My Mom Marge – (Non Alzheimer’s dementia)

Marge has non Alzheimer's dementia

Pam & Marge

On today’s episode I have a conversation with Pam about her journey with her Mom Marge.  Marge is my Moms “next door neighbor” and started her journey in a different way than my Mom. Pam talks about her Mom, their struggles, what it’s like now.  Marge does not have Alzheimer’s, she has frontal temporal dementia that was caused by a stroke. Her memory had been declining for awhile before the stroke and Pam juggled a lot to keep her Mom safe. Listen in on our conversation and hear Pam’s advice to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation.

Some advice from Pam:

  • Once you know if your loved one needs help, pull the bandaid off and find an Assisted Living community that feels like home and have them make the move. The peace of mind and reduced stress is priceless.
  • Once your loved one is in a care community, take them out as often as practical because there will come a day that you won’t be able to take them out.
  • Get into a support group and learn everything you can about dealing with this disease, it’ll save your sanity if you do.
  • Network with the other residents families, it’ll be a life saver when you do.
  • Everything you’re doing, you’re doing out of love. Telling little “fiblets” is a life saver, also known as “not inviting Mom to our reality”.
  • Utilize the resources of the Alzheimer’s Association, they have a great website and great services to help you along the journey.
  • Connect with them any way you can.

I hope you enjoy hearing another family’s story. I find it extremely helpful to know that I am not alone on this journey.

For more photos, advice and more, go to the Fading Memories Facebook page, Instagram account or Twitter.

Meals On Wheels – The Original Meal Delivery Service

Great food & a little conversation.

Meals on Wheels delivers healthy meals to at risk seniors.

The original and ultimate meal delivery service, Meals on Wheels.  Their mission; support homebound elders to maintain their health and dignity. They serve seniors with chronic health conditions that prevent their preparing nutritious meals for themselves.  Lack of transportation is also an obstacle to providing for themselves.  By receiving meals seniors are helped to live independently in the comfort of their homes.   Meal delivery and good conversation go a long way to supporting our vulnerable senior population.

People who are 65 and older now make up 8.5 percent of people (617 million) worldwide.  Ten million current seniors face the threat of hunger, and millions more live alone in isolation. Doubling that population of seniors by 2050 will put a great strain on all social services. Knowing that consider becoming part of a new generation of Meals on Wheels providers.  Being a provider doesn’t take as long as you may think, I know, I went along for a delivery and was home by lunch!

On this episode

I talk to the Program Manager for Meals on Wheels. She explains how the service works and dispels any confusion.  There is a lot to the program, so listen in.  I learned a few things I never knew about Meals on Wheels and I’m pleased to bring you this episode. My goal with this episode is for you learn all you need to know about this fantastic meal delivery service. Meal delivery is an integral part of a healthy aging-in-place plan.

In my household we use a meal delivery service and we love it.  We started the service to help us try new foods and it’s been a great weekly treat.  Maybe some day we’ll be using Meal on Wheels, the original meal delivery service!

Age In Place Or Assisted Living _-Things to Know

Assisted Living has many benefits...

In an assisted living community there’s always a friend nearby to give you a helping hand.

According to the executive director of my Moms community, 70% of us will need some sort of living assistance at some point in our life. What should you consider when choosing to age-in-place versus an assisted living community?  This conversation should help answer many of the questions you face when deciding where to spend the rest of your senior years.

One of the best things about an assisted living community is the diverse population in terms of life experiences. You can find yourself living among people who have backgrounds varied from your own.  Some residents may have lived through World War II or other major milestones in history.  Another plus is the peace of mind. Described as “hitting the reset button” there are a lot of benefits associated with an assisted living community.

Social Things to Consider for Aging In Place: 
  • Would you rather be alone frequently, or do you want easily available access to companions and social activities? While aging in place can be a solitary experience, a retirement community minimizes solitude. Choose which you’ll be most comfortable with over the long term.
  • If you decide to age in place, will you have access to senior organizations, volunteerism or other activities outside your home? Isolation is a serious health risk for seniors.
  • When you’re no longer comfortable or confident behind the wheel, what will you do about transportation? Lack of easy access to transportation can result in escalating problems, including isolation, missed medical appointments and lagging nutrition. How will you get around after you hang up the keys?


Safety Things To Consider For Aging In Place:
  • Do you have family and friends who can reach your home quickly, any time of day or night, if you have an urgent need that occurs between caregiver visits? Having a ready back–up plan is a necessity, because you never know when you’ll need to fill gaps between caregiver visits.
  • Is your home aging-friendly? If not, can you afford to make aging-friendly modifications? Think about bathroom renovations, zero-step entries, improved lighting and widened doorways. Needed modifications like these can be costly.
  • Will your budget support around-the-clock home care if it becomes necessary? Most older adults believe they’ll never need long-term care, research proves about 70% will need care at some point in their lives. Wwith the average hourly cost for caregivers at about $19 to $20 per hour, serious consideration of the prospect now is sensible.
  • Are your adult children and other loved ones living nearby where they can help with hiring, screening and scheduling caregivers for you in your home?
  • Are you concerned about managing your medications? Professional medication management is commonly offered to residents of assisted living and memory care communities.
Questions to Consider About a Retirement Community:
  • Do you prefer to know help is nearby if you need it? Senior living communities combine independence with security.
  • Would you rather not worry about home maintenance and repairs? 
  • Are you still growing? A senior living community will make it easy to stretch body and mind daily, with convenient access to a host of activities.
  • Could you see yourself leaving at least some of the cooking and cleanup to someone else? Well-balanced meals served restaurant-style in the dining room are a perk most communities offer.
  • Will you need transportation for errands or appointments? Most senior living communities offer transportation services.
  • Do you feel safe in your neighborhood? Do family and friends worry about your safety? Senior living communities offer round-the-clock security staffed by people who’ll know you by name and watch out for you. 
  • Do you ever worry about becoming a burden to your family? 

The move to a senior living community takes care of that. Residents often say their move is a gift to their adult children, who can thereafter be confident that Mom and Dad are safe and happy, with a plan for the what-ifs.

Take your time. Think through the questions. Where you live matters. When it’s time to talk things over with your family, you’ll be ready to make a thoughtful decision – and the right choice for you.


Other helpful links:

It Takes A Village – (Senior Social Program with Kids)

Seniors & kids - a powerful combo!

Senior social program that interact with children have greater benefits than standard social programs.

A senior social program is for seniors who need mild to moderate care and socialization during the day. Participants interact with peers and children through a variety of activities.  Regular activities include group discussions, exercise and mental stimulation.  A caring staff is committed to nurturing each adult spiritually, cognitively, socially emotionally and physically.  At the same time they recognize the uniqueness of each person. Senior social day programs fall between independent senior centers and assisted living care. It is designed to support families who wish to keep their loved ones at home.

Is A Senior Social Program For You?

If you are caring for a loved one, or worse, you are part of the sandwich generation, caring for kids and elders you need to find out if your community has a social day program. If there is one reasonably nearby that combines seniors with children, you should check them out immediately. The benefits to you from programs like this are priceless.

In my hometown we are blessed to have a senior social program that interacts the seniors with preschoolers and school aged children. I learned what an amazingly positive impact this program has on both the children and seniors. The positive impact also extends out to you.  This is why the phrase “it takes a village” kept going through my mind during this interview.

Listen in to learn more about the positive impact a senior social program can have while also learning about the ever increasing option of a program that integrates the two generations. I guarantee that you’ll be searching for a program like this near you before the end of this episode.

Check out our episode on Therapy Dogs – it could change your life too!

Photograph courtesy of: ABC News 7. Follow this link to read their related story