Blog

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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Help? Absolutely

People who have never been caregivers frequently make the mistake of grossly underestimating how stressful the job can be. They have a tendency to roll in like a bowling ball with advice and instruction, and the result can be that the legitimate caregiver’s proverbial pins topple over with a deafening clatter. What they don’t realize…
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Burned Out Socialite?

I see a number of posts on social media which ask people to be patient with caregivers—and rightly so; the caregiving job is isolating and wearisome. There are many diseases which necessitate the presence of a full-time caregiver, and the role lays claim to the caregiver’s time and energy. Frequently the caregiver’s own needs are…
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Listening = Best Care

I recently made a Twitter post in which I respectfully petitioned medical professionals to resist the temptation to dismiss patient information when it comes from a caregiver. It clearly struck a chord as it was re-tweeted 77 times, received more than 230 likes, and had multiple comments which affirmed my statement. As a caregiver, I…
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Improv – Alzheimer’s Style

People don’t enter the role of caregiver with a full understanding of what actually comes with a dementia diagnosis. When I had to step into that position with my grandparents it was because the bottom had suddenly fallen out. I’d known for some time that something wasn’t right, but at 29 I had no idea…
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Necessary Risk?

Today’s pace of life is moving faster than ever, but as caregivers it’s imperative that we stay current regarding which medical procedures are truly beneficial for our loved ones and which ones aren’t. In my book Goodnight, Sweet: A Caregiver’s Long Goodbye, I detailed my grandmother’s 1997 experience having a P.E.G. tube (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy—a plastic…
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