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

Why Dementialand Needs an Orientation

There’s a lot people don’t tell you about dementia. The doctor says your loved one has dementia. Maybe it’s Alzheimer’s. Maybe it’s Vascular Dementia, Lewy-Body, or Frontotemporal Dementia. The doctor only has a limited amount of time because that’s how our medical system works. You go home. No one teaches you how to live with dementia. No one tells you what challenges might lie ahead. … Continue reading Why Dementialand Needs an Orientation

But When Are You Supposed to Grieve in Dementialand?

I gave a presentation for dementia family caregivers at a memory care community last fall. A middle-aged woman in the front row did not seem impressed with me at all. She almost scowled at me when we did make eye contact, but for most of my presentation she stared at the wall above my head. I wondered if I had said something to offend her. … Continue reading But When Are You Supposed to Grieve in Dementialand?

Picking Battles in Dementialand

I don’t mean to criticize dementia caregivers. Caring for someone with dementia can be challenging and draining. But I talk to a lot of caregivers who create problems where I don’t see any. Here’s an example. A woman approached me after a presentation I gave in the Des Moines area. She was concerned about her mom, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and recently moved in with … Continue reading Picking Battles in Dementialand

Shattered iPods in Dementialand

The other day I was getting on the treadmill when I dropped my iPod. It landed precisely on its screen. And, yep, the screen shattered. It still works. Except if I want to adjust the volume. I’m still deciding how important that is. My husband, Bill, calls me the Osama bin Laden of electronics. It’s fair (although he recently left a FitBit out in the … Continue reading Shattered iPods in Dementialand