Grandmas, weddings, and dementia

I feel like this needs some attention because I get a lot of questions about it. Dementia and weddings. Grandma has dementia. Should I take her to her grandson’s wedding? Obviously, lot of people with dementia go to weddings and it’s a non-issue. People living with dementia even get married. However, as dementia progresses things become more complex. It’s a fair question for someone who … Continue reading Grandmas, weddings, and dementia

Dementia, Attachment, and Unrelated Questions

“Can I ask an unrelated question?” I often get this question as an appointment with a college student is wrapping up. It is one of my favorite questions. It’s like that Forrest Gump box of chocolates deal. You never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes students want to know where I get my hair cut in our college town (and I’m flattered for days). … Continue reading Dementia, Attachment, and Unrelated Questions

See Ya Later, Alligator!

Hi friends, I wanted to let you know I’ll be taking my summer break from blogging for the next month or so. In August I’ll be doing a few Zoom presentations, so be looking for some info on that. If you need me, I’ll be teaching summer online courses, prepping for fall classes (whatever that looks like), kayaking, biking, running, and–most importantly after all of … Continue reading See Ya Later, Alligator!

“Solo” Walks (aka I Walk Alone But It’s Fine You’re There)

When I was in my 20’s, I spent a lot of time volunteering for hospice. One of my first hospice patients was a woman in her 60’s who had dementia. Her son lived with her, but he needed a weekly respite. I was told she was active and liked to go for walks. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I volunteered to spent time … Continue reading “Solo” Walks (aka I Walk Alone But It’s Fine You’re There)

Zoom “When Dementia Knocks” Presentations: Tell Me What You Want and I’ll Do My Best!

Hi friends! I want you to know that I appreciate you. Whether you found me recently on social media or starting following me when I started writing this blog in January of 2015 (oh, wow, back when I was in my 30s!), I am flattered that you tune in every Monday morning to see what I have to say…even though sometimes it’s just a ramble … Continue reading Zoom “When Dementia Knocks” Presentations: Tell Me What You Want and I’ll Do My Best!

Truth, Lies, and Dementia (aka How Many Times Can You Tell a Guy His Dog Died?)

Our dog, Karl, died a few years ago. His mind was willing, but his back legs and hips had enough. He lived to the ripe old age of 14…which is a ridiculously long time for an English mastiff to live. We adopted him when he was 6. I don’t know what his life looked like before we met that day at the shelter, but I … Continue reading Truth, Lies, and Dementia (aka How Many Times Can You Tell a Guy His Dog Died?)

Dementia, Love, and Forgetting: Can You Be Loved by Someone Who Has Forgotten You?

Once an older guy told me, “My wife has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t know who I am, but I still love her.” It struck me that he used the word but to connect those two statements–as if it were surprising that he still loved his wife. I didn’t find it surprising, of course. We don’t stop loving people when they forget who we are. And…when someone … Continue reading Dementia, Love, and Forgetting: Can You Be Loved by Someone Who Has Forgotten You?

Why Dementia Means Letting Go (and Why My 2020 Theme is “Let Go”)

So what’s your personal 2020 theme? (Can you answer this question without using a four-letter word that would’ve gotten you in trouble at recess?) You’ve got your personal and family challenges, which likely include dementia since you are reading my blog. You’ve got whatever chaos is happening in your community. Maybe people are arguing about defunding your local police. Perhaps you don’t feel safe on … Continue reading Why Dementia Means Letting Go (and Why My 2020 Theme is “Let Go”)

COVID, Nursing Homes, and Guilt Trips

I was speaking to someone last week when we hit on a subject close to my heart…nursing homes in the midst of COVID-19. Nursing homes have been hit hard, and it’s not close to over. Limitations on visitors, group meals, and activities will continue for some time in many places. Over the last decade, a few of my family members have been in nursing homes. … Continue reading COVID, Nursing Homes, and Guilt Trips