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When seeking information, many terms and concepts can be difficult to understand at first, such as memory care, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive changes. What do they mean? What are the differences? Do symptoms vary? How can early diagnosis and treatment be achieved? With the right education and resources, you can be sure you’re getting the care you or your loved one needs and deserves.

At Grace & Truth, we understand that cognitive changes can transform the lives of individuals, families, and caregivers. We provide resources, education, and support for anyone touched by dementia whether you are dealing with a diagnosis yourself or caring for a loved one.

Meet Heather 

Joyous, passionate, and relentless are just a few words to describe Heather White.

Heather grew up in Dallas-Fort Worth and attended college in Arkansas before returning home to Texas—with student loan debt, a college degree, and no job lined up to begin building a career.

Armed with a psychology degree, she dabbled in education and working within clinical facilities, but nothing seemed to stick. Heather spent a lot of time with her great-grandmother in a care facility and loved it so much, she began volunteering there. Caring for and loving seniors came naturally to her, and she was quickly recognized as volunteer of the month for three months in a row.

Since Heather enjoyed volunteering, she also wanted to bring her positivity and natural gifts to the workplace. She began applying for jobs and ultimately accepted a caregiver position at a Fort Worth senior living community. There, she stepped into many roles, ranging from marketing to housekeeping, and she never refused any assignment—always confident and never saying no to anything thrown her way. Heather not only fit in, but she thrived in these roles. Soon after, the Executive Director asked her to fill a vacant shift in the memory care neighborhood. And that’s when Heather finally said, “No.”

No, Memory Care Isn’t for Me – The director explained that Heather was more than qualified for the position, but Heather still felt uneasy. Confused, the director asked her why she felt so uncomfortable, as she flourished in every department within the facility. Heather’s answer was simple—she was uncomfortable and felt out of place. Memory care simply wasn’t for her. Ultimately, she agreed to cover the shift and found it a rewarding experience for both herself and the residents.

Let’s Meet at the Red Balloons at 4:00 PM

Heather had her own sense of style and humor and began placing balloons throughout various areas of the community.

The balloons would serve as meeting times and places for her programs. Serving as the programming for the 8-hour shift, she thought balloon volleyball would be a good activity for the residents. 

After blowing up the balloons and meeting the residents at the next colored-balloon stop, she would demonstrate how to play balloon volleyball.

As she demonstrated the balloon volleyball, the balloon flew off, up to the ceiling, leaving her briefly puzzled and confused, not fully understanding what just took place. Then she got it! Out of habit preparing for other activities, she had filled the balloon with helium…it floats! Embarrassed, the balloon volleyball program would not go as planned.

Heather mistakenly filled the balloons with helium instead of air.

Residents living with advanced cognitive changes looked at her more confused than when she first introduced the volleyball game. At that moment, everyone participating in the activity burst into laughter! That humbling, helium-filled oversight is when everything normalized, and the adults living with dementia, sitting around her, were the same—sharing the same experiences, humor, and moments. Heather’s walls crumbled, the ice broke, and she felt comfortable.

Heather made several friends that day, and was so excited that she couldn’t stay out of the memory care neighborhood in the senior living community she worked in. Whether it was educating others about dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, assisting residents and families, or offering programming and support, she did everything she could to remain in the memory care environment she loved. It felt like home.

That day, Heather discovered her passion. It was her work with people who were experiencing cognitive changes that influenced the development of Grace & Truth into what it is today.

Meet Rosa

There’s another element to Grace & Truth that’s a bit furry with an “old soul” twist. Rosa is a beautiful German Shepherd Dog who was brought into Heather’s life during a time of great sadness and uncertainty. After the sudden death of a dear loved one, Heather’s husband was deployed overseas, and she would care for Rosa alone at that time. Though it was challenging at first, Heather was committed to her work while simultaneously raising a puppy. However, she also understood that Rosa, a working dog, needed a sense of purpose—and that’s when Rosa’s extensive therapy training began.

Dementia care and support requires a special touch, and Rosa has what it takes.

Whether in a memory care neighborhood, the living room in the home of someone living with dementia, or a care community, Rosa has the ability to connect in ways that humans cannot. She provides support and companionship while creating an environment that promotes dignity and respect. Due to this, Rosa makes a significant impact on the lives of those she interacts with.

Heather & Rosa: The Memory Care Duo

It’s not unusual to see the duo gracing the halls with a resident sandwiched in the middle. Rosa on the left, Heather on the right, and warm smiles plastered across their faces.

Rosa is a special dog with the amazing ability to connect with people, no matter their age or circumstance. When those four paws enter a room, her energy and movement naturally encourage people to interact with her. Whether it’s hand-feeding treats, petting, companionship, tossing a ball, brushing her fur, or taking a walk, people are drawn to her. This is especially true for seniors who may not understand how or want to participate in occupational or physical therapy. With Rosa by their side, they are able to engage in therapy with Heather without feeling awkward or confused about what to do.

Rosa’s work stimulates both the mind and the body, as her presence inspires seniors to get outside or simply move around. But her presence also has an emotional component. For many seniors living with dementia, interacting with Rosa can help trigger long-term memories and bring back a sense of joy and happiness.

senior hands

Purpose & Passion-Powered Work

Rosa and Heather have a real passion for their work. For Heather, and those around the world, 2020 was a year like no other. As a care provider in a memory care community, Heather was used to spending her days caring for her residents and providing support to their families. But when the pandemic hit, everything changed. Suddenly, airports and travel were becoming increasingly risky, and Heather knew that she couldn’t take the risk of exposing her residents to COVID-19. So, she made the decision to live in the out-of-state care community she was supporting during 2020, in order to still provide much-needed support while keeping her residents safe. It was a difficult decision, but one that Heather knew was the right thing to do.

The only issue? Rosa was at home, in Texas.

Heather’s husband leaped into action. When the pandemic hit, he knew that Heather’s work in memory care was more important than ever. The residents and their families needed all the support they could get, so he coordinated Rosa’s flight to Heather’s location. Together, they would continue to provide top-notch care for their residents. They were dedicated to their purpose and each other, and nothing—not even a pandemic—was going to stop them from pursuing their work and passion.

Dementia Education

Grace & Truth dementia education programs are designed to provide information and resources to caregivers, families, and individuals living with dementia. These programs can be customized to meet the needs of any audience, and can be delivered in a variety of settings, from one-on-one sessions to large group presentations.

Additionally, programs offer continuing education units (CEUs) for professionals seeking career enhancement and educational experiences. Give your team unique credentials and set your business apart with formal education and National Certifications through the National Institute for Dementia Education. Programs are presented and taught by Heather White; a dementia expert and educator certified by the National Institute of Dementia Education.

caretaker on tablet with senior man
adult daughter with her mother having a spa day at home
nurse helping woman walk on cane
Her heart is to connect with all people and teach them what they may not know about changing cognition.

It’s a sunny day, but the light doesn’t seem as bright as it used to. The colors aren’t as vibrant. Everything feels muted, like you’re looking at the world through a fog. You can’t remember where you put your keys, or what you did with your phone. You get lost driving to familiar places. You’ve forgotten people’s names, even people you’ve known your whole life. Everyday tasks feel much less possible. You know something is wrong, but you can’t put your finger on what it is.

Finally, after months or even years of worry and confusion, you receive a diagnosis: some type of dementia. It’s a shattering moment, but in some ways, it’s a relief to finally know what has been happening. Now the hard work of coming to terms with the condition can begin. But it’s not easy. The future may seem uncertain. But there is hope.

Grace & Truth is a dementia support organization that knows each day doesn't have to be worse than the last.

We recognize that a diagnosis of dementia can be overwhelming. A person living with dementia may feel isolated and alone, not knowing where to turn for help. The same goes for the ones closest to them.  Grace & Truth is here to provide resources, education, and support for anyone touched by dementia. We offer a community of understanding and compassion, where people can share their experiences and connect with others who are going through similar challenges. We believe that nobody should have to weather this alone. Our team is committed to providing the education and support that people truly need. If you or someone you love is facing dementia, we invite you to join our community and discover the grace and truth that awaits you here.

Get experienced dementia-specific care for you or your loved ones

Heather has over 15 years of experience in senior living as a caregiver, administrator, regional director of operations, lead educator, and in leadership development, among other roles. Her additional qualifications include:
  • Actively volunteers with Dementia Friendly Fort Worth, leading daily virtual programs with individuals living at home with dementia, educating local businesses about dementia and offering certifications, and educating law enforcement personnel about dementia and how to engage those impacted by it
  • Engages in active volunteer work with Texas Health Resources Faith-Based Community Nursing Program, the Texas State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease Creation Team, and Texas Baptist Ministries Disaster Relief
  • Member of the Texas Assisted Living Association, Parker County Women’s and Newcomers Club, and Tarrant Area Gerontology Society
  • MBA degree in Healthcare Administration
  • Bachelor of Science degrees in both Psychology and Sociology
  • President of the Honor Society while in college
  • State certified to operate Senior Living Communities in 4 states
  • Proctor for the National Institute for Dementia Education
  • Leader of Memory Café—an engaging day program for individuals living with dementia and their families
  • Organizes and leads various book studies at her local church

Nationally certified dementia support—the healing power of Rosa

Rosa has been in service as a Nationally Certified Therapy Dog since 2015.

Her exclusive focus is with the geriatric population, which she serves in a range of personal, corporate, and clinical environments.

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