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)

What You See in Dementialand

This is the fifth of a series of five posts about the senses in Dementialand. Today we focus on sight. An entire book could be written about how dementia changes how an individual sees the world. I want to stress that dementia itself does nothing to impair the eyes. Dementia, however, does make it more difficult for the brain to interpret what the eyes see. It … Continue reading What You See in Dementialand

Whack-A-Mole and Tongues in Dementialand

A friend of mine, who is engaged to be married, once referred to conversations with her future mother-in-law as games of Whack-A-Mole. I remember being a huge Whack-A-Mole fan when I’d visit Chuck E. Cheese as a kid. Little toy moles would pop up in random patterns and I’d have to respond by hitting them with a mallot. My friend considered her future mother-in-law’s questions … Continue reading Whack-A-Mole and Tongues in Dementialand

Toilet Paper in Dementialand (aka Why Christmas Comes Faster Each Year)

As a kid, I thought Christmas would never come. I’d want something–a toy, a musical instrument, a jersey (because that’s all I wore when I was a kid)–and my parents would tell me I could have it for Christmas. Yet Christmas was an eternity away. And by an eternity, I mean about four months. My birthday was the same way. I was five and wanted … Continue reading Toilet Paper in Dementialand (aka Why Christmas Comes Faster Each Year)

History Lessons from Dementialand (Or How I Learned to Love History)

History wasn’t my favorite class in school. In fact, that’s a grand understatement. History was probably my least favorite class in school. (I’m kind of lying. Chemistry was actually my least favorite subject but I don’t often mention this because my dad was a chemical engineer and my apathy toward chemistry repeatedly breaks his heart.) My feelings about chemistry aside, I was not a fan of … Continue reading History Lessons from Dementialand (Or How I Learned to Love History)

The Awesome People I Meet in Dementialand

Sometimes I get on a streak where I write sad posts, and I’ve been on one of those streaks lately. To Dana and Sarah…I’m sorry I made you guys cry at work. I promised myself that today I would write something happier–at least less sad. So here goes… I used to visit a particular nursing home quite frequently. I’d see a couple sitting by the … Continue reading The Awesome People I Meet in Dementialand

The Cubs Always Win in Dementialand

What I’m about to say is even more shocking if you consider I am a St. Louis Native and forever obligated to root for the Cardinals. In fact, one of my vivid memories about the day my Grandma passed away was that we had the Cardinals game on in her hospital room. We knew she was leaving us, but my family didn’t want to miss … Continue reading The Cubs Always Win in Dementialand

Policing Dementialand (aka Thoughts on Dementia-Friendly Communities)

We tend to judge an occupation by its worst members. We meet a few doctors with poor bedside manner, and we think doctors don’t genuinely care about their patients. We have a few arrogant professors in college, so we say all professors are arrogant. We perceive one lawyer as sleazy, so they all are. It’s a cognitive shortcut. It’s easier for our brains to put all people … Continue reading Policing Dementialand (aka Thoughts on Dementia-Friendly Communities)

The Most Difficult Dementialand Post I Have Written to Date (aka What Dementia has in Common with Depression)

This was not the post I intended to publish this morning. In fact, I have a post written on police officers and how they work to help those with dementia…but that has to wait until next week. My heart is somewhere else right now. Wednesday there was a suicide on the college campus where I work as a professor. Her name was Katie, and I didn’t … Continue reading The Most Difficult Dementialand Post I Have Written to Date (aka What Dementia has in Common with Depression)