(an update from my previous post....) I continue to struggle to help my loved one with dementia as it relates to her food choices. Heck, I struggle with my own food choices never-mind helping someone else. Soon after we had a diagnosis of mixed dementia I was informed that life expectancy is often shorten. When … Continue reading Managing health issues and dementia
My loved one with dementia has abused Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for decades. This is my observation and opinion. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an anticholinergics and they have been linked to increase risk of dementia. Until a month ago she was able to procure on her own as much Benadryl as she wanted. She simply walked to a … Continue reading Benadryl and dementia
A year ago I set a goal to publish once a week. How hard could that be? To sit down and write for 20 or 30 minutes. Well my life was interrupted and I have not published weekly. My dad turned 92 years of age on March 17th and shortly after he decided to join … Continue reading Life Interrupted
At the same time I am moving my loved one with dementia from her current assisted living to another, my 92 year old father needed to be placed into a nursing home. There is no stress in my life! Of course there is stress. I would not have tackled both at the same time but … Continue reading Life is not going as planned
I have not been motivated to post a blog. I feel stuck. I am thinking that I can't do anything more than I am already doing. My life is already complicated. Sadly I am now managing my dad's end of life care. God willing he will turn 92 years old in a few days. He … Continue reading Anticipatory grief
I have been fortune telling lately. And I am not good at it. In fact I am batting zero as it relates to my loved one with dementia. I have envisioned the worse possible outcome and it has not happen. As a result I have felt emotions especially guilt and fear. The circumstances are neutral. … Continue reading Fortune Telling
Executive function is the high level thinking skills that control the low level cognitive functions. It is the ability to plan, organize and implement a set of tasks in an efficient manner. It includes the ability to self-monitor and control behaviors and other cognitive functions. Impairments with executive function is often part of dementia disease. … Continue reading Executive Function and Dementia
Lately I am using "should" and "should not" statements in my thinking. I "should" know better because I have studied cognitive distortions. I know these thoughts causes me to internalize guilt and externalize anger I also manage to compound cognitive distortions. Lately I have been thinking "I should know better to not jump to conclusions, … Continue reading Compounded Cognitive Distortions
Jan 31st is Backwards Day. A day that encourages us to do things in an order that we would not usually do them in! A day for children and adults alike. For my loved one with dementia, many days are backwards days. She is not bothered by it at all. I express frustration with the … Continue reading Jan 31st is Backwards Day
As a caregiver I have found myself putting my needs low on my priority list. This is very common for caregivers. But I expect many of us have found ourselves in this position even if you are not caregiving. As a result of not taking consistent care of my needs, I am finding it harder … Continue reading Transformation is like watching a seed grow
My loved one with dementia lives in an assisted living facility. They have an outbreak of Covid19. In the past week 5 more residents and more employees have tested positive. I cannot visit her. Only for urgent medical needs should we take our loved ones out of the facility. The vaccine will not start being … Continue reading My blood pressure is up!
The events of January 6th in Washington DC still resonate with me but for a different reason than you may think. Actually for an additional reason. I too am appalled at the actions of many. As I draft this post, my stomach is knotting up again. For five years I have been to Washington DC … Continue reading Events of January 6th and its impact on my loved ones
We did not celebrate a new year. I have in past years but Covid19 is escalating and the right decision was to stay home. We quietly observed with no fanfare the date move from year 2020 to 2021 . There is no change for me as it relates to caregiving. My goal remains the same … Continue reading New Years is just a day
Covid19 cases are escalating, they are spiraling out of control and it is Christmas My loved one is in an assisted living facility that has shut down all visits. Residents can leave for medical appointments only. My loved one is staying in her tiny, studio appartment. Alone with the exception of meals and medication management. … Continue reading Christmas, Covid19 and assisted living
Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is not just a day at a spa although that would be wonderful. It is emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Self-care is my word for 2021 Every year I select a word that I use to exemplify my goals and priorities for the year. The past two years I … Continue reading Self-care
My loved one with dementia has been attending an adult day health program for three years. Given her early onset diagnosis, this program has been a godsend keeping her active and engaged. She loves going to it and missed it greatly during our pandemic shutdown. This week I learned the program is ending on December … Continue reading And Covid19 keeps taking….
A year ago I attended a seminar and we were asked to send a letter to ourselves. We were given a card and envelope to address. The card was written, I sealed the envelope, handed it in and promptly forgot about it. Yesterday I received the card. It was a surprise to see my own … Continue reading A note to myself
My "plate is full". It is bigger than a plate. It is a turkey platter and sometimes a rolling cart. This week the rolling cart is full and has a bad wheel. That bad wheel is my attitude. My thoughts are driving my attitude and I am very annoyed. There was an event earlier this … Continue reading My attitude
My loved one with dementia is my 58 year old sister.She is two years younger than me. She is single, no family other than siblings and a father who is 91 almost 92. She is disabled. I am her guardian, health care advocate and power of attorney. Yet I feel powerless. She needs supervised care. … Continue reading What keeps me up at night
I have been reading "Comfortable with Uncertainty" by Pema Chodron. I am actually going through it a 2nd time and probably will do so again and again. For me it is a book of daily reads. I love books and have purchased many daily reads in my lifetime. It has been a long time since … Continue reading Comfortable with Uncertainty
I usually post on Thursdays, Friday at the latest. This week I was in a virtual training class, Dementia Care Education class for 2 half days. (I included the link because I found the class very informative.) The education helped me to understand dementia and apply it to how my loved one's brain is functioning … Continue reading I tackle worry with education
Before her diagnosis my loved one with dementia got herself a puppy. This was before my involvement as caregiver. My dad knew she could not take care of the dog. The day it was brought home he suggested the puppy stay with him for a short time. That puppy is now 8 years old and … Continue reading Lucy has a good home
Yesterday my dad's garage, storage area and his yard was cleaned out. A little bit about my dad. He is 91 years old and has been living alone since my mom passed in 2018. He is the last of his generation, having survived all his family including in-laws. Someone has to the first and someone … Continue reading 60+ years of memories
Soon it will be officially autumn by the equinox calendar. In North America we tend to use the term Fall. In New England the Fall colors are spectacular. My husband and I love the Fall for its color and cool but not cold temperatures. Mother Nature is getting ready for a winter sleep. But that … Continue reading Communicating to our loved ones with dementia
It is October 1st The hummingbirds that frequent my feeders have long gone. The Gold Finches are no longer bright gold. Locally the leaves are turning fast, up north the color is spectacular. We had the heat on several times last month. Will be putting summer furniture away for the winter. Daylight hours are fewer. … Continue reading The only constant is change
This week we celebrated World Alzheimer's Day. It almost got by me. I have been preoccupied with several caregiving tasks for my loved one with dementia and for my elderly father (91 years old this year). Just as soon as I thought I had time to breathe and work on my own projects, life interrupted. … Continue reading News and its impact on loved ones.
I just received my daily text from my loved one with demetia that she is "on the bus". She attends an adult day health program five days a week. The bus picks her up at her residence and returns her mid afternoon. I am very grateful for the opportunity to send her. For those not … Continue reading On the bus
My loved one with dementia struggles daily with the affects of dementia, add a urinary tract infection and the results are amplified. But the impact of an UTI on my loved one is very cunning. It does not manifest itself overnight rather slowly creeps in. It can go unnoticed for days even weeks. She does … Continue reading Next time I will not ignore that little voice in my head.
Currently I have a lot on my plate. In fact my plate is a turkey platter, some days it is a rolling cart with a bad wheel. I am also a perfectionist and for a caregiver that can cause my challenges to seem insurmountable. I try to juggle everything and I am bad at juggling. … Continue reading When stuck I find action of any kind helps
My loved one with dementia is my sister. We were not the best of friends despite being only two years apart in age. Growing up we fought like many siblings do. Our parents could not understand why we did not get along. They tried to encourage our friendship which only served to ignite more fighting. … Continue reading I miss the person my loved one once was
I have a self imposed deadline to post weekly on Thursdays at 10am EST I usually meet that deadline This week I am not motivated to write I enjoy writing I don't enjoy most aspects of caretaking I am putting off tasks that are necessary I am procrastinating now I do not typically allow myself … Continue reading Procrastinate Now
My loved one with dementia is scheduled to return to adult day health next week. As her guardian I need to sign a document in the presence of the management. Although I agreed to do so, I have not done it. I received phone call reminders and just this morning an email reminding me. I … Continue reading I relate to parents of school age children returning to the classroom and COVID19
I had a thought provoking discussion this morning. We were discussing our thoughts and how they create our feelings. I had missed a meeting and my knee jerk thought was "I screwed up" and that thought caused me to feel disorganized. The thought did not go away and I started to feel anxious. The more … Continue reading My thoughts and a knee jerk reaction
I am counting my blessings no matter how I find them. I am my loved one with dementia's guardian and health care advocate. I attend all medical appointments and her care is coordinated with me. There are several health issues that have been monitored by blood tests; glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol etc. Her doctors expressed concern … Continue reading I found a “silver lining” to our shelter at home for Covid-19
It is July 4th and in the US we celebrate our declaration of "independence" from England. For those history buffs: Americans celebrate independence on July 4th, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2nd, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. But … Continue reading Independence Day has new meaning for me
It is amazing how the brain manages memories. My loved one with dementia is impacted with very poor short term memory. Some parts of a new event, a thought, a discussion etc. may be stored. Sometimes not at all. Often times missing parts are confabulated and they are very real to her. Her long term … Continue reading Sunburned? Maybe tea will help……
I have several birdhouses in my backyard. One of them I can view from my kitchen window over my sink. Given I seem to always be doing dishes, I thought it was a great spot for the birdhouse. Every year sparrows will use the birdhouse. Every year I watch the dating between males and females. … Continue reading A few observations watching a sparrow family from my window
It is exhausting mentally and physically managing healthcare for loved ones and keeping them safe! In addition to my loved one with dementia, I assist my 91 year old dad. He continues to live alone in the home I grew up in. He is doing well and has been adhering to the shelter at home … Continue reading I am not taking NO for an answer when it comes to my loved one’s health
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”Hunter S. Thompson I have this posted on my wall. … Continue reading My favorite quote; Life should not be a journey to the grave…
I am caregiving for a loved one in an assisted living facility that is six miles away. Despite the nearness, the Covid19 protocol for long term facilities has excluded visits. I have not seen her face to face since late February. That was until today. I was able to spend 20 minutes with her outside. … Continue reading “Deck visits”
My loved one living at an assisted living had to be tested for the Covid19 virus. Testing was arranged, I hurried to get all the needed permissions for the Primary Care office and then we waited. We waited 5 days to hear results. The test was negative. Years ago I had a biopsy. A routine … Continue reading Hurry up and wait….