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)

Looking for a Sign in Dementialand (Or When You Just Gotta Make the Call)

After one of my friends excitedly told me she was pregnant, she launched into a long monologue about whether or not it was the right time to have a baby. She explained that she and her husband had been talking for years about when the right time to have a child might be. First, she was in a grad school. Then, he got a promotion … Continue reading Looking for a Sign in Dementialand (Or When You Just Gotta Make the Call)

Aggressive Behavior in Dementialand

My cell phone rings in the morning as I’m blowdrying my hair before work. I look at the number, and I’m not sure who’s calling. I’m tempted to assume it’s a wrong number and not answer. I’m running late. I figure if it’s someone I know, they can leave a voicemail. However, something tells me to answer. It’s a friend of a friend that I’ve … Continue reading Aggressive Behavior in Dementialand

The 2041 Words That Helped Me Understand Dementialand

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a private person, but I’ve struggled at times to put my experiences and perspectives in writing, not knowing what type of response I might receive. I’ve written about a few regrets I have, and I regularly visit my many weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Sometimes I open up a bit and wonder if I shouldn’t have. In the end, I’m usually glad I did. Continue reading The 2041 Words That Helped Me Understand Dementialand

The Prime Time in Dementialand (and Why You Don’t Want to Listen to Me Lecture at 2pm)

When I was a teenager, my mom bought me a nightshirt that said “Perky Morning People Should be Shot” across the front. Looking back, that statement was a bit harsh, but I often threw a fit (aimed at my mother) about having to get up early in the morning. And I wore that nightshirt until I was about 25…until it was virtually transparent. Despite my … Continue reading The Prime Time in Dementialand (and Why You Don’t Want to Listen to Me Lecture at 2pm)

The Miracle and/or Science of Music in Dementialand

After returning from a vacation that involved my husband and me driving halfway across the country (literally–from Iowa to South Carolina) and back again, I am more amazed than ever at the miracle of GPS (aka Global Positioning System). I know GPS is nothing new, but as it becomes more advanced–for instance, telling us when we will encounter traffic–I realize I am increasingly dependent on … Continue reading The Miracle and/or Science of Music in Dementialand

Mean Listening Face in Dementialand (or the Importance of Non-Verbal Communication)

I was diagnosed by my husband as having an affliction called Mean Listening Face about four years ago. A college student that I had in class previously was at our house for pizza. She was telling me about how she had recently applied for a few positions at non-profit agencies. She looked at me and stopped in the middle of a sentence. “Oh, is that not a … Continue reading Mean Listening Face in Dementialand (or the Importance of Non-Verbal Communication)

Conferencing in Dementialand (or What You Learn by Observing Minglers)

I’ve spent the last few days at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, DC. You may have seen some news articles discussing the research that was presented at the conference. Although the conference had some research on psychosocial therapies and technologies to help people with dementia, it’s not surprising that perhaps that biggest headline to come out of the conference pertains to a drug … Continue reading Conferencing in Dementialand (or What You Learn by Observing Minglers)

Welcome to the Real and Non-Perfect Dementialand World (and What to Say if You Want to Make Me Super Angry)

I overheard a bunch of people chatting before a support group meeting. There was a middle-aged guy updating some other family care partners about his wife with dementia. I need to tell you that I am going to change a few details here so this person isn’t as identifiable. It’s pretty typical that I do this, but I’m making a special effort here because I … Continue reading Welcome to the Real and Non-Perfect Dementialand World (and What to Say if You Want to Make Me Super Angry)

Following Up in Dementialand

Several months ago I wrote a blog post about why I dislike the movie, The Notebook. In short, I take issue with how it presents Alzheimer’s. On an unrelated note, I think it promotes stalking as romance. You can read all about it here: https://welcometodementialand.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/my-least-favorite-dementialand-movie/ I had no idea the Facebook messages and emails I would get after this post. Sure, some people agreed with me. Other people sent … Continue reading Following Up in Dementialand