Book Review – You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello, The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia Care

Book Review by Carole Larkin

You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello,

The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia  Care

brenners_bookTo say that Tom and Karen Brenner’s book “You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello, The Montessori Method for Positive Dementia  Care”  is the Guidepost ( to use their words) for books to be read by family and professional caregivers does the book and injustice. The book is far, far better than that.  I think this book should be required reading for every caregiver support group (dementia or not) in America, and maybe in the whole world (in translation of course). Tom and Karen are clearly gentle souls with deeply compassionate hearts. Even the words that they choose to convey their thoughts in this book are soothing, calming and yet upbeat. They truly walk their talk.

They give us a thoroughly thought out system (the Montessori system) to use as the conveyance for us to follow their lead in drills down to compassion and positivity. They give us specific tools (Montessori based activities and thorough explanations of how to carry out those activities) to use to accomplish the interactions that lead to a good day for both caregiver and the person with dementia. Tom and Karen teach us in a number of different ways, via straight instruction, via stories about themselves, and most effectively with stories about those with dementia that have been positively impacted by the Montessori method of care. They give us “Guideposts”, a one sentence snippet that is easy for caregivers to remember, while succinctly getting across the essence of what they are teaching us at that moment. They even tie their message to Beatles songs which is of course, perfect for us Baby Boomers and younger generations.

 This book is so good, you instantly feel calmer and more confident in yourself even while reading it. And isn’t that what we need in our 24/7 roles as caregivers for our loved ones? Don’t wait another minute. Get this book NOW!


Tom and Karen Brenner’s Website

Link to Brenner’s Radio Interview On Alzheimer’s Speaks

Carole Larkin
Carole Larkin

By Carole Larkin  MA, CMC, CAEd, DCP, QDCS, EICS is an expert in Alzheimer’s and related Dementias care. She has a Master’s of Applied Gerontology from the University of North Texas, is a Certified Alzheimer’s Educator, is a Dementia Care Practitioner, is a Qualified Dementia Care Specialist, and an Excellence in Care Specialist at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, as well as a Certified Trainer/Facilitator of the groundbreaking dementia care training tool, the Virtual Dementia Tour Experience She is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager who specializes in helping families with Alzheimer’s and related dementias issues. She consults with families telephonically nationwide on problems related to the Dementias. Her company, ThirdAge Services LLC, is located in Dallas, TX, and her website is


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