Blog

Compassion. Experience. Wisdom.

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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Mom Knew All Along

You know what Mom always said: “Wash your hands!” Most of us grew up on that phrase. Before meals and after using the restroom Mom (or grandmother or aunt or mom’s friend or the lady in the cafeteria at school) would always admonish us to wash our hands. And it was always a bother, particularly…
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Cultivate and Prune the Family Tree

Caregivers experience such a wide range of emotions, and often the associated feelings are difficult to articulate; instead they are expressed in tears and the worn-down body language of slumped shoulders and a bowed head. But just when it seems nothing could be worse than watching a loved one endure the fury of dementia, other…
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Creating Contact: Connection Minus the Virus

We are in uncharted territory with this world-wide pandemic brought on by the COVID-19 virus, and caregiving, just like every other area of our lives, has been profoundly affected. It’s anything but “business as usual.” Ironically, that which was causing the caregiver so much stress before the virus—having to go to the nursing home or…
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Need Support? Check These Five Ideas

Connection keeps us grounded in healthy reality, but isolation allows for a downward spiral which can lead into depression and exhaustion. So how does the overworked and under-rested caregiver acquire the necessary—yet seemingly illusive—link with people who can provide them the most practical help? Whether the person being cared for has dementia or any one…
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The Truth Will Find You

How familiar does this sound: “He’s not really that bad….” Or, “She just got a little turned around coming back from the grocery store.” How about this one: “I know he repeats things constantly, but that doesn’t mean anything’s wrong.” And here’s a really troubling statement: “Ok, so she left the water running in the…
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When Grief Comes

** I wrote this on December 26, 2018, because I wanted to remember. Today, as a tribute to honor Larry Sutton—my Dad—who himself felt it was very important to remember people and events, I invite you to share in our 2018 Christmas. We knew the time was short as Dad’s 15-year battle with prostate cancer…
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Dementia’s Currency: Change

For a group who seems to overwhelmingly despise change, we humans certainly endure a lot of it throughout our lives. Some changes are good: a wedding, a birth, a new job. Other changes, well they’re not so good: your new neighbors leave their barking dog outside, your friend moves away and you drift apart. Or…
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Self-Care, Not Selfish

Mother has another eye appointment; Dad has to see his gerontologist. Mom’s dog needs a bath; Dad’s fixed on the notion that the hedges still need trimming even though their lawn service took care of it last week. Mom said it’s time for another grocery run—Dad’s out of chocolate bars. If you were the primary…
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Grief Current: Breaking Ropes, Hearts

“Grief” is defined as “distress over affliction or loss.” In my case, I was somewhat confused because I was only defining “loss” in the context of a loved one’s physical death. But my grandparents with dementia weren’t dead—they were still there, living, breathing. So how could I be grieving? What, exactly, had been lost? As…
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