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)

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)

Critical Nitwits in Dementialand

I was speaking at a support group when an older woman told me that her husband, who had Alzheimer’s, needed 24/7 care. She said she was able to be home most of the time, but she was continuing to work about ten hours a week at a liquor store. She explained that her job paid little more than minimum wage. She paid more for her … Continue reading Critical Nitwits in Dementialand

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)

Praying for the End in Dementialand

I was 23 when my grandpa passed away. He had a lot of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, and he’d recently had a leg amputated. The last time I saw him in person, he kept calling the guy I was dating at the time “Steve” (although his name was not¬†Steve) and he was very grateful to “Steve” for helping him figure out the remote control … Continue reading Praying for the End in Dementialand

Habits of Sane Caregivers in Dementialand

Sometimes I write for people with dementia. Sometimes I write for people who have no experience in Dementialand. But today…today I am writing for dementia caregivers. And, really, for all caregivers. If you are a caregiver, things can get pretty rough. I can show you research studies on the rates of clinical depression among caregivers. Spoiler alert–they’re astronomical. (They’re high among caregivers and higher among … Continue reading Habits of Sane Caregivers in Dementialand

Passion in Dementialand (A Post About What Gets Us Excited)

A little passion goes a long way. I’m not talking about relationships here. I’m talking about life. No one has passion for everything¬†they do. We all have to do things that we don’t like doing. That’s part of living in the real world. But we gotta have passion for something or we’re sunk. My passion is dementia. I don’t like dementia itself. In fact, I … Continue reading Passion in Dementialand (A Post About What Gets Us Excited)

Choices in Dementialand (aka Confessions of a Spoiled Dinner Brat)

At any given time, there are several blog posts in my “drafts” that I haven’t published. Sometimes they aren’t published because I think they are poorly-written and need some polishing. Once in a while I hold something back because I haven’t quite found the right words to explain what I want to explain. And then there are a few that I haven’t published because they … Continue reading Choices in Dementialand (aka Confessions of a Spoiled Dinner Brat)

The B Word in Dementialand

Burden. It means hardship, mental weight, or strain. It’s a word caregivers at dementia support groups dance around awkwardly. Caregivers vent. They talk about their lack of privacy or their dearth of support. They discuss their frustrations and challenges. They say they have no time to care for their own health or spend with friends. Every once in while, someone cries. But then it usually … Continue reading The B Word in Dementialand