Dr. Eshbaugh’s Christmas Letter (aka Give Yourself a Break and Change Your Expectations)

Dear Friends, This is the closest thing to a Christmas letter I will write this year, and it is to those of you who live with dementia and those of you who are caregivers. First of all, it doesn’t matter to me what you celebrate. Hanukkah. (Obviously I don’t celebrate Hanukkah because I looked up how to spell it and it still doesn’t look quite … Continue reading Dr. Eshbaugh’s Christmas Letter (aka Give Yourself a Break and Change Your Expectations)

The Forgetting and the Remembering and the Forgetting

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

“Behavioral Problems” Are Symptoms (AKA Why You Shouldn’t Use the Term “Behavioral Problems”)

I was on a zoom call with our state’s most passionate and educated dementia advocates. And I heard it. Behavioral problems. Some nursing homes don’t let in people with dementia because they are behavioral problems. I cringed, and I pointed out that we should change our language. And then the meeting continued. I wondered if my point had registered. Probably not, but I’ll keep making … Continue reading “Behavioral Problems” Are Symptoms (AKA Why You Shouldn’t Use the Term “Behavioral Problems”)

Why Is My Loved One with Dementia So Tired?

Why is my loved one with dementia so tired? Because dementia is exhausting. We talk about kidney failure. Heart failure. Lung failure. Although it sounds harsh, dementia is brain failure. As the brain becomes more compromised, it takes more and more energy for someone with dementia to complete tasks. I don’t mean tasks like renovating a room, fixing a car, or making a 12 course … Continue reading Why Is My Loved One with Dementia So Tired?

Dementia, Love, and Suitcases

The other day my husband and I had a conversation about women who pack their husbands’ suitcases. To each their own, but my husband agreed that he’d never let me (or anyone else, for that matter) pack his suitcase. He thinks I’d forget something. And I probably would. This conversation reminded me of a story that a man, Don, told me a few years ago. … Continue reading Dementia, Love, and Suitcases

Families, Nursing Homes, and Pandemics: In Your Words

Last week I asked those of you with a loved one in a nursing home during the pandemic to respond to a few questions. And you did (thank you!). I planned to write up a summary or assign meaning to your responses. I thought maybe I’d find some themes as I read through them. Then I realized that this is about you–not about me. I … Continue reading Families, Nursing Homes, and Pandemics: In Your Words