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)

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

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)

Friends Who Make Like Trees in Dementialand

In one of my college courses, I often found myself sitting directly behind an African-American woman who wore her hair in cornrows. I was fascinated by her cornrows and found them gorgeous. As a white girl who couldn’t even braid, I was amazed at how tiny and detailed the braids were, and one day I decided to tell her that. I started with something like … Continue reading Friends Who Make Like Trees in Dementialand