Blog

Compassion. Experience. Wisdom.

Making Adjustments: A Holiday Necessity

As November draws to a close, it looks like we are actually going to make it through 2020—no small feat as we consider the events of the year that has been. But of course, what remains is the hurdle of “The Holidays” and everything that brings, both positive and negative. On the positive side, we…
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Active Imagination or Real Problem?

Dementia is not a disorder which has a sudden onset. Our loved ones don’t just spontaneously begin exhibiting symptoms of memory loss or personality changes. Instead it begins slowly, so gradually as to hardly be noticed until eventually the would-be caregiver realizes there is a mountain of evidence that can no longer be ignored. Case…
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Humor: The Caregiver’s Best Medicine

Charles Dickens said, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” The problem is there’s nothing even remotely funny about providing care for a loved one with dementia. Most caregivers would agree that all things humorous faded out with their loved one’s memories…or did they? My own experience might…
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Can a Counselor Help?

Nothing, but nothing, takes the place of personally experiencing the emotional trauma of caring for a loved one. Well-seasoned caregivers find they are always on duty, but more often than not, the necessary emotional rest and refill is oddly lacking. The essential replenishment of what caregivers pour out can be achieved in several ways, but…
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An Emotional Melting Pot

Imagine you are friends with Jane who is a full-time caregiver for a loved one in her family. As Jane’s friend, you invite her to join you for coffee. Weeks of her not being able to make it come and go, but by some miracle she’s free today. Now, as you both settle in with…
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Triggering the Dementia Patient’s Memory

In my book Goodnight, Sweet: A Caregiver’s Long Goodbye, I recalled sitting in the hospital with Grandma as she recovered from surgery. Once I’d said “hi” and asked how she felt, her dementia suggested that our conversation was pretty much over; I remember it seemed like the hours of that day were stretched out before…
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Reduce Your Dementia Risk?

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear about dementia is, “How can I protect myself against it?” Everyone wants to know if there’s something they can do to minimize their chances of developing any of the multiple forms the condition can take. The simple answer is “yes, there are things you can do…
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5 Tips to Begin the Caregiving Journey

When the word “dementia” is used in your loved one’s diagnosis, its syllables just seem to hang in the air like they’re stuck. Even if you’re almost expecting to hear it, once that word is actually uttered by a physician it becomes official, and the noise of it plays at the entrance to your ear…
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COVID’s Clear Confusion

There are 24 hours in a day, and a single news cycle runs through all 24 of them non-stop. Not hard to guess what they’re talking about these days. COVID-19 has literally dominated the airwaves; there have been thousands of stories covering every conceivable aspect of that virus: Who’s got it? What’s anybody doing about…
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Lifting the “In Person” Visit Ban?

2020 has certainly presented some unique challenges to every area of our lives.Due to COVID-19, one of the many, many hardships we’ve had to face this year isthe inability of caregivers to visit their loved ones in nursing homes and otherlong-term care communities. Although the reason for the separation is perfectlyclear, caregiver exasperation and anxiety…
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