it's something that we want to avoid, you know how many anti aging products can be out there? And how many messages do we get, as you know, particularly as women, and the majority of people that are working in care and in care are female. So you know, you have this whole sense of anti aging, aging isn't something that we want to do. We don't want to get old or they want to live a long life. We don't want to get old, which is is strange in itself. But if you have this low value on age, and then you throw dementia into the mix, okay, so not only are you trying to push age, we don't want to see that. But equally what we do if I don't look at dementia as mental health, I don't think it's helpful. I don't think it's useful. If we look at it as a disability, it's much more helpful. If somebody had a car accident and had a brain injury, it would be seen as a disability, that person would then be supported to live the best life they possibly could, given the circumstances. We don't do that with dementia, although they are you know, it's it's a it's a progressive disease of brain injury. Okay. So if you look at the aging process, and you have, you know, this is something that we don't want to be so let's get rid of old people, let's put them away somewhere, because it's not something that we want to see. And then you put dementia into that. And if we look at it from a mental health perspective, which many do, what do we do with people that have poor mental health, we also put them away. You will see this quite a lot in relation to some of our care homes in the UK, wherever the people with dementia, they're usually segregated. And they're usually on the top floor, because we don't want people with dementia mixing with other people. And I had this very conversation yesterday with a member of staff at a care home who I know delivers great care. I've seen the care that she gives, but she made a comment. She said I wouldn't want to live with people with dementia. I wouldn't want to would you and I said I want to stop you right there. You need to hear what you are saying. Because what you are saying is that segregation is fine. Or people with dementia should be put in one place and we don't want to mix with them. She said I don't mean that I said but that is what you are saying. And if you are if you are verbalizing that you are you keep this negative narrative of dementia go in that dementia in some way is the worst thing you can possibly have. Okay, now, in relation to dementia mild, moderate severe Yes, there is a progression. Yes. Would I want to have it? No, I wouldn't. But that doesn't mean that we can't live well with it. And the more we talk about it in a positive way, the capabilities of people, the things that they can do, how we support them to live well, for longer, that will change society's view of what dementia represents. But we have to be really careful with the words that we use.

Susie Singer Carter:

Exactly. And I think when you were talking, you know, brought to mind like somebody would say, Ms. Right, and, and who that's a progressive disease, and some people live very long with it. And I had a girlfriend who died within a year, at in 32, when she was 32 years old. We don't know how fast or slow it's going to progress. And, but But we, we treat it and we try to live we'd you know, try to live as best a quality of life as we can. And they and you know, by by definition, you they start losing their certain skills, sometimes they end up in wheelchair, sometimes they can't speak, sometimes they can't breathe. But does that mean that why are we not segregating them? Do you know what I'm saying? And why? Why is that more acceptable? It is the same thing. It's a progressive disease. And why is it because it happens to younger generation part of the generation?

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

It's really interesting you saying that, because the next part that we had the discussion about was I said to her, right, okay. So if you have somebody, if you have two friends, you have two people that are living in a care home, and they've become good friends. So they're companions to each other. They have a lovely friendship. There's a chance that one of those people that's living in that care home, if they haven't got dementia, may well may well develop it whilst they're in the care home. So what would you do? Would you separate them and move one upstairs and keep the other one downstairs? No, I said, but that's what you are saying. If you are saying that people with dementia should be in the same place, then what you are saying is there that relationship they have you would break that? And what would that do to their quality of life, if you have two people that are husband and wife that are living together, and one has dementia, and then one, you know, has a stroke and then has a medical needs and can no longer support the person with dementia, and they move into a care home as a couple. Are you saying that you would split them up? Because they couldn't be on the same floor? Who is this of benefit to? Because it's certainly not of benefit to them?

Susie Singer Carter:

Right? Yeah,

Don Priess:

absolutely. Some of that normalization. I mean, one of the things you know, where are you? Susie, where your mom was? They did not split them up? Everyone, you know, it was PlayStation. The last one?

Susie Singer Carter:

Oh, the the long term care but but but generally done just to interject, they do here in you know, because my mom when the place right before, you know, it was like, Yeah, first floor was was the, the Healthy Mind did the second floor was Cuckoo's Nest,

Don Priess:

and I think they are they doing that? Is it? I mean, most of them are they doing because they don't want to burden the other. You know, it's like, oh, I don't want the piano coming in. I don't want the residents hanging around with that, because it's a burden, or is it? Just it's easier on the staff? Or why are you doing it?

Susie Singer Carter:

Well, I can tell you this. And maybe maybe you can, you can, you know, let me know if this happens in the UK, I had a guest on our show who his wife has early onset. And they just recently they've been running marathons around the world for since she was diagnosed. And you know, that spin they're there. They basically took off like nomads and decided to do this while she could still do it. And now they've moved into an assisted care. And very recently, you know, she needs a little help with with eating now. And some of the other residents complained. They don't want to see it. They don't want to watch him help her.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

It's multilayered. There isn't one reason why it's done. I think historically, the reason it was done was because you keep them out of people out of the way. So the bad and the bad go upstairs, okay, because then that people coming through the door visitors coming through the door, they're less likely to have contact with them. So also, if they're shouting, if the screaming if there's anything like that going on, hopefully the noise won't travel downstairs. So historically, I think it came from that. I think now, it's multilayered in relation to it can be the other residents don't want to see, I don't want to be around those people. Because actually, there's a lot of people that live in care homes that don't see themselves as being old enough to be in there. I believe, all of us. And I think all of us we still feel, you know, a lot younger than we actually are, and that kind of thing, but also, from a practical perspective. It seems to be that okay, organisations say, Well, if it's nursing care on this, we have everything we need for them on that floor. And then if it's if it's if it's a dementia floor, it makes practical sense. But I think it is incredibly divisive and divisive. And I think it's fundamentally wrong. Because equally, what you can get is staff saying, I don't want to work with people with dementia, because they hear these stories that it tend to be, you know, always the worst case scenario. And yet there are, you know, millions of people that aren't aggressive that don't do these things. And actually, there are people that have don't have dementia that can actually have behaviors that others find challenging. But there seems to be this sort of association between dementia and behaviors that people find challenging. So that's what's in their mind. So actually, I'd rather not work with those people. And that's what it is. Those people say, it isn't those people were all human beings. Okay? And actually, if you don't mix people up, how would you ever experience the difference in the diversity of people just you keep segregating is, you know, there isn't a cancer village, there isn't a nice village, but then a dementia villages why? Why do we do this because we don't want to see it? Well, we'll tough we need to see it, because we need to learn to live with it.

Susie Singer Carter:

Amen. You know, my, I have a little granddaughter who just turned three and she had, she was born without a corpus callosum, which is her membrane between the two halves of her brain. In essence, she's just a little delayed, and that that's all due to mechanics. She says she goes to preschool now, where it's, it's all levels of different kinds of delay. And, and I found it so touching, I actually posted a picture of her in our community, because there was a little girl and the teacher was trying to help her gain balance, and eaten my my granddaughters, three ran over to her and held her by the arm to help her walk on this leg balance beam to help her with her balance. instinctually she did that. And if they weren't mixed, if they weren't put together a different levels. How would she learn that empathy? How would she learned to just be part of a community and not judge it, but just help it? And I found it so profound that she did that. And that's the that that I mean, that's it,

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

this is where material citizenship is useful, because with material citizenship, what we are doing is we are saying we look at the capabilities of a person not the deficits, so we aim high from the beginning, okay. So what we are doing is we are looking at, you know, I can give you some examples of how we make dementia look worse how the environment and the people in it make a dementia look worse. So if people don't have the objects that they need to continue everyday routines, you know, when I get up in the morning, that hairbrush that I use the coffee cup that I drink out of the hair straighteners I use to straighten my hair, these are my routines, okay. So if I move from my own home, generally, in the UK, a large majority of people that have dementia will have a hospital admission. So they'll go into hospital, it may be a fall, it may be a UTI, it may be anything. At that point, a decision is made that perhaps they shouldn't return home that actually they need to go into a care home. They're not always included in that decision making process. They don't get to choose the care home they want to go to. They may and certainly in this country, I can sit there with a whole group of care home staff and say which one of you is moving into a care home when you're older than all of them will say no. And I'm saying but you work in. And you you wouldn't want to be here. Okay. So when a person moves into that care home, straightaway, they're at a disadvantage, because it's a new environment of which they're not sure of. They may not understand and not because of the dementia, but they may not understand why the decisions have been made in relation to why they're there in the first place. They haven't chosen the place. They don't want to be there. So when I keep asking, When am I going home, I want to go home, I want to go home that is seen as dementia, it's seen as a symptom. Well, actually, my argument would be no, it's just because nobody's actually given you a reasonable response. Nobody's actually telling you the truth. Some of the time. Sometimes somebody would say, Oh, you're on holiday, don't you worry. Okay, they know that that's not true. And so does the person with dementia know that that's not true. So I will keep on asking you this question. Okay. I'm not saying that everything isn't a symptom of dementia, but I think we need to work on the basis. Is this a reasonable response to what is going on for me right now? Or is it a symptom of of dementia rather than jumping into symptom. So you have somebody that's in a care home, they haven't chosen to be in there, they haven't got their belongings. So all of those routines that would make you feel safe, psychologically safe. This makes sense to me, because this is how I typically live my life, all of those things have been removed, because you don't need them in here. Why? Because we will look after you. And because we will look after you, you don't need those things, we have a hairdresser on site that you would see maybe once every two weeks, so you don't need your curling tongs, your hair straighteners, your the hairdryer that you would choose to use, we have cups in here. So you don't need your own mug. Because actually, we've got all of that stuff already. So all of these items are overlooked. And yet, if we didn't have those items, if we were in our own home, if we came in and everything had moved, or everything had disappeared, we will be incredibly confused. So you put somebody with dementia in a strange environment without their family members, so they're feeling unsafe already. Okay, and then they haven't got their objects that they need in order to carry out those retake the routines that they would typically do. Everything then becomes a symptom of dementia, people are walking into each other's rooms stealing things, or perhaps they're walking into each other's rooms, because they're looking for the objects that are missing. People. People are wondering, when a people are walking, we all walk and actually we need to look at why is that person walking? Okay? People that are getting up to try and do stuff in the in the kitchen areas or take a cup to the sink. So a member care staff will politely Don't you worry about that, I'll take that for you. You sit down. They're doing it out of care. But actually the care is misplaced, because what you're doing is you are chipping away at a person's identity. They no longer understand who they are, why they're there and what is going on. And all that does is feed into a really negative narrative of dementia, because that's what people will say. That's the dementia. And actually, my argument is, I would say isn't dementia, unless we can say that it isn't a reasonable response to what is going on for that person. I would react like that

Susie Singer Carter:

Caring for them into oblivion? Because you're right, like you said it, I'm sure for the most part, it comes from a good place. But you're so right, because I remember when my my stepfather died. And my mom was at the funeral. And like, as we're waiting to get the car, she said, Oh, wait, we have to wait for George. She I mean, she had forgot. Right? Well, that's a part of the disease. That doesn't mean she doesn't understand that's just part of the disease. We all forget, how many times do we walk into a room and go, Why was I here? Does that mean that we're worthless? We really don't know why we were there. It'll come but we don't know. And I remember sitting my brother said to me, just Why are you care? Just let just tell her that he he's out while I couldn't. Because I knew that if I told her in a gentle way. Every time she asked me what she did when I moved her in with me. And it was like Groundhog's Day. And it took only like two weeks for her to get it to stick. And the last time she asked me, she said, Where's Georgie? And I just looked at her waited for gave her time to think about and she said he passed. Right. And I said he sure did mom. Last time she asked me

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

And this is a thing. You know, there are, you know, with dementia, of course is a cognitive impairment. And it will progressively get worse. Yes, however, we assume the worst straightaway, as soon as somebody has that diagnosis. Yes, it's it's a huge blow, not just for the person, but equally for the family around them. But what we tend to do is become overly protective out of a place of love. Okay, so out of a place of love, we try to protect people, we stop them doing things we, in effect, stop them living the life that they want to live, and particularly for people that are living in a care home, because care is undervalued, there aren't enough staff working in care homes that have a high levels of people living with dementia, we do have to spend a bit more time with people that are living with dementia, as you've just said, you know, give somebody that might say something and then wait and see what the response is. But what happens is that we rush people into things. And because they can't do things as quickly as we want them to and we haven't got time, we then start doing everything for people which makes them overly dependent upon us, which actually increases the workload rather than decreases. And the other thing is that when you start doing everything for somebody, you're not listening to what they're actually saying to you because they've got dementia. What happens they become well, there are a few things that can happen one they become compliant with So I would say it's probably the worst thing to see if somebody has become compliant. They've just lost the wheel. They've lost the fight, they don't want to fight anymore, you know, or somebody does want to fight. And actually, they're the people that I want to see. Because they are the people that these are the people sometimes that have these behaviors that challenge, but actually, what they are doing is they're fighting for their sense of self. They are fighting for somebody to listen. Okay, so if, if I give you an example, there was a man who was on the top floor of the care home, that there was a ground floor and a top floor, and there was a lock in between the two, okay, on the door, so nobody could leave and go downstairs unless they're assisted by a member of staff. So he was a smoker, he'd always been a smoker, he was 94 years old, okay. He would have a cup of coffee in the morning, he'd have his breakfast, and then what I would notice is walking up and down. Okay, so I'm thinking, he needs a cigarette. That's what he wants. What had happened was because nobody was noticing that he wanted this cigarette, he knew his cigarettes were downstairs, he knew he needed to be downstairs in order to get them. So what happened was when somebody went to come through the door, he would stop pushing people out of the way to get downstairs, that was then seen as aggressive behavior, that is dementia, it got worse. And let's, let's construct a medical intervention. I then stepped in and said, Hold on a minute. I don't think we need a medical intervention here. I think what he needs to be is downstairs, he was then his bedroom was still upstairs, but during the day he was then downstairs, no aggression was seen.

Susie Singer Carter:

See, that's it's your I, I again, I just don't know, I'm speechless, because I keep thinking it's so obvious, but I guess it's not because I know that it took me a second to understand dementia. But it didn't take that long to figure out that as you're losing your your skills, cognitive skills, it's not dissimilar to children, right? They're gaining their skills, but but they don't have enough skill. So when they can't don't have the tools to say something they might have, and they're frustrated, they might have a temper tantrum, well, there's a reason why they're doing it. They're not crazy. They just don't have the tools to tell you what they want, and their order or describe their frustration. They just don't. So do you want to punish them? Or do you want to say what's going on? What what's frustrating you, let's talk about it, this is a better way to get what you want. Tell me and I'll help you.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

But our society assumes and it's largely assumed that with dementia, I've all these negative behaviors. But as soon as you see one of them, you associate that with dementia. I'll give you another example. There was a woman who again, lived on the top floor of this care home, and she would get changed three times a day, she'd get changed in the morning, she'd get changed at lunchtime, she'd get changed again in the evening. And what she would do is she'd just throw her clothes around the room, you know. So what happened was, she would leave the room staff would walk past doing their job, they would pick up the clothes and take them to the laundry. Well, we've also talked about a generation of people that don't wash their clothes after every single wear, you know, they wear them for a few days before putting them in the wash. So she would then go back to her room, and she would become very distressed. Because somebody's been in my room and it's they're taking my things. So then she would walk around with a radio under her arm. And then staff would say that's the dementia. It wasn't the dementia it was because this was an unsafe place. I can't leave anything in my room, because things go missing. So I'm going to carry this with me. She also wanted a pair of curling tongs because she wanted she would say to me, oh, Kellyanne, I love your hair. It's blonde. And you know, I want blonde hair. And I'd say so well, why don't you have blonde hair? Well, because the hairdresser doesn't have blonde. Why? Because it's it's not an old person color. Okay, so then she also didn't have a curling tongue. So I would said to her well, you know, said to member staff, why? You know, why hasn't she got her curling tongs? Well, because she might burn herself. Right. Okay, so has she ever had curling tongs in here? No. So how do you know that she'll burn herself? I just know she can't have them. So but when she looked in the mirror, she would say I don't recognize myself and staff would assume again, that's dementia because she doesn't recognize who she is. It wasn't it was because she says Kevin, I don't have flat gray hair. I have blonde hair that's curled. So all of these associations in relation to dementia. That wasn't true. She just needed the things in order to maintain her identity had she had her curling tongs and her hair dyed and also had her room with her clothes. left in it and nobody taking them, she would have been absolutely fine. But everybody associated everything she did with dementia. And she probably had one of the mildest dementia that I've seen for somebody that lives in a care home. You know, it just, it didn't need to be that way. And what I saw was her mental health go through the floor, her sense of self, a sense of belonging, you know, and she and she died not long after, and I don't think she need, I think she died too early.

Susie Singer Carter:

We're stripping everybody of their individuality. Right? So we're taking away everything and just saying that you are now this, that's it, that's all you are, you are a person with dementia,

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

you're resident with

Susie Singer Carter:

...you're resident with dementia.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

That's the dehumanization process straight away.

Susie Singer Carter:

Totally, I get it. 100%.

Don Priess:

So now let's look at this in the practical, which is, you know, what, you've come up with his material citizenship. And you know, so much of that, as you know, just little objects that are familiar around them, can help ground them. And so they don't feel like they're in this strange world where they have nothing to relate to. But more, possibly more important is what you when you analyze the situation, you looked at the situation, how do we train the people that who are basically taking care of them to recognize these these things? Because right now, they're, you know, they don't have the time to do what they're doing. They don't have enough staff. Let's say they're understaffed,

Susie Singer Carter:

But when you say you don't, they don't have time, which we hear it here as well, because they're labor intensive. Why are they more labor intensive than someone who's rehabilitating from a broken hip? And they need to go through physical therapy? Like, why that takes time? What are we

Don Priess:

right? I'm not saying daily time, we're talking even time to just train them, you know, to train them properly. So what is that process?

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

So I developed the materials citizenship training program. So there's a leadership workshop. So I think the one thing that I was really clear on is that care staff do an amazing job, okay. And they realize that they're in the business of care, because they want to make a difference. However, quite often, they're not given permission to care, because they are given task orientated jobs to do to people, because that's what care looks like, from a regulatory perspective. We need to make sure people aren't being harmed, we need to make sure that people are safe. But I guess my argument is that that safety has gone too far. We don't allow people to do anything in case they are physically harmed. And material citizenship mitigates that. So it says, right, okay, well, where is that a real risk? Or is that a perceived risk? And actually, what's the psychological risk of not allowing that person to do that? One, they will become overly dependent upon you. So when we're looking at people being time poor, and I had this conversation with a group of nurses and carers yesterday when I was delivering Material Citizenship training, and I said to them, yes, I understand that your time poor, but because you are giving everybody the same care. Because this is what you that you need to do to people, you've actually got a percentage of people in this care home, that may well be able to do things for themselves, but they can't, because they haven't got the objects that they need, in order to be able to do that. You're not opening up this facility enough. So if I give an example, yes, we can't have people that are living in the care home going into the kitchen to make their own breakfast. But what we could have, even if you don't have a purpose built kitchen area, you could have cereals, and milk and fruit and stuff that's on a table that people can come out and actually get it for themselves. So what you can be doing is you can be spending more time with people that need the care at a higher level. And actually what will happen is as time goes on, those levels will change and new people will come in and you will get be given care that is proportionate to those people rather than just giving the same care to everybody. So that is where you can maybe claim back some time. Equally if you have people that are frustrated or not listened to or feeling you know, all of these negative emotions, the chances are they are going to want your attention a lot more than if they're actually okay. So what you will get is you will get call bells that are ringing all the time you'll get people nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, okay, so that has an impact on care because then staff become overwhelmed by that and then when they become overwhelmed, the job seems even bigger. So actually what I'm saying is if we if we go back to when somebody moves into our care home, or people that are currently living in a care home, how did you live your everyday life before you came in here? What kinds of things did you do? Not your you know, we know about your hobbies we know about your occupation, we know about your family makeup, but actually what did you do and what did you do them with? Did you have tea or coffee? What kind of cup would you have had? Can you show me on my phone? And you know, pick a cup, which one would you have wanted, because actually, by drinking out of the cup that I want, I'm also more likely to drink more, which will also help my physical health. So I won't get a UTI ended up in hospital or have any complications. So if we work back to how did you live your life at home? Okay, what would you like to do in here? How what object can we assign to those things. So one, one member of staff yesterday talked about a woman that she had actually cared for in her own home, and then she had moved into the care home. And this member care staff now happens to be working in the care home. And she said, I noticed that she in our shower at home, she had this kind of pink squeegee thing that she used. And I and she also had a pink puffer that she would dab tau COVID herself. And I've noticed she doesn't have any of those things in here. So if we enable people to have these things to maintain this sense of self through the objects, not only does it enable them to live the life that they want to live, be less dependent upon staff, but it equally means that staff can get to know them better. So I can know who you are, and therefore, you know, if I know who you are, and what you like, I can support you in that way. If you are living a better life, you're probably going to be less work to me than you are if you're unhappy,

Susie Singer Carter:

Right. Can I ask you a question in terms of, you know, a sense of purpose. You know, when my mom was living with me, we tried to give her as much responsibility that that she that she would like, and I noticed when she moved into the assisted living, my mom was when she became wheelchair bound. And there was one woman who, what had, you know, her own disabilities, but she took a liking to my mom. And when my mom was trying to get somewhere, she would come over to her she was from Sweden, who would always say, normally, let me help you, let me help you. And they had, and it gave her a sense of purpose and gave my mom it's a sense of community, right, which we, we why don't they have that. I mean, it feels like that's a huge thing that's missing, too, is this sense of community that, and that would, that would bring back the, the humanity of life, you know, as opposed to, like you said, a resident.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

And I guess that is because it's what a care home represent. a care home represents a place that typically, you know, if we're talking about older person care, so in the UK, it's anybody over the age of 65. What a care home represents is people sat around doing nothing, while staff do everything for them. So we need to flip that. And actually, we need to be living together. You know, this is a community, we also need to have people that are living in care homes, being able to go out into the community, and still be part of life outside of a care home, rather than rather than sort of locked away, you know, they don't go to the GP anymore, they don't go to the doctor because the doctor comes to them. They don't go out to the hairdresser's and have that sociable time anymore. Why? Because the hairdressers bought in, they don't, they don't actually go out and have that life anymore. And I guess for care staff, you know, they are paid to do a job. And if they don't do that job, if something isn't done, they are the one that's going to be blamed for it equally, if they allow somebody to support somebody else, and something goes wrong, or why did you allow them to do that? And that's, again, where material citizenship comes in. Because we say well, actually, you know, by using this method, it gives you a safety net, because you can show why you are doing this, how you are doing this, and the impact that it has. But also, more importantly, we can also show the negative impact of of, of not being allowed to live your life. And by introducing these things, we can actually get rid of a lot of the behaviors that other people find challenging.

Susie Singer Carter:

Agreed,

Don Priess:

Doesn't the push back from the top, you know, when they talk about oh, let's you know, let her have the curling tongs or revenue. It's all about liability. Everyone's worried about liability about getting sued or you know, and isn't that the major pushback that you have to to fight against? And how do we overcome that?

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

And I, and you're right, there is this sense of, you know, we don't want something bad to happen. One because we could lose our registration as a care home so the care home could close. We could be sued by a family member because they're not happy with what was going on. So I guess in relation to material citizenship, what we are looking at is we are looking at including relatives in this as well. So we are saying to relatives, you know, so if you can't come into the care home and you see your mom doing the hoovering and you're saying Hold on a minute, I'm paying 2000 pounds a week for her to be here. What is she doing doing the hoovering? Well the reason she's doing this Hoover And he's because what we've noticed is she's really happy doing this. Yep, this is what we've noticed, we've noticed her levels of well being changed, we've noticed that she's brighter after doing it, we've noticed these things. So this is why we do it. But it's very much working with the relatives from the beginning. Because, you know, then, you know, it's all of you that are included in that care process, you've got your formal carers, you've got your family members who are still carers, and you've also got the person that is living with dementia. So actually, if we can all see that, you know, we talk about meaningful, we talk about purpose, we talk about dignity. It isn't meaningful, dignified, or purposeful, to get somebody to do an activity that they really don't want to do. But it looks okay, because we're keeping them busy. However, if I can show that your mom who may have been, you know, is particularly the generations that we're talking about, at the moment, may well have been a domestic housewife. You know, her purpose and her meaning, if this is her home, would be looking after that home. So this is what we are showing, what we're also showing is that actually, we've enabled her to do that, we've supported her to do that. And we've checked at the same time, whether there are any real risks, is there anything that is showing up that says that actually, maybe she needs more support with that, so we can show that within? It doesn't have to be a massive big, you know, risk assessment, but we are constantly reviewing the care. And actually, this is part of care. So in relation to we have something called the Care Quality Commission, so they are the independent regulators that will come in, we also have safeguarding to make sure that people aren't, aren't hurt, or exploited or abused in any way. But if we can take this because this is, you know, is based in research, it's based in evidence, we can say, well, actually, this isn't just an idea that we've had, that's a nice to do. This is a rights based approach. And actually people from a human rights perspective, have the right to access their belongings, they also have the right to choose where they live. Okay, so we have, we have a rights based approach. We also have the Mental Capacity Act, which tends to work against people, you know, so we, but we could draw on that as well. And what we are showing is from this evidence based program, which is material citizenship, we are showing that this is well thought through, it's documented. And it's, you know, we have the evidence to show why we are doing it, as opposed to, we're just doing it without thinking, that's a much stronger position for staff to be in. Because they can say we are using Material Citizenship, we are documenting it in this way. So it shows from an audit perspective, what the scenario was, what the object is, what the problem was, and what the impact is, since we've introduced that, it's always up for review. So if that person, you know, if their situation changes, if the dementia, as the dementia progresses, they may also have some other medical condition, they may have a stroke, they may develop a cancer, we will constantly review, because that's what we should be doing anyway, rather than just saying, This is who you are, this is what you do. And this is what it's going to be like for the rest of your life.

Susie Singer Carter:

isn't it? Like isn't couldn't you liken it to like, what if, you know, I don't like meat, and I was served meat every every meal. And that's what you get. And then they and then suddenly you're losing weight. And suddenly, you know, you, you don't really feel like going to eat anymore because it's not anything you like. And so you begin to deteriorate, emotionally and physically. That's the same thing as as throwing a blanket over, you know, these activities as if, that is what you know, everybody at that age suddenly likes to do arts and crafts. They don't. My mother wanted me for my mother didn't want to do arts and crafts. She would go to me what's going on here? What's this bullshit? What is this? Right? I mean, it My mom was a sophisticated woman, suddenly she's cutting flowers out with a safety scissor. She doesn't want to do that.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

And this is where harm. Because what we are currently doing is we are making sure that people are alive, that they're clean, that they're fed, that they're watered that they're medicated. What we are not doing is checking in on them to see Are you okay? Are you having, you know, I'm not saying that you're having the best life. But actually are we doing enough? Are we are we supporting you in a way that you want to be supported? And it's about choice and control? I could move into a care home and say I don't want to do a thing, you're going to do everything for me, that's my choice, I'm happy with that. It's when you remove everything from me. And if any of us without dementia, if we had no control and choice over our lives, the negative impact of that is huge. You look at COVID When we were locked away, and then how mental health went through the floor, okay? That's like being in a care home. In that way, and when we're talking about meaningful activity, and meaningful activity, to me, maybe washing up, it may be, you know, making my own cup of tea, it may be butter in some bread for the, you know, ready for lunch, because actually, that's what I want to do. It doesn't mean putting stars on a piece of paper, and saying who the Employee of the Month is, you know what I mean? It's, it's what is important to me. And if and if this is my home, it's not just about objects that make the place look familiar. Because also what I found in my research was that typically, the person's belongings are in their room, and they're encouraged to spend the majority of the time out of the room of which their possessions are anyway. So why are we not having people's possessions in the same space that they are? Where they spend time? Why are they not family photos on the wall that I can show you who my family, I can share my life with you? Because we spend a huge,

Susie Singer Carter:

That's a great idea. Kailyn that's, I love that idea.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

We spend so much money and care homes, trying to make them look good and look homely? Well, people have already got their stuff to make it look homely,

Susie Singer Carter:

oh my gosh, I love that. That's so simple.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

But the thing is that it has a deep theoretical basis in relation to object person relationships. But actually, the practice of it is simple. And everybody gets it. So when I talk to staff in the training, I get them to think about the objects that are important to them, I then we then do it, we then do something where we take them away and leave them with just a couple. And then we say How are you feeling? Well, I don't like it. Okay, what is it that you don't like? What might I see? Well, I'd be very angry I'd I'd be really, okay. So if you know, you've got dementia, what does that look like? Oh, yes, all of a sudden, staff go that light bulb moment, I am now recognizing what we are doing. And I don't want to do that anymore. Because that would that would impact me. Okay, so I'm choosing not to. But we also have to make sure that staff is safe to be able to do that they are given permission to do that, which is why it's important to have it from from the top down, as well as bottom up. So that so so you know, the leadership workshop, they have to buy into this because they have to say we are giving you permission to do this. Because it's different to how we've always done things. You can't allow staff who are on a minimum wage, who have very little training to go, because we want people in care homes to be creative and autonomous. Again, as soon as they are we tell them not to be because that's not the way it's done. So material citizenship is saying, This isn't just about dementia, this is just about how we think about people. And we can do it in this way

Susie Singer Carter:

Down to the entertainment that they would bring in. And my mom was a singer. So in my my whole my girls and I sing and we'd go any day we were there, we it would be Kumbaya, we'd be singing everything from you know, standards to Neil Diamond or whatever, right? Yeah. And, and everyone would be hanging around all the eight year olds, nine year olds, whatever, they're hanging out, they we had a good time. And then, you know, I would I visit when my mum when they had the shows, and I'd get so much eye rolls, the entertainers would be patronizing to the people that lived there as if

Don Priess:

They're treating like children,

Susie Singer Carter:

like children. And these are adults that have fabulous lives. And I you know, I used to when my mom was in long term care in the last six months, I'd say, I know, you don't know this woman that I do. And she's a fierce, fabulous woman. And and she's not a grey lump laying in that bed, please. And I

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

I guess that's where, with Material

Susie Singer Carter:

Ya think? Ya think! Citizenship, what it does is it makes kit a tangible thing. Because when you talk about care, what does it look like? What does it feel like? What is it? How do what, you know, how do I know that real person centered care is taking place? You know? So I guess for me, it's that thing because I can say that person has been included in decision making. Because they've got their objects. I've heard that person because the objects are in the care home. And I'm also supporting that person to live the life they want to live because they're unable to interact with them. So what we do is with the objects that somebody has. We're making care tangible. We can show it. It's explicit. And also, if you imagine, you know, a life in which Material Citizenship exists in a care home, when you get people coming into the care home, who were doing activities and stuff, I would bet you any money, they would treat people differently if they came in and saw a busy home of people doing stuff, rather than walking in to a room with chairs around, and people just sat waiting for something to happen to them.

Don Priess:

This is also important for even for those without dementia, my mom just went into a long term care facility, we moved her from her three bedroom home with full garage and all her stuff from her entire life there and had to whittle everything down to a one bedroom, 600 square foot, you know, place. And the things that when we were moving, or the things that she was like that, you know, she was telling us, I want that I want to keep that now, it was virtually everything. And we knew realistically, we couldn't do that she kept greeting cards from everyone she ever had in her whole life. And in boxes, she never looked at then ever. She never looked at them But she wanted to keep those just to know she had them. It was a sense of she doesn't have she doesn't have dementia. But I think this can be implemented for anyone moving into long term care

Susie Singer Carter:

Just validates what Kellyn is saying is that, you know, yes. Because if you have dementia, you don't have the voice sometimes to articulate that. So your mom is is has the voice so she can articulate it. And she can tell you how important it is that she has her dinnerare, ijust in case, that when she goes never know, you never know. And you know, and I was thinking exactly that Don, when when Kellyn was talking about that so much. I was thinking well, of course.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

And you think of, you know, the experience that you had with your mom in relation to, you know, trying to sort through a whole home. And, you know, we have loads of research that, you know, that talks about the biggest dis disband disbandment of objects and kind of displacement, you know, when you when you move somewhere, and all of your belongings are left somewhere else, or, you know, you have to get rid of a whole history. So, you know, none of us would ever move house and not choose which belongings we would take with us. You know, there's a sense of closure as well, to a degree then, okay, and I'll give that to such such an I'll give that to them, and all that can go to charity, and that. And I'm happy with what's happened, you know, because actually, this is my life. This is my life in pieces. So as a person moving into a care home with dementia, if they certainly if they've gone, you know, there was there was one woman who was 69 in the care home and her son said, he said, If I'd have taken my mum home to collect all her belongings, we would still be there now because she wouldn't have wanted to leave anything he said, and actually going through all the belongings, that was my life as well. It was my history as well. So it's a really hard thing to do. But for somebody living with dementia, who moves from hospital, straight to the care home, the sense of loss, the loss of my life, the loss of my home, and I don't even know what's happened to my belongings. Who would we ever do that to? Nobody, you know, we talk about sort of refugees being displaced and having to move to another and we rally around and, and rightly so. We rally around and we get them the bits and pieces that they would want to make home again. Right? The person with dementia, we just go out. Okay, there you go. You don't need all of that stuff. Yeah.

Don Priess:

Oh, yeah. You don't need that I don't. And we're so guilty of it ourselves. We were the same thing. We're like, Mom, what are you ever going to do with that? What are you going to do with that? What do you really need that? You know,

Susie Singer Carter:

You guys were great with her? You guys were very good with her because they went through every piece of clothing. And it's no no, but you did a great job. But But I was thinking about also like, even when you go on vacation, and you know, we sit we tend to bring things with us that a will make us feel a little bit at home. You know, I know, as a filmmaker, when I go on location, I was I would always bring like, I had to have this with me. I even brought my coffeemaker honestly, because I didn't know what the hotel was going to have. And those are things that make you feel like okay, I'm not. I this is me. This is my life. I'm going to be here for three months. I want to I want to feel I'm gonna miss my family. Yeah, yeah. Yeah,

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

it's kind it's an emotional anchor. And it makes Yeah, you know, if you think that and don't you know, it is so hard to get rid of things, you know, so I'm absolutely sure you did a fantastic job. But practically, we can't have everything if we're moving to a smaller space, things have to be, you know, there has to be a compromise. But at least you did that. And I guess it is that sense of, you know, how can we? How can we not see that this is a person's life? How can we not notice, and the thing is we haven't, and it's not anybody's fault to a degree, because I think things just get caught up and, and you roll through, generally, it's a crisis, or you know, it's a fall or it's something that's happened. And then everything, you have to do everything really quickly, there's this sense of urgency. So there is a sense of sometimes we don't get stuff right all of the time. But if it's on our radar, at least we can go some way to doing it, you know, at least we can kind of notice that that th ing is important.

Susie Singer Carter:

How can we support your your, your your model, how can we support Material Citizenship? How what what do you? I mean, is this this is a government?

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

Absolutely not? No. I don't even know how to say this. But our government aren't interested in old people's I mean, that that was very clear in COVID, that, you know, we don't care about the older people. And we certainly don't care about older people in care homes, because they're a drain on our resources. So, you know, is it could it be a government led thing? Absolutely not, because they I can't imagine that they would ever fund it. So it has to come from people like me that are taking this knowledge and saying, I'm not prepared to just sit on it or it to become another academic publication, or bear in mind that I did that as well. But it's that sense of, we have to turn we have a huge amount of knowledge in relation to dementia research. And we are so poor at turning it into practice. And what we also have is a system in which we have the NHS. So in the NHS, we have our trained doctors are trained nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, you name it, we've got them, because they are all trained in higher ed, through higher education through universities, the research that we do funnels through, okay, so there's, there's a learning and development and research and development infrastructure in place. When it comes to care homes, when it comes to social care, the care that we pay for, that isn't in place, because it's private companies. Okay? So it's all for profit. Not it's not all for profit, that there are charities that are not okay with it. But there's also a big a big section of it, that is a for profit, okay. So they have to take notice and say this is important. They have to buy the training programs, okay. They have to see it as valuable. And until they do, not all care homes will adopt it. And the only way yeah, this, this should be the minimum, we should expect. It shouldn't be something that is seen as outstanding, we should, this should be the minimum in relation to care. So it just takes people like me to keep plugging away. I mean, I left, I left academia last year, last August. And in that time, we've got material citizenship into 40 care homes. And considering considering the pressures that are on care homes at the moment, you know, that, you know, we've done well, and we'll continue, we'll continue doing that. And yeah, I don't, until we care about our older people, you know, I can't ever see it being a government initiative, the most I can hope for is that actually the regulator's will take on board and say, This is what we think you should be doing, which will then maybe influence our, you know, care providers to do that, but also until we have, you know, really structured training for our care workforce, you know, it's up to their employers as to how well trained they are. And a lot of them just get mandatory, very basic training. A lot of people that are expected to work with people that are living with dementia may not even have any training, which is, which is just not fair on either person.

Susie Singer Carter:

Totally. And don't you think it has to go they also, you know, a community reach or reach to the public because although the government may not care about the elderly, we do. We care about our people, most of us, right? So that's, that's my goal here in the United States with with my documentary is to let people know what's actually going on. Let them know that you know, as as a public we have power. And

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

I guess it's that campaigning and lobbying, you know, to have to, you know, we have to have our voices heard because So happy to see if they're not going to we need to do it for people. And I think this is why I wanted to make this, you know, I looked at it from a right space perspective, because that puts us in a more powerful position. Because how this isn't just a nice to have people have the right to this

Susie Singer Carter:

It's a human right. Yes, it's a human right. And I applaud you so much. And I love and I just want to say, again, I love the idea of putting big portraits of family members everywhere, not just little snapshots from from their activity from last week, I mean, really make it home. So people have can be proud to be there. And it's, and it's also going to conjure a conversation. So simple and so powerful.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

Let me share my life with you. And I can do that, yes, I have. I can demonstrate who I am, I can demonstrate what I like I can demonstrate who I want to be. And it also influences how you view me to be something that can just be something as easy as a coffee cup.

Susie Singer Carter:

Thank you so much for what you're doing. I love it. I love it so much. I love it so much. It seems so like a no brainer to, to me it feels like it's the only way to go.

Dr. Kellyn Lee:

It's about valuing the people that are living in your homes, but it's also about value in the staff that are working in those homes. Because, you know, as I say a lot of them, I very rarely come across anybody that isn't there because they want to make a difference because and, you know, we need to provide an environment in which they can thrive as well. Because if they thrive, the people that live there will thrive to it. If people haven't got a good quality of life, then, you know, what are we doing? You know, yeah, medical, you know, medical science has brought us so far that we can live to such a long life. But actually, would I want to live a long life if I had no sense of purpose and had a sense of worth. Actually, no, I'd rather be out thank you. But I guess I guess the thing is, it doesn't have to be like that we can do it. And we and as I've shown with material citizenship, we can do it. It's it's something that everybody understands, because everybody can relate to it. We all have things. It doesn't matter what you know, whether you're male or female, you know, your religious background, what you know what country you come from, we all have things that make us who we are. And we can transfer those into the settings. It's something that can be done, we've had some fantastic results from it in relation to people not having medical interventions, by reducing behaviors that other people find challenging by increasing the quality of life of people living with dementia, and also people that are not living with dementia, but are older in a care home that also aren't being heard. So we can turn this around, we can do something about it. It is a very practical application. And it doesn't cost a lot of money. Love it so we can

Susie Singer Carter:

thank you so much. Thank you so much. Lots to unpack there but but actually really simple. And I hope that it takes off like a like, you know, a storm over across the pond and that you can bring it over here to the United States because it would it we really need it. You and Judy Cornish with the dawn meth method. Do you know Judy? Yeah, I mean, the two of you are kindred spirits. Yeah. And, you know, she changed my life on how I talked to my mother. And the two of you need to just be in a room together and take over. Okay, that's what I said it and that's the truth. Like, let's make it happen. Let's make it happen. You guys. I love it so much. It's all about love at the end of the day. We love the people that we love, and we need to we need to approach everything with love.

Don Priess:

And do you know why Susan?

Susie Singer Carter:

Why?

Don Priess:

Because love. Love is powerful. Love is contagious, and love conquers all. So we thank everyone for listening today. We thank our very, very special guest, Dr. Kellyn Lee and her amazing work she's doing. If you like what you heard, like us, subscribe to us.

Susie Singer Carter:

Happy holidays. x

Don Priess:

Yeah, happy holidays, even if you're listening to this in February.

Susie Singer Carter:

Happy Valentine's Day.

Don Priess:

Happy Valentine's Day. Doesn't matter. But again, thank you for listening. And we'll see you next time on love conquers all. Take care everybody.