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Tag Archives: sandwich generation

The Accidental Gardener


It is very unfortunate that some medications combined with an illness can cause our caree to become delusional and lose track of time. This morning, my mom, Grace, thought she was up and gardening and hurt her knee. She laughed at me when I told her that she has arthritis. I had to go along with it and I told her the yard looked nice. I think my husband got angry because he spent all  morning mowing ... Read More »

Goodbyes, Hello, and Love


The two hardest things to say in life are hello for the first time and goodbye for the last — Moira Rogers I read the above quote this week and thought it a perfectly fitting expression. Several members of our caregiving family are dealing with the saying of goodbye and I know from past experience, this isn’t easy. My heart goes out to each and every one of you.  My only encouragement is to be ... Read More »

The Alien in Our House


My husband has dyslexia, so he’s never been a reader. He peruses the newspaper (yes, we still get a daily paper) and if he reads anything, it’s an article in the business section. My husband doesn’t like to swim. He grew up in a house with a pool, was certified as a diver, was even a lifeguard, but has always told me he doesn’t like to swim. Over the years I’ve seen him lounge in ... Read More »

Dementia, Drumsticks and Dressing


Dealing with Dementia During the Holidays As a caregiver to a mom with dementia for the past 15 years, I have found ways to make it easier on my husband, myself and Mom during the holidays. Here are a few of my suggestions for family caregivers and their carees with Alzheimer’s and other dementias during this season. I hope at least one of these will make your lives  bit easier. First, try to have family ... Read More »

Caregiving Psychic Powers and Grief. Halloween at Shady Pines.


I haven’t been on the site in a while.Things have been busy at my house also known as “Shady Pines dementia care and misfit dog rescue.” Our new slogan is, “We leave the light on for you to prevent sun-downing and pet separation anxiety.” Some life events zapped my energy as well as my blogging time. Surprisingly my mom who I have cared for since I was 30 hasn’t been the problem.The death of a ... Read More »

23rd Weddng Anniversary and Medieval Knights: My Staycation

phoneimages 081

As family caregivers our finances and time are limited. This summer however I refused to let that stop me and I vowed to do at least one thing this summer I had never done before. Maybe you can to. Some of you know I am a book cover artist on the side. I create mostly fantasy, romance and historical fiction, i.e. Philippa Gregory type stuff. So I love anything 15th to 18th century. So I ... Read More »

Does Your Dog Read Your Blog? My Dog Ate My Housework

You shall not sweep!

I know that I always tell other caregivers to take breaks during the day. I don’t always follow my own advice. My husband, kids and some neighbors tell me to get out more, I don’t always have to be doing something for Mom, the kids or the house. I feel like I do. Apparently my American Pit Bull Terrier, Rusty, agrees with my family and friends. He has come up with preventative measures to keep ... Read More »

Balancing a Caree on One Side, Children on the Other


Becky does her best to juggle her three kids and her elderly mom. But without fail she feels like she drops the ball just about every day. And, the balls she drops seem to always involve the kids. Can I do this, she wonders, can I care for my mother and raise my children? The sandwich generation–those who care for family members while raising children–experience a tough balancing act. Children, with their enthusiasm and zest ... Read More »

Déjà Vu


Earlier this week, you might have read my blog, “The Juggling Caregiver” about my husband, Steve being sick last Friday night. Well, we’re having a repeat performance tonight. Steve met a friend for lunch today and our son and I went out on a few errands and enjoyed lunch out together. Steve told us about his lunch, we discussed a few things and he went to work drawing out plans for a project to add ... Read More »

The Juggling Caregiver


Announcer’s Voice: Ladies and gentlemen! Today we bring you one of the most daring feats known to mankind.  We have with us a woman, measuring in at 5’ 1 1/2” who is going to try to dazzle you with her juggling, and not just any juggling! She is going to try to juggle two men! Yes, you heard that right! Previously, she has attempted juggling two men and a boy with less than impressive results, ... Read More »

Who Stands By You When it Hits the Fan? (Literally)


Here in Northern California it has been really hot. Unfortunately some days my mom, Grace, closes her vents if the air is on. She is always cold and wears layers of clothes that we have to peel off her at least four times a day. I try to explain to her that she will have a heat stroke  if she wears multiple  jackets and sweaters but she continues to dress like a Eskimo. At times ... Read More »

Caregiving Bloopers: George Michael and Graceldoor Return to the 80′s


We  live in a two-story house. Things that are upstairs should stay upstairs. One reason is it is too heavy to bring downstairs or if I put it downstairs it will get lost. Our downstairs is the Bermuda triangle for missing socks, earrings, abandoned neighborhood pets and dementia patients. (More on that later and also keep reading you’ll see why there is a picture of Wham over there.) My husband who is not superstitious or ... Read More »

Easy Breezy Summertime


I’m experiencing a unique time in my life. For the first time in over six years, there is no immediate, pressing, red-letter emergency brewing. I haven’t been to the Emergency Room in months. No one is in the hospital. No rushed trips home, only a few urgent phone calls. It’s been weird. Mind you, I remain as busy as ever. Mom is still a dementia patient residing full time in an Alzheimer’s facility. Mom readily ... Read More »

How Do You Talk to Your Kids About End of Life?


This morning, Janice, who cares for her mom while raising her two kids, joined me for Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey. You can listen to our show via the player below. Janice shared her dad’s last months with us and how she spoke to her children about his decline and his death. She was honest and vulnerable with her children, which allowed them to be the same with her. How do you talk with ... Read More »

Graceldoor and the Three Bedrooms: Someone’s Been Sleeping in My Bed


As a daughter of a mom with dementia the day-to-day routines for my mom can be a challenge. Things like finding the right bedroom or knowing that we have two bathrooms in the house. My husband Shon and I are big Lord Of The Rings fans. Most of the characters have names like Isildor or Galandria, and  other cool Middle Earth names. It never fails that when we are on the couch together my mom ... Read More »

Caregiver Bloopers: Mom’s Appointments, Vicodin, Viagra and Volkswagens


As a family caregiver you probably spend more time at your caree’s hospital than they do. You are also wondering why a image of Julio Iglesias is on this post. Just keep reading. I hope this brightens your day and makes you laugh. You are the one that has to go get medications when they run out. You have to take forms to the correct department. You have to resolve billing errors. You are also ... Read More »

The Test

medical kit

Tomorrow I’m having a colonoscopy. From here on out we’re referring to it as The Test because c-o-l-o-n-o-s-c-o-p-y is too much to type. This has been scheduled since early last month. I let Steve and our son know and had already arranged for a friend to take me for the appointment. She’s not a morning person, yet, she’s picking me up at 7:15 tomorrow morning. What a friend! Most of the time, Steve’s memory issues ... Read More »

Promotion to Potted Plant


One of the realities of dementia is the loss of language.  It’s clear my mom recognizes that there is a connection between her and I but she gets very creative in describing what that connection is.  She has at times identified me as either her father or her husband although her most common descriptor of me is brother.  Only rarely and always only briefly does she correctly identify me as her son. I like to ... Read More »

Get Help So You Don’t Miss Your Life


This afternoon on Your Caregiving Journey, @angelaholmes (Angela) joined me to share her caregiving story. You can listen to our show via the player, below. For Angela, caregiving began at age four, when she helped her grandfather. She continued to help throughout high school, visiting her uncle, who had muscular dystrophy, until his death. She helped care for her grandmother, who died soon after her mom had a stroke. Her mom has lived with Angela, ... Read More »



Life is full of trade-offs.  If you spend your money on a new car, you may not be able to take a vacation, for example. I wish the decisions in caregiving were that easy! Steve takes several medications, one of which is through a patch. He has been on a particular dose of the patch since he started on in. In December, his neurologist suggested that Steve might be able to tolerate a higher dosage ... Read More »


I visited Mom again today.  I’m happy to report that I’ve been restored to the family tree, albeit in the position of brother again.  Still feels good to be back in the fold.  Mom and I laughed and just hung out together.  She of course had no memory of the day before, that is the blessing of dementia. As I visited, I reflected back on what that previous episode must have felt like to her.  ... Read More »

Spring Break: Pressing On

It is spring break here in my community and in honor of that, I’ve take some time off from my regular paid vocation.  The weather in our part of the county is mild, especially compared to the North and Midwest.  The only thing falling in our air is pollen. Mind you it’s not exactly a vacation since there is plenty of “chores” to get done in my non-paid vocations of single parent, homeowner, and caregiver. ... Read More »