Providing care for a loved one living with dementia is one of the most exhausting care partner tasks there is, because the disease is progressive and ultimately requires attention 24/7. Continue reading
I have a friend who spent a 35-year career in a northern state, and each year struggled with seasonal depression, especially in the gray months of January and February. Once retired, he headed for sunny Florida. It was not just the cold and snow he was tired of. It was those sunless months when his spirits crashed. Continue reading
A few years ago, I spoke with a hospice chaplain who said, “You know, I don’t believe people die from dementia. I believe people with dementia die from neglect, loneliness, and grief!” I will never forget those words because they so accurately describe the cruelty of this disease. Continue reading
Covid-19 has been tough on us this past several months. Isolation, fear of infection, and the confusing debate that has gone on over the scientific aspects of the virus are making us crazy! None of us is immune to the negative social impact of our situation, and especially not individuals living with dementia, their families, and their care partners. Continue reading
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
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
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
I often hear caregivers express anger, frustration, or sadness that their loved one living with dementia seems to be in another world. They may believe they are living in another time, or different place. They may forget your name or call you by the name of someone else they have known. Continue reading
Our natural reaction is to correct a person with dementia when they say something that is wrong. This is what we do with children. We immediately correct them because this is how they learn. Continue reading
Last year, the Citrus County Board of Commissioners took action to improve mental health services by retaining LifeStream, an organization that has provided treatment, education, care management, rehabilitation, and homeless services in Central Florida since 1971. Continue reading