Category: Uncategorized

Decision Time: What is the Long-term Care Solution?

The Initial Problem: Dad is really getting forgetful! We had to remind him that we saw him and Mom just last weekend. But maybe it’s not that bad? Even if it’s bad, maybe we can just ride it out…maybe he’ll get better when the weather warms up and the days get a little longer. The…
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Desirable vs. Practical: The Balancing Act

When it comes to providing care for our loved ones, some of us go to great lengths to ensure as “perfect” a caregiving environment as possible, moving heaven and earth to create the kind of atmosphere we believe they would want. But what happens when what’s “desirable” is outweighed by what’s “practical”? I knew of…
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Who Can Help Get the Answer for Alzheimer’s? Maybe You!

True confession: It’s been quite some time since I had direct dealings with an Alzheimer’s patient. Unlike the late ‘90s when I was very hands-on in providing care for my grandparents, both of whom suffered from dementia, my role today puts me in a more educational position, supporting the caregivers rather than the dementia patients…
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Caregiver Quiz: What Documents Do I Really Need?

FINALLY! We have a brand-new year and it’s off to a running start. There were times we weren’t sure we’d get here because the old year presented such profound challenges, but now that’s in the past. Starting today we can move forward, regarding the events of the last twelve months much like we would a…
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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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