Because I am who I am and I do what I do, I sometimes pause for a moment at holiday celebrations and observe how most family holidays aren’t exactly dementia-friendly. Lots for prep work and clean up. Lots of people moving around. Lots of simultaneous conversations. Lots of competing noise. Lots of choices. Lots of lots of things. At the risk of being redundant, I … Continue reading Letting Go of Rituals (aka It’s Okay to Not Have an Easter Egg Hunt)
I have gotten to spend time with quite a few family dementia caregivers recently. And I had a revelation today. When they describe caregiving, they use words like anger, sadness, confusion, anxiety, and stress. Sometimes they also use words like joy, love, and connection. However, the word that I hear most frequently is alone. It’s ironic that my revelation is that a lot of people … Continue reading Alone
Two ladies came through the dementia simulation a few weeks ago. They were in their late 60’s or maybe early 70’s, and they arrived together. I thought they might be sisters, but as it turns out they were friends. They were wonderful guests. They asked great questions relating to why people with dementia do what they do. They inquired about how one might deal with … Continue reading But Friendship
I’m about to make a long story short… My dad ended up on a ventilator two weeks ago today. Quick Q and A: Q: Did he have COVID? A: Nope. Q: How long was he ventilated? A: Just a couple days (fortunately). Q: Is he okay now? A: I’m not sure I’d say okay, but he’s back home. I am still pretty concerned about what … Continue reading Life and Ventilators and Caregiving and Work and Storage Closets (aka My Last Two Weeks)
If you build it, they will come. I live in Iowa, so we buy into all that Field of Dreams stuff. Except during Iowa winters I am pretty sure I am not in heaven. People are signing up for times and coming to the Dementia Simulation House. A lot of people have been asking, so here it is—the link to schedule a 45 appointment to … Continue reading If you build it, they will come
A university employee stopped at the dementia simulation house the other day to deliver something. He seemed to have some curiosity as to what this project is all about, and we chatted for a bit. He told me that his dad, who has dementia, doesn’t even try to pay attention to conversations anymore. He looks at the ceiling. He fiddles with the buttons on his … Continue reading Too Much Going On
Some of you contacted me after yesterday’s post to see what we needed at the Dementia Simulation House and suggested I make an Amazon wishlist…so I did: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1CV6QUULHKJDM?ref=cm_sw_em_r_un_un_uOu3s9h8vCpbz&fbclid=IwAR2AaPGBBpY-h9QoqtKknCyJswDc3wSlbIj969MzFZbQwOn_usyPHAd3Th0 Also, if you’d like to make a financial donation (big or small), you can use this link: https://give.uni.edu/campaigns/26483/donations/new?a=5128769 I am completely overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of people who want to support our project. Continue reading One More Thing…
I am excited, grateful, and a little bit stressed. We are starting a dementia simulation house at the University of Northern. Every once in a while, you dream about something, and the reality is better than your dream. For a while, I have mentioned my interest in doing dementia simulation to our Dean (who, by the way, is wonderful). We’ve talked about other spaces–conference rooms, … Continue reading It’s Happening!
I accidentally convinced a woman she has dementia. Let me tell you more. She’s perhaps in her 70’s. Her husband (and 7 other family members) have passed away in the last couple years. She sleeps in the same bedroom where her husband died. He fell between the bed and dresser and never got up. Since his death, she’s had some hallucinations at night. While some … Continue reading Dementia Causes Hallucinations (And So Do Other Things)
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