Lisa Skinner, How Would You Prepare for a Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis?

An interview with Lisa Skinner, How Would You Prepare for a Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosis? on March 30, 2024.




Author Lisa Skinner is a behavioral specialist with expertise in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. In her 30+year career working with family members and caregivers, Lisa has taught them how to successfully navigate the many challenges that accompany this heartbreaking disease. Lisa is a Certified Dementia Practitioner, a Certified Dementia Care Trainer through the Alzheimer’s Association, and a Certified Dementia Program Director.  She also holds a degree in Human Behavior. Lisa has also had 8 of her own family members live with dementia, so she has experienced firsthand how difficult and complex these brain diseases are to understand. Lisa has dedicated her life to helping others in their journeys, offering guidance on how to best manage the day-to-day challenges that accompany living with dementia.

Please tell me a little about your background.


Lisa’s career as a behavioral specialist in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia spans 30 years. In those 30 years, Lisa has been a Community Counselor, who has vast experience setting up memory care environments to enhance the residents’ quality of life, implementing the state-of-the-art practices. She has also been a regional director, managing five assisted living and memory care buildings. She has written and implemented training programs for staff on the philosophy of person-centered approach to dementia care. Lisa was also the CEO of a consulting business that counseled family members and caregivers on best practices of care, understanding living with dementia, and helping find appropriate placement for their loved ones.


Her latest book, “Truth, Lies & Alzheimer’s – Its Secret Faces” continues Skinner’s quest of working with dementia-related illnesses and teaching families and caregivers how to better understand the daunting challenges of brain disease. Her #1 Best-seller book “Not All Who Wander Need Be Lost,” was written at their urging. As someone who has had eight family members diagnosed with dementia, Lisa Skinner has found her calling in helping others through the struggle they can have a better-quality relationship with their loved ones through education and offering workshops on counter-intuitive solutions and tools to help people effectively manage the symptoms of brain disease. Lisa Skinner has appeared on many national and regional media broadcasts. Lisa helps explain behaviors caused by dementia, encourages those who feel burdened, and gives practical advice for how to respond.

So many people today are heavily impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association and the World Health Organization have projected that the number of people who will develop Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2050 worldwide will triple if a treatment or cure is not found.  Society is not prepared to care for the onslaught of people who will develop this devastating disease. In her 30 years of working with family members and caregivers who suffer from dementia, Lisa has recognized how little people really understand the complexities of what living with this disease is really like. For Lisa, it starts with knowledge, education, and training.

Can you tell me more about your organization?


My current organization, Minding Dementia, LLC, is dedicated to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia to help those who are caring for or have loved ones living with dementia. Although there are currently millions of people worldwide living with brain diseases that cause dementia, it is still one of the most misunderstood diseases of today. Lisa is determined to change that.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


Because my passion is raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia and Parkinson’s disease also causes dementia in many of the people who have it, I work with many families and caregivers of those living with Parkinson’s disease, too.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?


Learning and understanding how to effectively respond to the many symptoms and behavioral expressions that are part of the dementia component of Parkinson’s disease.


What type of training and how long are the programs?


I do offer a 6-course training program that sets the foundation of understanding for those who take the course.


What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


Having family members and/or caregivers trained with the strategic skills that are needed to manage dementia, they will have a more enhanced quality of life filled with meaning and purpose they might otherwise not receive without the specialized knowledge and training.


What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?


To empower family members and caregivers with increased awareness and understanding about living with dementia, and how to achieve positive interactions and higher quality of life for all persons involved.


What events do you participate in?


I host a weekly podcast called The Truth, Lies, & Alzheimer’s show created to continuously educate people about dementia-related brain diseases.


I offer a support group for family members and caregiver’s of those living with dementia.


I offer a free monthly webinar to raise awareness about dementia.


I offer a free monthly segment called “Ask Lisa Anything” so people have an opportunity to ask me questions about their specific dementia experiences.


How does this also assist the caregivers?


Caregivers of people living with dementia are included in my attendees.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?


How can others also become advocates for awareness?


Through knowledge, education and busting the myths that exist regarding dementia.


How can we better fundraise to support a cure for Parkinson’s?

We need to keep these diseases at the forefront of people’s minds and continue educating them on the truth about them. There is no denying that it’s the proverbial elephant in the room, it’s larger than life, and it’s not going away anytime soon, so we really need to stop pretending that it doesn’t exist. Knowledge will give people their power!

What other activities do you undertake to help improve and support your daily living Eg exercise and alternative remedies?

I exercise regularly, make healthy lifestyle choices, such as the foods I eat, keep my brain active and challenged, and whatever else I can implement into my life to lower my personal risk of developing one of the diseases that causes dementia.


Why should people who don’t have Parkinson’s care about this? 


Because nobody is exempt from developing Parkinson’s disease or any of the other diseases that cause dementia. It can strike anybody in any family at any time. Being prepared is the best approach.


Have you had any family members or relatives affected by Parkinson’s disease?

I have had 8 family members who have lived with dementia. I am not certain that Parkinson’s disease was not one of them; however, I have worked with many, many people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as well as their family members and caregivers in the past 30 years, so I am very experienced with the dementia component of the disease.


If you had one song that would tell us more about you or represent your life, which song would it be?


“Love Can Build a Bridge” by the Judds


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


If you are in this situation, it truly takes a village to help you get through it. Know who your village people are ahead of time, and have a family conversation that includes the wishes of members if this does strike your family.