Saying No and Leaving Early in Dementialand (aka I Wish You the Best Possible Holidays)

You do not have to buy a present for every single person you’ve called a friend since middle school. If you don’t have the time or energy to send out holiday cards, then don’t do it. Maybe Midnight mass just isn’t in the cards this year. No one ever died from only having one choice of pie at a holiday dinner (unless it’s pumpkin pie, which is disgusting since pumpkin is a decorative item and not a real food–just an opinion).

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.

When You Are Accused of Being a Diva in Dementialand

You see, I’m not concerned about them. I’m concerned about you. They may never understand your diagnosis. And I don’t want their ignorance to negatively impact your quality of life. You’ve got enough challenges to navigate. It is not your job to explain your symptoms to them. You have nothing to prove to them. You and your care partner must make choices in your own best interest. If they don’t get it, then they don’t get it. If they call you a diva behind your back (or even to your face), let them. You have limited time and energy. Do not spend it explaining yourself to them.

Before and After in Dementialand (Or Why I Watch TLC and HGTV)

I was talking to some friends a few weeks back, and the TV show¬†My 600-Pound Life on TLC came up in conversation. It’s a reality show about super-obese individuals who get weight loss surgery and attempt to change their lives for the better. For some reason, I was hesitant to admit to my friends that […]

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: http://qctimes.com/news/local/caregiver-conference-attracts-its-biggest-crowd-ever/article_ee4294a2-6fb4-5e3e-ba81-64b7666b8288.html (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 […]