You’re probably grieving, but don’t realize it

*Content warning: this is probably a tear-jerker, just because we’re talking about grief and loss. When I started working in this field, I recognized that I’d be dealing with a lot of death and dying, and, therefore, grief. I wrongfully assumed that the only challenging part of the job would come into play when someone […]

Why the loss of control motivates most “behaviors”

Cecilia was having a hard time. Suddenly, she couldn’t do all the things she used to do. She had once owned her own business, handled all her finances, made her own daily plans, raised children, and more. Now, with dementia, she couldn’t manage those tasks. Now, her family was doing everything for her, and it […]

5 reasons they’re watching TV or sleeping all day

I’ve met a lot of caregivers who make the assumption that their loved ones living with dementia “don’t like to do anything.”  “No, she just likes to watch TV and sleep all day,” Marie told me. “My mom was always really active…but I guess with her dementia she just doesn’t want to do the things she used […]

Don’t ask someone with dementia if they “know your name” or “remember you”

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 from […]

What do I say when mom asks where my dad is?

It’s a question I hear often. I’ve heard it many different ways, from many different people, in many different scenarios, but it’s always the same type of question: “My ____ has passed away, and my loved one with dementia keeps asking about where they are. What do I tell my loved one?” No one wants to […]

Fear & Dementia

I received an interesting email from a woman who follows my blog posts. She wrote,  “There is one thing I have not found much information about that I am hoping you might address in a future blog [post]: fear. Not fear of Alzheimer’s, or abandonment, or even dying. My husband has started to fret about […]

Death & Dementia.

“What happens when your residents die? Do your other residents get upset? Do they remember that person?” many people have asked me.  Angela* has fairly advanced dementia and lives in our community. One day, we received some bad news. Her family emailed us to let us know that her husband, who lived outside the community, had […]

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