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

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

Friendship Inside (and Outside) Dementialand

A wonderful former student of mine now works at a memory care community. A woman with Alzheimer’s, Angela, moved into the facility. To the rest of the world, Angela lost her husband to cancer about ten years ago. In Angela’s world, her husband had past away last week. As you might expect with someone who lost the love of her life last week, she spent a lot … Continue reading Friendship Inside (and Outside) Dementialand

Contradictory Advice in Dementialand

I was recently talking to someone who worked at the Alzheimer’s Association about some of the challenges of working with families and individuals affected by dementia. I mentioned that I feel like I give people contradictory advice. First, I tell them to live in the moment. Second, I tell them to plan for the future. Sometimes I give those two pieces of advice in the … Continue reading Contradictory Advice 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

The Good Life in Dementialand

I met a woman at an event who told me that when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she was given one and only one piece of advice from her doctor. It was that she shouldn’t let anyone put in a feeding tube when she reached the end-stage of the disease. REALLY?!?!? I am generally not a fan of feeding tubes in most case of end-stage Alzheimer’s, but that’s irrelevant. … Continue reading The Good Life 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)