Don’t ask someone with dementia if they “know your name” or “remember you”





If I can, I always opt to ditch my name tag in a dementia care environment. I let my friends with dementia decide what my name is: I’ve been Susan, Gwendolyn, and various peoples’ kids. I’ve been so many identities to my residents, too: a coworker, a boss, a student, a sibling, a friend from home, and more. 

Don’t ask your friend with dementia if they “remember your name” — especially if that person is your parent, spouse, or other family member. It’s quite likely to embarrass them if they can’t place you, and, frankly, it doesn’t really matter what your name is. What matters is how they feel about you.

Here’s my absolute favorite story about what I call, “Timeline Confusion”:

Alicia danced down the hallway, both hands steadily on her walker. She moved her hips from side to side, singing a little song, and smiled at everyone she passed. Her son, Nick, was walking next to her.

Nick was probably one of the best caregivers I’d ever met. It wasn’t just that he visited his mother often, it was how he visited her. He was patient and kind—really, he just understood dementia care. He got it.

Alicia was what I like to call, “pleasantly confused.” She thought it was a different year than it was, liked to sing and dance, and generally enjoyed her life.

One day, I approached the pair as they walked quietly down the hall. Alicia smiled and nodded at everyone she passed, sometimes whispering a, “How do you do!”

“Hey, Alicia,” I said. “We’re having a piano player come in to sing and play music for us. Would you like to come listen?”

“Ah, yes!” she smiled back. “My husband is a great singer,” she said, motioning to her son.

Nick smiled and did not correct her. He put his hand gently on her shoulder and said to me, “We’ll be over there soon.”

I saw Nick again a few minutes later while his mom was occupied with some other residents. “Nick,” I said. “Does your mom usually think that you’re her husband?”

Nick said something that I’ll never forget.

“Sometimes I’m me, sometimes I’m my brother, sometimes I’m my dad, and sometimes I’m just a friend. But she always knows that she loves me,” he smiled.

Nick had nailed it. He understood that, because his mom thought it was 1960, she would have trouble placing him on a timeline.

He knew that his mom recognized him and he knew that she loved him. However, because of her dementia, she thought it was a different year. And, in that year, he would’ve been a teenager.

Using context clues (however mixed up the clues were) Alicia had determined that Nick was her husband: he was the right age, he sure sounded and looked like her husband, and she believed that her son was a young man.

This is the concept that I like to call timeline confusion. It’s not that your loved one doesn’t recognize you, it’s that they can’t place you on a timeline.

What matters is how they feel about you. Not your name or your exact identity.

THIS. sometimes ole miss thinks i’m her son, or her husband, or her cousin bill or her friend kathi, and once she called me “mommy.” doesn’t matter. she knows i’m someone who cares about her.

when my grandmother developed dementia, she took to calling me ‘virginia’. she had gone to a time in her mind when long red hair did not mean her metalhead grandson, it meant her eldest son’s fiancee. she gave me a lot of advice for how to keep my head and my temper with young leo, who could be a handful but was a gem if you didn’t let him push you. “i know you’re a firecracker, ginger,” she’d tell me, “but don’t make a fight out of it. just hear him out and then make your own decision. he respects that.”

i didn’t correct her on my gender or the year or my name. i didn’t tell her that virginia and leo had been married forty years and were doing fine; i thought that might reassure her, but then, it might just throw her for a loop, so i kept it to myself. i kind of wanted to tell her leo had been an excellent mentor to me and she’d taught him well, but i figured i could save that for a better opportunity. (as it happened, i didn’t get the chance, but i think she knew she did a good job.)

i just understood that she saw me as a young person she wanted to teach and look out for, and maybe a person whose agency she wanted to validate despite society trying to squash it.

so i listened to her advice and thanked her, and told her i’d think on it, and she was happy. and i did think on it, too, and it helped me in my relationship with seebs.

people with dementia are still themselves. they’re not clear on the details, but they still love and care and have things to teach.

My grandmother recognized me and my husband, but she also thought I was ten years old, so, yeah.  Timeline confusion.  Just roll with it.  You can’t “fix” them with the “truth” when truth is a concept that has lost all objective meaning for them.




“I never learned my Navajo language and I was never inspired to learn it.  As I got older, I realized how valuable our language is to the livelihood of our Navajo Nation. ” -Dr. Shawna L. Begay

Our Navajo or Diné language is in danger of becoming extinct.  Help us create and develop the first Navajo-English educational media TV puppet show, “Diné Bí Ná’álkid Time” which means ‘The Navajo Movie Time.’  It will inspire and teach our youth basic language skills using media as a technology tool. Parents, grandparents, children and grandkids can learn to speak Navajo  fluently together within their own homes.

Long-time friends and educators, Dr. Shawna L. Begay and Charmaine Jackson have teamed up to create this new TV pilot for an all-ages audience or for anyone who wants to learn the Navajo language.  

With your support, it’ll be the first educational Navajo and English puppet show that will teach and preserve the Navajo language and culture through digital media.

After several years of extensive research on the Navajo Nation, Dr. Begay recently completed her PhD from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with her doctorate thesis, ‘Developing A Navajo Media Guide: A Community Perspective.’ As project director, she quickly realized she was a pioneer on the topic.

“When I decided what topic to study I realized there existed very little research in Indigenous educational media, especially with our Navajo people,” stated Dr. Begay.  “As Navajo people, we have our own learning objectives and Navajo way of knowing is completely different for Euro-Western schooling.  I decided that I had to research and develop our own curriculum guide that is meant to teach Navajo through media.”

Dr. Begay and Jackson, co-writers of the show, developed the first 3-puppet characters and plan for many more. The pilot features Nanabah-a young Navajo girl, Gáh (Rabbit) and Dlǫ̀ǫ̀ (Prairie Dog) who will go on endless adventures learning about language, gardening, the environment and the importance of family values. Nanabah is fluent in Navajo and likes to teach children about life on the reservation with her animal friends and special guests.  Children who want to learn Navajo will also be an important part of the show by interacting with Nanabah, her friends and storyline.

Dr. Begay’s research concluded there exists very little research in the area of Indigenous educational media. Currently media is a very powerful tool that can be used to teach. She is cognizant of the digital age we live in and the opportunities to utilize media to revitalize the Navajo language.  

“Star Wars and Finding Nemo,” dubbed in Navajo, was a great place to start and it has garnered national exposure of our language. However, we need a show based on our own Navajo learning principals our ancestors set out for us to learn and live by. I don’t think a non-Navajo, non-Native or non-Indigenous person can do that for us, nor should they.  We, as Navajo, need to produce this show ourselves, if we are to be truly sovereign,” added Dr. Begay.

Both educators, Dr. Begay and Jackson, of Naalkid Productions have been talking about this educational language project for about the past four years and still have a long way to go to finance their dream.

“With the support of Navajo TV Anchor Colton Shone, our team of Navajo artists, filmmakers, family and friends, this video pilot is a huge step forward,” said Jackson.  “Our journey has just begun and the big next step is finding financial support to create a whole new puppet TV series.”

We aim to raise $50,000 with this project which will allow us to continue with pre-production and production aspects of making this digital media project become a reality.  We need your help to save our language by teaching Navajo to our future generations.

-Script writing for the pilot show
-Puppet Development/Creation
-Casting for puppeteers and other talent that will be on screen
-Hiring of all key cast and crew

-Locations and permits
-Rental of Studio space
-Equipment: cameras, sound, lights, etc.
-Cast and Crew budget

Despite all the notes on this post, they’re still at $13,155 of their $50,000 goal. 

Please keeping sharing and donate if you can! 





I was at the zoo the other day and there was this fucking goose trying to act likE A FUCKING FLAMINGO

this made my day its so adorable

This reminds me of one of my favorite conservation stories!!

When they were trying to bring Puffins back to islands on the US east coast they decided to do so with dummies. Puffins are very social, and as a result would want to land on islands that already have puffins. The dummies looked real from a distance, but were seriously lacking up close, held up by a single peg. Puffins, being social and wanting to fit in, followed suit:









I love this image so much.

I’ve seen some women who are offended by this and say it’s ridiculous that her cleavage is showing and things of that sort.

Personally, I think it’s great.

Why should we have an image of a women with her hair tied up and flexing her muscles like she’s a man? (not that that isn’t great too!) In a way it suggests that when our hair is down, our breasts are visible and we wear (GASP) lipstick, we’re somehow lesser than men? We can do it! We can be feminine and successful.

You see what I’m saying here, ladies?

You don’t have to lose your femininity. Being feminine is great. Being masculine is great. Strength is not limited to one way of being.


(original text by tumblr user autumninthenorth)

oh my fucking god, this again


Have you even looked at the actual Rosie the Riveter poster lately?

She’s ALREADY WEARING LIPSTICK.  AND MASCARA.  AND BLUSH.  Her eyebrows have been PENCILED AND TWEEZED.  And underneath her work bandana?  HER HAIR HAS BEEN CURLED.  Rosie the Riveter is a beautifulwoman.  This image in no way implies that wearing feminine apparel (like cosmetics) is a negative thing.

The reason that she has her hair up and her shirt buttoned and is flexing her arms has nothing to do with prudery, or with trying to be “masculine” (as if shows of physical strength are unique to one gender).  It has to do with the information at the bottom of the poster: Rosie is involved in war production.  That means doing hard physical labor in a 1940s factory, where large heavy machinery can easily snag a loose lock of hair, or a bit of jewelry, or an undone button.  “Makeover” Rosie would not be able to do the real Rosie’s job without serious risk of injury to herself or the people around her.  In that sense, the new poster is implying that no, women are NOT capable of doing the same work as men, because they are too weak/vain/self-absorbed/whatever.  The old poster is saying that, while still being feminine, women are just as capable of doing the same work as men.

Also?  The new and “improved” Rosie was specifically drawn to be ANTI-FEMINIST.  “[William Murai] created this image for the Brazilian Alfa Magazineto accompany an article about the End of Feminism. ‘The idea was to remake the famous feminism symbol “Rosie the Riveter” [into] a lady who is giving up on her duties and trying to look sexy again.’” (emphasis mine)

Giving up her duties and trying to look sexy?  For whom, exactly?  According to the artist (and the patriarchy), men.  In other words, quit your job, look hot, find a man, gb2 the kitchen, and make me a sandwich, bitch.  Also known as THE SAME TIRED-ASS SHIT WOMEN HEAR EVERY. FUCKING. DAY.

The new poster is not “progress.”  It is not about women being “feminine andsuccessful.”  It’s about the exact opposite: women being reduced to their appearance and their sex appeal according to the standards imposed by the male gaze.  She is pretty, but that’s all she is, because that’s all women are supposed to be.  The real Rosie (you know, the feminist icon?) is beautiful, and feminine, and strong enough to do the work necessary to keep her country safe, just the same as any man.  Her worth is not in her appeal as a decorative object, but in the product of her labor and her own awareness of her abilities.

Rosie the Riveter.  Accept NO substitutes.


…neither of those pictures is Rosie the Riveter. The picture you’re calling the “original Rosie” is “We Can Do It.” It caught on in the 80’s after being found in someone’s house in the 80’s (it was also not widespread, but a poster to increase moral and production in one chain of factories).

This is Rosie the Riveter

She was painted by Norman Rockwell. She’s strong from doing manual labor, she’s dirty from working, she’s eating her lunch apologetically. She’s still got the makeup and curls thing going for her, but she’s not posed to be pretty. Rosie was painted with respect toward the real world Rosies (actual  nickname for the women who took men’s factory jobs during WWII). We Can Do It was painted to make them work harder, to benefit the factory owners. 

And sometime in the 80’s a poster that was created to treat women like cogs in a machine, became the symbol of feminism, and the real Rosie the Riveter painting doesn’t get much credit at all. 

The history and evolution of propaganda posters is fascinating.

I love the Rockwell image so so so much. I love how she isn’t particularly “beautiful”, I love her build, I love her muscles, I love her worksuit and lunch box. It’s a wonderful image, and deserves to be more widely known than it is.