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
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
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
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?
A woman had recently been admitted to hospice and her family wanted to go out of town to attend a wedding. The volunteer coordinator asked if I might be able to stay with her for an evening. Bev (not her real name) was a divorcee in her 70’s who had had vascular dementia. She’d experienced several strokes and had been told she was in heart failure. I … Continue reading Tequila in Dementialand
I pulled up at a nursing home in an impoverished part of Kansas City. It was 2006–before GPS was commonplace. I had printed out Mapquest directions to find this place. It didn’t help that it was raining, almost 11 pm, and that the nursing home was tucked behind an authentic hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant and one of those Payday Loans joints, but I found it. I was … Continue reading Dying in Dementialand