Enter the Gray Area: Communicating with someone living with dementia

“We bring Rachael in for a different perspective,” the nursing school’s professor told her class. “As I said before: do what she says in practice, but remember to write the opposite of what she says when you’re taking your boards.” The class nodded, but I was shocked. “Wait, nursing schools still teach reorientation? I thoughtContinue reading “Enter the Gray Area: Communicating with someone living with dementia”

You’d better learn how to beg for forgiveness instead of asking for permission

So many family caregivers will say to me, “But mom/dad/aunt/brother/spouse will not let me…” Take the car Move them into a care community Pay the bills for them Take over the healthcare Power of Attorney Send caregivers to the house Do the grocery shopping Make any decisions for them Bring them to the doctor WhatContinue reading “You’d better learn how to beg for forgiveness instead of asking for permission”

Caring for yourself + why I don’t love these billboards

http://cargocollective.com/juandiegoguzman/filter/Juan-Diego-Guzman I meet a lot of care partners who look after individuals living with dementia. The recurring theme amongst these care partners—many with varying backgrounds and experience levels—is that they all feel tired. Caring for a person living with dementia is not the same thing as raising a healthy child. Yes, babies are exhausting, but babiesContinue reading “Caring for yourself + why I don’t love these billboards”

Never ask someone with dementia if they “remember your name”

If I can, I always opt to ditch my name tag in a dementia care environment. I let my friends with dementia decide what my name is: I’ve been Susan, Gwendolyn, and various peoples’ kids. I’ve been so many identities to my residents, too: a coworker, a boss, a student, a sibling, a friend fromContinue reading “Never ask someone with dementia if they “remember your name””

3 keys to accepting change in dementia

I host a monthly support group in my area, and yesterday’s meeting made me think a lot about acceptance. We had a great discussion: all the attendees are care partners of people living with Mild Cognitive Impairment or early stages of dementia, and they each expressed some level of learning to “accept” their loved one’s changingContinue reading “3 keys to accepting change in dementia”

Is that dementia-related “behavior” worth worrying about?

I often meet people who tell me about their loved one’s “behaviors” and ask how to “fix them.” My first question is this: Is that behavior worth worrying about? Let’s take a few examples and decide which ones we should be worried about finding solutions for. They’ve begun to urinate in the house plants, thinking that theyContinue reading “Is that dementia-related “behavior” worth worrying about?”

#1 Reason That Routine Is Going to Save You a Lot of Drama

Routine. It’s about what you do regularly, probably every day, even if you aren’t consciously thinking about it. Routine is essential when you’re caring for someone with dementia. Not only is it just about what you do, it’s about what they used to do. What does that mean? It means that we need to relyContinue reading “#1 Reason That Routine Is Going to Save You a Lot of Drama”

Only 3 Questions You Need in Dementia Caregiving

These are my best 3 tried-and-true questions that you need in dementia caregiving. Are you ready? 1. “Where do you think they are?” This is the question that you’re going to use with someone who has dementia when they are talking about a loved one who has passed away. For example, perhaps your mom isContinue reading “Only 3 Questions You Need in Dementia Caregiving”

Dementia-Friendly Days Out

A guest post by Ruby Clarkson | Writer, editor, animal lover and coffee enthusiast Dementia is a challenging group of diseases that causes many different problems, but that doesn’t mean that those who are living with dementia can’t enjoy a lovely day out. In fact, it is good for them to get out and see differentContinue reading “Dementia-Friendly Days Out”

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