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 itContinue reading “Why the loss of control motivates most “behaviors””

“Mom remembers dad, but she also has a new boyfriend.”

Anonymous writes: My mother has been in a memory care center for 2-½ years. She has recently started kissing a fellow resident even though she still recognizes my dad when he comes to visit. Most recently, she has now been found in this other man’s bed twice. My dad and my sister are using humorContinue reading ““Mom remembers dad, but she also has a new boyfriend.””

What’s the right time to ask for help if you’re an Alzheimer’s caregiver?

A guest post by Zara Lewis In my wonderful family, we all love and support each other; however, as it often happens, most of the important tasks are entrusted to a woman, in this case – me. My mother-in-law is at the end-stage of Alzheimer’s and I’ve been caring for her (with just a littleContinue reading “What’s the right time to ask for help if you’re an Alzheimer’s caregiver?”

Loneliness & soup

I was killing time at the grocery store. Really, I was also hungry, but I would’ve been eating at my house if my friend wasn’t at a nearby doctor’s appointment. And so, I was stuck in an unfamiliar part of town, waiting for him. And so I ended up in the Giant Eagle grocery store.Continue reading “Loneliness & soup”

Talking Aphasia

One of my favorite things is when someone with dementia, who doesn’t normally speak, speaks to me. It happens every once in a while. I’ve had a few residents with aphasia, which means that they have (usually) the inability to communicate verbally. Interestingly, I’ve found that even though these residents usually can’t speak, they makeContinue reading “Talking Aphasia”

Breakfast Every Meal

Louise wasn’t much for sitting down and eating. In fact, she didn’t want to eat at all. Louise spent her lunches following us to her seat, sitting, looking at her food, being fed a bite or two, protesting that she didn’t want more, and then getting back up. Anytime we offered her something, she wouldContinue reading “Breakfast Every Meal”

Another Letter To My Friend

A letter that I will never send, to one of my first residents, and always my favorite. Other letters to her are here and here. Hi Dot, I hope that all is well in North Carolina. I hope that you will remember me when I come to visit you, and that I get there inContinue reading “Another Letter To My Friend”

There’s Friendship in Dementia

A pair of my residents walked down the hall together. Joyce was hand in hand with her new friend, Darlene. Joyce stopped and looked at me carefully.  “Have you seen ‘Melissa’ around here anywhere?” she asked me. I cracked a smile, but tried not to laugh. “Melissa” was Darlene’s daughter’s name. Darlene tended to perseverate on theContinue reading “There’s Friendship in Dementia”

“I didn’t eat breakfast!”

Maddie paced up and down the hallway, looking unusually distraught. Normally, Maddie was in a fantastic mood and always engaged in activities. Today, however, Maddie was upset about something. She flagged me down and said, “Hon, I didn’t get any breakfast!”  Normally, I would be alarmed, and go get her a plate, but I had watchedContinue reading ““I didn’t eat breakfast!””

A Thank You

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a thank you from your loved ones with dementia, but because they can’t always say it, I will say it for them. 1. To the spouses, who come to visit their significant others in long-term care, but always make it about their loved one—and not about themselves.  2. Thank youContinue reading “A Thank You”

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