A current estimate for the number of people worldwide who have dementia is 30 million.
Dr. Daniel Nightingale, who was born and raised in Lancashire, England, trained as a registered nurse, social worker and clinical dementia specialist. He holds a PhD in transitional shock and lives in Chino Valley with his wife, Kathy, who also is a dementia therapy specialist as well as a mind-body wellness practitioner.
"I didn't choose a career in dementia, it chose me," Dr. Dan said. "I was trained to work with people with autism. But, one day my boss directed me to go work with elderly patients for six months, which I didn't want to do. Then when I saw the elderly patients I knew there was more that could be done, so after six months I decided I would retrain and stay in this field."
The first thing he did was change the environment in nursing homes in England.
"My goal is to try other solutions to help people with dementia other than medications. My golden rule is somewhere to go, something to do, and something to see," Dr. Dan explained.
These techniques are being used in England and Dr. Dan wants to achieve the same thing in the United States.
Kathy, who was living in Prescott at the time, saw Dr. Dan's research on line and contacted him to see if she could go to England to learn from him or if he could come to the U.S. to teach her his methods.
They emailed and Skyped each other for quite a while, and by the time Dr. Dan decided to come to the U.S., they already were in love.
They were married in April of 2013, and bought their Nightingale Ranch in Chino Valley.
Dan and Kathy now work together from their home business, Dementia Care Plus, to help people live well with dementia.
They have horses that they also use as therapy to help people with Alzheimers and other forms of dementia.
"On our ranch our clients can use horse therapy anytime they want. Horse therapy is a non-threatening environment. It's a therapeutic relationship which helps reduce the person's anxiety," Dr. Dan said.
On Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. Dr. Dan will be speaking at the Checkered Apron, 1120 S. Highway 89 in Chino Valley, about reducing the impact and change that people have living with dementias. He also will be speaking at CASA Senior Center in Prescott Valley at noon on Jan. 23.
"Dementia is no longer about doom and gloom," Dr. Dan said. "It is possible to live well with dementia, so my role is to help make this happen."
Call the couple at 928-899-0647, or email: email@example.com.