Posts Tagged ‘alzheimer’s’

Stop Telling Caregivers to Take Care of Themselves First!

Advice for caregivers almost always includes a list of signs of caregiver stress and tips on how to address them. The unfortunate result is an actual increase in caregiver stress. Why? Because it puts the burden of fixing the problem on someone who is already overwhelmed. Caregiving is a 24-hour a day, seven days a…

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Say Yes To Saying No

Lately, I’ve been pulled in so many different directions!   I’m juggling work, caring for my mom, dealing with an upcoming knee surgery, all while trying to be an attentive wife and mother. I’m just exhausted. I feel guilty complaining, but I’m also being asked to attend so many extra events due to the holidays.  In…

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The Healing Power of Laughter

“There’s somebody in there.”  These are words that have such power when we are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.  It’s something I have to remind myself of when caring for my own mom and I forget to see “her.” Dani Klein Modisett re-discovered her own mother who has Alzheimer’s disease through the…

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A Tony Award Winner Shares His Story

Two caregivers walk into a room.  They may not have met previously, but, they absolutely know each other.  They talk the same language, share the same emotions and understand deep down what it’s like going through the myriad of emotions that arise during their care journey. Ron Simons is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer, four-time…

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Caregiving and Outside Forces of Pain

Was this past week hard for you?  It sure was for me and it greatly affected my patience level with my mother.  Despite trying really hard, I found myself caught up in what unfolded on Thursday.  I just felt so sad and depressed all day and so powerless.  I am not a victim of sexual…

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Lessons on Happiness

I recently read a terrific book called “Happiness is a Choice You Make.” Author John Leland is a NY Times Reporter and he was given the assignment to follow 6 New Yorkers over the age of 85 for a year and chronicle their lives.  John is also the caregiver for his own mother and like…

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Podcast: Caregiver Guilt: How To Cope

For the past 16 years, I have had the honor of helping caregivers dealing with an aging parent or an ill spouse. Although no two caregivers are alike, in my 16 years talking to caregivers and assisting them, they all share one trait: at some point in their caregiving journey, they all feel guilty about…

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A Fleeting Glimpse, A Lasting Loss

Through the magic of Ancestry.com, last weekend, my 91-year-old mom who has dementia was reunited with her 82-year-old first cousin Sam who she hadn’t seen in over 70 years.  My mother’s father and Sam’s father were brothers. Because of mysterious reasons, they drifted apart and therefore, the cousins lost touch. Sam is a loving, lively…

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Sorry Dad, I Need To Be The Bad Guy

I still remember the call from my mother. “Your dad was in another accident.” This time, while trying to park, he overshot the space, went over a curb and the car landed in a ditch.   Someone in a nearby store called the police and they came and helped him out of the car and drove…

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Life Lessons From Dementia Caregiving: Promises Made & Broken

In 1965 I was 9 years old when my grandfather was moved to a nursing home. The massive wooden door of the old mansion-turned-institutional care facility always opened with a soiled sense of despair. While visiting her father over the years, my mother would softly sob: “Promise never to put me in a nursing home.”…

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My Mini Meltdown

Last week, I had a “mini-meltdown.” I had a really stressful day at work where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, my knee was really hurting and I was feeling really overwhelmed. When I came home from work, I wanted nothing more than to be with my dogs, on the couch and not…

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Podcast: Dad’s in the Hospital – Now What?

When I think about my caregiving journey, I can safely say that having both my parents in the hospital was one of the most stressful times in my life.  It involved juggling work, family, being an advocate for them and trying to navigate a system that sometimes seemed to be designed to make make my…

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No Longer Present, But Never Forgotten

A week has passed since my son’s wedding. My dress and shoes are put away and my diet has started to fail.  What remains is wonderful memories along with time for bittersweet reflections.  I promised myself that I would be present and enjoy all the love that was surrounding us.  I also vowed to try…

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Let’s Support Nursing Home Caregivers

Have you ever met anyone who said, “my ultimate goal when I get older is live out my last days in a nursing home?”  No – well, me either.  Yet, according to statistics from The National Caregiving Alliance, in 2012, there were 1.4 million people in nursing homes nationally or about 13% of us age…

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