Dementia and the Unfairness of Life

She mentioned that her daughter has dementia. I thought I misheard her. I asked for clarification.

Yes, her daughter has dementia.

Her daughter is 72 and is the process of moving into a facility with her spouse.

I don’t have children, but I can say with confidence that being confronted with the possibility of one of your children passing away before you has to be one of life’s cruelest situations. Continue reading Dementia and the Unfairness of Life

Dementia Caregiving and COVID

I haven’t given COVID as much attention in my blog as it deserves. I’ve started many posts and abandoned them because they felt inadequate. To be fair, I have gotten a bit of hate the few times I’ve written posts about COVID. Examples: I thought you were smarter than this. COVID isn’t any worse than the flu. You are brainwashed just like everyone else. I … Continue reading Dementia Caregiving and COVID

Nursing Homes and Guilt Traps in Dementialand

And then there are people who promise their loved ones that they will never place them in a nursing home. I once had a woman say to me, “My husband and I promised we’d never do that to each other.”

I can promise my spouse a lot of things. I can promise I’ll never cheat on him. I can promise I’ll never blow all our money at the casino. I can promise to always take the kitchen trash out when it’s overflowing. (Bill, I promise you the first two–I make no commitment to the third. The third was just an example.) You see, those are things I can control. Continue reading Nursing Homes and Guilt Traps in Dementialand

The Hilarious World of…Dementialand?

There’s a risk in associating humor and dementia that I cannot deny. I don’t want people to think dementia itself is funny. As a society, we do have a challenge in getting people to understand that dementia isn’t just about forgetting in old age. It’s so much more than that. The memory loss, as I often say, isn’t the worst part for many individuals and families. Alzheimer’s and related dementia diagnoses are serious and life-altering, but funny things do happen along the way. It’s okay to laugh when those funny things happen. Continue reading The Hilarious World of…Dementialand?

Dementialand and Nursing Homes and Dying OH MY! (A.K.A. When Your Presentation is Postponed Due to Lack of Interest)

I had planned a presentation that broke college students could not be bribed into attending. I mean, college students love pizza. And not even the power of free pizza could get them to show up to listen to my presentation. Wrap your brain around that. Continue reading Dementialand and Nursing Homes and Dying OH MY! (A.K.A. When Your Presentation is Postponed Due to Lack of Interest)

Mean Girls in Dementialand

When I was in graduate school, the movie Mean Girls came out. If you haven’t seen it, I don’t recommend putting it on your priority list, but I have to say it was thought-provoking for me–at least as thought-provoking as an American teen comedy can be. Here’s the premise. The movie, which stars Lindsay Lohan (post-Parent Trap but pre-shoplifting), features a clique of 16-year-old girls called the Plastics, who is–go … Continue reading Mean Girls in Dementialand

Reflections on Mass Shootings, Good People of the World, and Dementialand

There was another mass shooting last Wednesday. Well, actually two mass shootings. One in Georgia and another in California. I wish I could tell you that I was irrate¬†when I first heard about the shootings. I wish I could tell you that I was sick to my stomach when I saw the news. The truth is…I wasn’t. Maybe I’m a horrible and cold person. Perhaps … Continue reading Reflections on Mass Shootings, Good People of the World, and Dementialand

Welcome to the Real and Non-Perfect Dementialand World (and What to Say if You Want to Make Me Super Angry)

I overheard a bunch of people chatting before a support group meeting. There was a middle-aged guy updating some other family care partners about his wife with dementia. I need to tell you that I am going to change a few details here so this person isn’t as identifiable. It’s pretty typical that I do this, but I’m making a special effort here because I … Continue reading Welcome to the Real and Non-Perfect Dementialand World (and What to Say if You Want to Make Me Super Angry)

Habits of Sane Caregivers in Dementialand

Sometimes I write for people with dementia. Sometimes I write for people who have no experience in Dementialand. But today…today I am writing for dementia caregivers. And, really, for all caregivers. If you are a caregiver, things can get pretty rough. I can show you research studies on the rates of clinical depression among caregivers. Spoiler alert–they’re astronomical. (They’re high among caregivers and higher among … Continue reading Habits of Sane Caregivers in Dementialand

Passion in Dementialand (A Post About What Gets Us Excited)

A little passion goes a long way. I’m not talking about relationships here. I’m talking about life. No one has passion for everything¬†they do. We all have to do things that we don’t like doing. That’s part of living in the real world. But we gotta have passion for something or we’re sunk. My passion is dementia. I don’t like dementia itself. In fact, I … Continue reading Passion in Dementialand (A Post About What Gets Us Excited)