Hurricane season brings special challenges

Floridians understand how to prepare for seasonal bad weather, but for families living with dementia, hurricane season can present special challenges.

Individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia do not have the benefit of memory, so they cannot reassure themselves from the knowledge that most tropical storms do little or no damage. For them, every harsh weather experience can be frightening.

Just being moved from their home or community to a strange shelter may be upsetting because it shatters their routine and confronts them with an unfamiliar environment. Continue reading

The up-side of adversity

Many years ago, I told someone I had a problem, and she said, “No, you have an opportunity.” I thought this was just a silly platitude, but over the years, I began to understand what she meant. Every event has positive and negative aspects, and it is we who choose which way we are going to look at it. Continue reading

Covid-19 has changed the conversation

When social distancing began in response to Covid-19, I, and other dementia practitioners, could no longer facilitate support groups for the care partners of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Previously, I had conducted two support groups per month, but these had to be canceled and hastily reorganized as virtual meetings through on-line technology. Continue reading

Dementia and Firearms Safety

You would be surprised how often I hear from concerned caregivers for loved ones living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia who have in their home open access to a firearm. Unfortunately, gun ownership is like so many aspects of living with dementia; we often don’t think much about it until we are confronted with a crisis. Continue reading

Keeping Our Loved Ones Safe

When we raised children, their safety was first and foremost. Later, when we are caring for a loved one with dementia, we may pay less attention to their safety because they are adults and they have had a lifetime of learning what is safe and what is not. But we must understand that dementia has eroded or erased the memories of what they have learned about being safe. In addition, dementia degrades all of one’s senses and, over time, their physical abilities. Continue reading