Blog

Living Will vs. Last Will: What’s the Difference?

The estate planning documents—vitally important but often ignored—can be a bewildering subject to tackle. As a caregiver, I saw firsthand how important it was that plans had been established before my grandparents were both diagnosed with dementia; and the more time I spent caring for them, the more I came to understand how bad it…
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The Purpose in the Repetition

By our very nature, we humans are storytellers. The sharing of information in the form of a story is so deeply ingrained as to be part of our very fabric. In Volume 3 of her fantastic educational series The Mystery of History, Linda Lacour Hobar quotes one of the west African griots—men who memorized their…
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The Overstimulation Minimization

Traffic. A crowded room. A busy restaurant with a long wait and lots of loud people in the bar cheering every single time a ball goes through a net. Do the thoughts of these things make you feel anxious or agitated? Some will, some won’t, but almost everyone has felt apprehensive in a bustling or…
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Eye Speak to You

“Look at me!” These words get your attention, don’t they? An imperative phrase, this expression makes you look up to see who’s speaking. Something about that sentence just stops you in your tracks and makes you do just that: look directly at the speaker. These were the words that could strike terror in your heart…
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The Gospel Truth: Jesus’ Ministry to Caregivers

Happy 2022! It’s a brand-new year, and the mental “reset” this affords all of us cannot be overstated. During the Holiday break, my family and I have been enjoying Angel Studios’ crowd-funded hit The Chosen. Watching the very ordinary—yet simultaneously extraordinary—way Jesus interacts with all kinds of people has been deeply moving as well as…
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End of Life: Deciding to Stop Treatment

I recently had the opportunity to talk with a conference attendee regarding care for her husband who was in the late stage of Alzheimer’s. She told me that she had a wonderful daily helper whose assistance both she and her husband deeply appreciated.   “But my helper doesn’t agree with us about his ‘end-of-life’ plan,”…
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Dementia Diagnostics: Identifying the Enemy

My recent social media posts have revolved around signs and symptoms of early-stage dementia. Frequently after I’ve given a talk at a conference or a workshop for caregivers, people will ask me if I think certain behaviors they’ve noticed in their loved one are indicative of dementia. I find myself wanting to be able to…
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Sundowning: Basic Strategies for the Caregiver

In January 2021, my in-laws were packing to move so they could be closer to us in Texas. They’d lived in their house since 2003, and now they were downsizing into an apartment in an independent living community. Chris, Faith and I had gone to Memphis to help with the packing. We knew my father-in-law…
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Estate Planning: What Do I Really Need?

It became obvious that my grandparents needed my help after they had wandered two hours from their home and had to be brought back by the sheriff. What followed was a devastating diagnosis of dementia—Grandma with Alzheimer’s, and my grandfather with an unspecified dementia type. Dozens of questions swirled around in my mind, but the…
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Options vs. Resources: Elder Care Choices & Their Costs

More than any other aspect of elder care, the area of financial preparation seems to be one of the most difficult to grasp. One reason is because the laws which govern Medicare and Medicaid vary from state to state; they are also subject to frequent change. Often a family’s “ideal” care solution may not be…
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