Caretaking the brain and minding the odyssey of memory loss with Dr. Dan Gibbs & Anne Basting Ph.D.


Original Air Date Wednesday, June 30, 2021 


Eldercare is often over-medicalized and approached as a service in long-term and late-life care facilities.
But, this method of care can stunt the mental faculties of those whose cognitive abilities are waning. Stories from more mature family members can ripen the lives of younger members of our families and society as a whole. So, why aren’t preventative measures and creative solutions common in the realm of elder care? To better understand the brain and its cognitive process of aging, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two doctors who strive to maintain mental well-being in their aging patients. Dr. Dan Gibbs is a retired neurologist with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease who describes key learnings from his book A Tattoo on my brain: A Neurologist’s Personal Battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. And English Professor, Dr. Anne Basting describes her work in reimagining late-life and long-term care based on a creative approach as detailed in her book, Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care.

Dr. Dan Gibbs — Caretaking the brain:

  • Dan outlines risk factors and actionable steps to manage Alzheimer’s disease from an early age. [1:41]
  • The genetic markers that increase the risk and likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease. [4:04]
  • Dan Gibbs shares his journey into Alzheimer’s including the changes in his olfactory system. [11:49]
  • How aerobic exercise and lifestyle choices can help manage memory loss and Alzheimer’s symptoms. [16:03]
  • Is there a connection between untreated depression and Alzheimer’s disease? [22:19]
  • Dan describes diets that benefit Alzheimer’s prevention and the cardiovascular system. [24:15]
  • Demographics show commonalities in the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease in particular ethnicities. [28:19]

Daniel Gibs with a blue sweater, guest of this episode related to brain and memory loss with Anne Basting Ph.D.Daniel Gibbs is a retired neurologist in Portland, Oregon, with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Having spent twenty-five years caring for patients, many with dementia themselves, he is now an active advocate for the early recognition and management of Alzheimer’s.

Book: A Tattoo on my Brain: A Neurologist’s Personal Battle against Alzheimer’s Disease



Tattoo On My Brain Website

Dr. Anne Basting — Light at the End of Life:

  • The ‘tyranny of care’ describes the existing service model of late-life systems and communities. [32:37]
  • The Penelope Project is a creative process that reimagines long-term care communities based on Homer’s The Odyssey. [35:02]
  • The concept of creative care is transforming a medicalized health setting into a cultural setting where meaning and joy are created every day. [36:39]
  • Anne Basting describes how she started making art with people older than she as detailed in her book, Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care. [42:05]
  • Strategies to reframe the way we address dementia and the brain and memory loss with our elders [45:56]
  • Creative care aims to reorient care as reciprocal and generative. [50:50]


Anne Bastings Ph.D. dressed with white shirt and blue sweater, guest of this episode related to brain and memory loss with Dr. Dan GibbsAnne Bastings Ph.D. is a Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where she teaches storytelling and community engagement. Basting has spoken or been featured in the PBS documentary Penelope, the TED MED stage, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

Book: Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and ElderCare



Time Slips Website
@TimeSlipsCreate on Twitter
TimeSlips Creative Storytelling on Facebook


This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio is sponsored by:

Best Fiends — Playing games passed the time and was always a cure for boredom. One thing was and is certain… Taking the time to play makes us happy. Best Fiends is a highly engaging digital universe that challenges you in a good way. The fun never ends on Best Fiends because there is always something new to explore. Download the 5-star rated mobile puzzle game on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now? 

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.