Getting Dementia Care Right

What’s Not Working and How It Can Change

By Anne Ellett, M.S.N., N.P.

ISBN 978-1-956801-06-4
184 pages
6 x 9 paperback
© 2023


Product Description

Take a journey with Anne Ellett through a landscape of successful dementia care that is entirely possible yet too rarely seen in current care settings. Her encouraging descriptions of realistic, actionable practices will help set a course for positive change in the lives of residents and care staff alike.

Drawing on extensive nursing and administrative experience in assisted living and skilled nursing communities, Ellett explores the obsolete ideas and programs behind current dementia care practices, and contrasts these with innovative alternatives from across the country. In the process, she challenges ordinary perceptions of what is possible for people living with dementia. By shifting the focus of care to ensuring each resident has a good day, both physically and emotionally, staff can learn more effective ways to:

  • Create normal-feeling daily experiences for residents
  • Develop constructive relationships with them
  • Support use of retained abilities
  • Decrease isolation and boredom
  • Interpret the meaning behind resident actions and reactions
  • Advocate for the residents’ preferences and needs

While acknowledging common obstacles to progress—ill-informed attitudes, staffing limitations, organizational pressures, surplus safety concerns, and more—Ellett describes both large and small strategies for overcoming these challenges to produce big changes in the lives of residents with dementia. Job satisfaction for the staff improves too.

For all readers, whether memory care professionals, people living with dementia, or family members, the takeaway is that we can do better—and we must demand better—in our day-to-day support for people living with memory loss.

 Gain valuable tools* that evaluate current care and help plan for change:
*available to download

  • Guide for Touring Your Dementia Care Work Environment
  • Principles of Person-Centered Care
  • Sample Outcome Tracking Form
  • Team Assessment of Resident Communications/Actions

Format: E-book
e-ISBN 978-1-956801-07-1

E-book available through:

About the Author
For People Living with Dementia and Their Loved Ones


  1. Our Misperceptions of People Living with Dementia
  2. What Would We Want?
  3. Frozen
  4. Actions, Reactions, and Interactions
  5. Do No Harm
  6. Measure the Meaningful
  7. Advocacy
  8. The Real Goal of Care
  9. Best Practices
  10. Exceeding Expectations


Getting Dementia Care Right: What’s Not Working and How It Can Change (EXCERPT) by Health Professions Press on Scribd

A certified nurse practitioner and gerontological nurse, Anne Ellett, M.S.N., N.P., is a dementia specialist, educator, writer, and speaker who continues to learn from people living with dementia. For more than 20 years, Anne has advocated for innovative and dignified support for people living with dementia through her association with Silverado Senior Living and then as founder of Memory Care Support, LLC.

Prior to founding her own company, Anne held the position of senior vice president of Health Services for Silverado for more than 10 years. During that time, she was recognized for her work in the area of dementia care by the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL). In addition, she was nominated to the U.S. Congressional Advisory Committee on Elder Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.

Anne specializes in assisting long-term care and memory care operators across the country to develop best practices for innovative environments in dementia care. She is notably the developer of the Green House Project’s Best Life Approach, which supports people living with dementia.

Recognizing that providing life-affirming support for people living with dementia is complex, Anne believes that excellent care is not possible without leaders and staff believing in the potential of people with dementia as well as in the staff themselves.

In addition to her work in dementia care, Anne also teaches about mindful aging, referencing recent studies on nutrition and health to maintain brain health and reduce risk of developing dementia. She has a Master of Science degree in nursing from California State University, Long Beach. As a Master Gardener, Anne enjoys gardening at her California home or traveling with her husband when not working.

2 reviews for Getting Dementia Care Right

  1. HPP Admin

    Getting Dementia Care Right is required reading for all of us, young and old, as it strikes at the heart of all the essential questions in health care. An extraordinarily compelling and caring study of what dementia care could be, based on a lifetime of observation and involvement. This book is a light of hope for those making tough decisions for loved ones, and a profound reorientation for those implementing them. Ellett puts humanity and joy back into the key elements of care.

    In addition to those involved in any aspect of dementia care, this book is important to those in human rights, disability studies, elder care, aging, and mindfulness.”

    Patricia Dailey, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Columbia University

  2. HPP Admin

    “In an age where a diagnosis of dementia triggers associated stigmas and devaluation of a person’s worth, Anne Ellett is a breath of fresh air. Her passion to see the person first and the philosophical and practical approaches that inform her decades of work, compelled The Green House® Project to seek her expertise in developing their Best Life dementia curriculum for care partners. Anne embraces the dignity in risk taking, offers strategies that enable age-appropriate and meaningful experiences, and provides ways to focus on retained abilities for the person living with dementia. Above all, Anne is a fierce advocate to shift societal perceptions and paradigms that perpetuate devaluation so that those living with dementia can thrive beyond diagnosis.

    —Susan Ryan, CEO, Center for Innovation/The Green House® Project

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