Limitations in Dementialand (and Comments on Why I Am Not a Nashville Recording Artist)

When I was growing up, my parents told me I could be whatever I wanted to be. I could do whatever I wanted to do. They said that the sky was the limit. I should aim high and I could accomplish anything in the entire world. MY PARENTS WERE LIARS. I cannot accomplish anything in […]

A Bad Day in Dementialand (aka Why I Am Not a Saint)

Any frustration I feel working with people who have dementia does not compare to the frustration of having dementia. Sometimes I have anxiety when I work with people who have dementia…because I worry I’m not handling a situation right or that I’m making things worse. But that anxiety is nothing compared to the anxiety some of my friends with dementia feel.

Pain in Dementialand (aka What Kidney Stones Taught Me)

The amount of pain experienced by those in end-stage dementia terrifies me. We know that at the end of life people with dementia receive only a fraction of the pain control medications of that those without dementia receive. Are they in less pain? Nope. We have no reason to think that dementia stops individuals from feeling pain. Dementia eventually stops people from communicating pain and understanding its cause, but research shows that pain-related brain activity is the same in people with and without dementia.

Mistaken Identities in Dementialand

I spoke at the Illinois and Iowa Quad City Family Conference on Saturday. We had a great turnout, and even had some press coverage: (Please note that I hate my press photo and have no idea why it appears that my hair is longer on one side than the other.) After I spoke, a small […]

Candor in Dementialand (aka Notes on Whether My Hair is Scroungy like an Alley Cat)

I sometimes struggle with apathy when making decisions about the big things in life–like my hair. It used to be closer to chin length and now it’s shoulder length. I’ve asked a few friends if they like it better shorter or longer and no one gives me a straight answer. They say things like, “Oh, […]