The Worst Day of Your Life

A women once told me that she took her husband to a follow-up visit with a neurologist. They were planning to stop at Target on the way home to grab a few things, including toothpaste. At the neurologist, they received life-changing news that she did not expect. Her husband, the doctor strongly suspected, had frontotemporal dementia. She didn’t know much about it but the doctor … Continue reading The Worst Day of Your Life

Personal Weather, Nature, and Swans

A guest blog by Mary Fogarty When my husband, who has dementia, gets agitated, and the weather’s not too bad, we go out looking for swans. Unless he’s also feeling what the social workers might call “unpleasantly confused,” and I might call something less polite, depending on who I’m with. Since I’m with you, let me just say that, at such times, all I want to do is … Continue reading Personal Weather, Nature, and Swans

Do What You Love Until You Can’t

Recently I was at a social gathering and was asked to talk to a friend of a friend who has been worried about his memory. I was immediately concerned when the friend of a friend didn’t recognize me and thought we were meeting for the first time (which we were not). We don’t see each other a lot, and maybe I am not that notable, … Continue reading Do What You Love Until You Can’t

Regret: I Wish I’d Known More

My experiences at the Dementia Simulation house so far been fun, interesting, hard, hilarious, sad, hopeful, and everything else. Someone asked me the other day what has been the most challenging. Regret. I realized that it’s witnessing the onset of regret in loved ones of those live or lived with dementia. I had no idea what it is really like for her. I wish I … Continue reading Regret: I Wish I’d Known More

Bad Advice and Unhelpful People

If you have dementia or are a care partner to someone with dementia, people tell you a lot of things about dementia. Perhaps some of those people are educated about dementia. Maybe some of their input is helpful. If so, wonderful. More likely than not, many of these people are not educated about dementia. I’m sure that a lot of their input is not helpful. … Continue reading Bad Advice and Unhelpful People

Pickleball is Important

Here’s what I learned recently. Pickleball is important. If you don’t know what pickleball is, it’s a combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. You can probably get a better explanation if you google it. But it our mid-sized Midwestern town, it’s a thing. It’s a big thing. Perhaps it’s a big thing in your area as well. It’s played at our local rec centers, and … Continue reading Pickleball is Important

Review: The Dementia Simulation House

Today we have a special guest blogger. It’s Drew Dotson, who was a visiting scholar at the University of Northern Iowa this spring. While in town, she had the opportunity to do the dementia simulation house. Here is her review! Dementia Simulation House: “It was good!” “How was it?” people asked after learning I’d visited the University of Northern Iowa’s Dementia Simulation House.  I enthusiastically … Continue reading Review: The Dementia Simulation House

Dementia and Weight Gain (Yes, Gain)

I spoke to a woman recently who lost her husband to frontotemporal dementia. She shared something with me that many people don’t recognize as related to dementia…weight GAIN. Yes, gain. Weight loss is quite common as well, so when I talk about dementia and weight, I usually say dementia can be related to a change in weight. Frontotemporal dementia is a type of dementia that … Continue reading Dementia and Weight Gain (Yes, Gain)

The Happy Caregiver

I write a lot about the challenges of dementia caregivers…their high rates of clinical depression and anxiety…their loneliness…their daily stressors. This post doesn’t change anything I’ve written in the past, but I do want to acknowledge something. Some caregivers are doing okay. Some caregivers are happy. Some caregivers are enjoying life and thriving. That doesn’t mean every day is great. But is every day really … Continue reading The Happy Caregiver