A while back, she took an online quiz that claimed to diagnose her with “mild depression.” She had expected “moderate” or even “severe” depression, so she found it reassuring. She had promised herself if it hit the “moderate” category she’d consider counseling. Maybe telehealth. She’s not sure if someone could go stay with her sister while she went to an appointment. Continue reading Caregiving Heroes and Saints
Dementia’s progress isn’t linear nor is it predictable. People living with dementia don’t start forgetting people in the order of “not significant in my life” to “has always been my favorite although I’d never admit it.” People with dementia don’t forget loved ones because they are mad at them. REPEAT THAT TO YOURSELF. Continue reading The Forgetting and the Remembering and the Forgetting
Caregiving is hard. You are not stressed because you need a nightly bubble bath and a yoga class. You are stressed because caregiving is hard. Continue reading Caregiving is Hard Because It’s Hard
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
This is a story about caregiving. And it’s a story about my grandmother, Betty Catherine Terry Vickers Mohesky. She was a caregiver, and she rocked it. Let me acknowledge that loss is undeniably linked to caregiving. My grandpa had multiple chronic illnesses. He had cancer. He had diabetes. He eventually had his leg amputated. For ten or so years, we watched his functionality and independence … Continue reading Why It’s Okay to be a Proud Caregiver: A Story About My Grandma
Mental energy. Why are we not talking more about mental energy in relation to dementia? A few days ago I listened to an insightful and unexpectedly funny panel of individuals living with dementia talk about their experiences. The entire conference was great, but no other speakers could really compete with the panelists. As they sat on a stage in front of a decent-sized audience, they … Continue reading Dementia and Mental Energy: How Do You Choose to Spend Your Limited and Precious Mental Energy?
If it wasn’t a big deal, why was she telling me about it? She said that having to cancel lunch with a friend because her husband (who was living with Alzheimer’s) was having awful anxiety was no big deal. She said that her friend could stop by later. That she wasn’t that thrilled with the restaurant (Olive Garden) her friend picked anyway. That she had … Continue reading Hey Dementia Community: Stop Telling Me Your Challenges Aren’t a Big Deal!
Someone I met recently had a stroke years ago, and doctors are now telling her she has dementia. She lives on her own, and within the walls of her apartment, she feels quite capable. She can cook. She can clean. She takes care of her cat. She can even work her own DVR. But things take her a bit longer. She says she messes up … Continue reading Dementia, Big Stick People, and Little Stick People
Anticipatory grief. I first learned the term when I was in graduate school. I threw it around a lot when I was volunteering for hospice. Now that I work with families impacted with dementia I apply the term frequently. It could be described as the emotional response to the pending death of a loved one–but I know people who have a loved one with dementia … Continue reading Anticipatory Grief and Dementia
This blog post was a struggle to write. It usually takes me about 45 minutes to complete a post. Today I’ve been sitting here for well over two hours. And I am on the second paragraph. You see, it’s the week of finals at the university where I work. It’s stressful for college students, of course. It’s also stressful for professors. My brain is tired. … Continue reading Dementia and the Tired Brain