You Are The Expert with The Dementia Nurse

The Dementia Nurse on You Are The Expert

Gail Wetherill, aka, the Dementia Nurse, talks about how “You Are The Expert”.

Do you ever feel like the medical profession has no idea how to handle a person living with Alzheimer’s? Have you had to educate doctors, nurses and every medical professional you encounter?

What’s been your experience after you’ve politely tried to help them help your loved one?  If you’re like me, it hasn’t been a great experience. Navigating our health care, caring for someone with a serious diagnosis and then being treated at best like the patients’ personal driver is enough to make us want to quit dealing with the health care system altogether.

We know we can’t, so what alternatives can we take that won’t make the situation worse? How can we get the care for our loved one while also maintaining a professional relationship with their doctor?

My conversation with Gail Westerhill on this topic will inform and delight you. She will teach you with great wit & wisdom why You Are The Expert (on your loved one).

Health Care Advocacy for Seniors episode

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I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Coping for Caregivers in a Covid-19 World

Covid-19 Health Alert

Covid-19 is causing caregivers to have additional struggles.

Covid-19 has upended our world. As if Alzheimer’s weren’t bad enough, now we have to contend with more uncertainties than ever! I thought it would be helpful to check in with past guests, see how they’re coping and get tips to share.

This bonus episode check-in was with Susan Straley the author of “Alzheimer’s Trippin’ With George”. Her husband is no longer with us but we discussed how she would have handled his needs in this crazy time. Certainly, some of her ideas will be ones you can implement.

Even when this crazy time of sheltering-in-place and social distancing is over, these techniques will still be relevant. Caregivers need as many strategies as possible whether it’s normal day-to-day caring or caring during this Covid-19 crisis.

Useful Episode on Caregiver Stress-Reducing Techniques (they worked!)

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By all means, share this podcast with other caregivers!  You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Food As Medicine? Dawn Renee’s Caregiving Experiences

Food As Medicine

If we are what we eat, can food be used as a medicine?

Can we use food as a medicine?  My guest, Dawn Renee has a compelling story of self-care & recovery. After a debilitating month in bed and a lifetime of chronic illnesses, Dawn believes you can. She has spent the past decade learning from others while assisting them with their daily health issues. Their experiences demonstrate that nutritional support and detoxing the body are crucial to maintaining good health.  

Dawn Renee is currently devoted to the care of a woman with stage 4 ALS. Focused care for someone navigating so many obstacles has provided challenges for learning. As a result, she has gained an intimate understanding of how nutritional support affects us, our health and our cognitive well being.

Suggestions from Dawn (some of these I’ve also found to help my brain sharpness);

Eating eggs help rebuild the brain barrier myelin and nerve support.

Omega-3 fatty acids – also known as healthy fats are important for overall health.

Consider probiotics for improved gut health. There is research showing a “leaky” gut causes all sorts of problems.

Drink lots of water. It won’t “rust your insides” as my Mom used to say. The worst thing that can happen (unless you REALLY overdo it) is you’ll be well acquainted with all the bathrooms near you!

The Mind Diet – A Detailed Guide for Beginners

Tea & Brain Health

This Is Your Brain on Nutrition

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By all means, share this podcast with other caregivers!  You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Caregiver Stress Reduction Techniques

Mindfulness for Stress Reduction

Caregivers need as many stress reduction techniques as possible.

Stress reduction is a critical component of self-care when we caregiving. Personally, I tried to dismiss negative feelings as unhelpful until I talked to my guest Scott Lavitt. Scott is helping his mother care for his Dad who is in the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s.

Scott taught me simple mindfulness techniques that surprised me by how easily they worked. Facing a situation for which I had no control I embraced the anger that I was feeling. By embracing that feeling I became aware of why I felt that way. That awareness gave me some peace.

Additionally, that feeling of peace allowed me to realize that I am doing my best in a really difficult situation. I wish that I could say this awareness and peace made making a tough decision easier, it did not. What I did gain was the self-understanding that I was handling things as well as they could be handled.

Everyone needs to learn how to be kinder to themselves, but it’s especially important for those of us caring for a loved one with memory loss.

Scott Lavitt’s Facebook page, full of great videos

Giving a Caregiver Help

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I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Family Caregiving Blueprint

Circle of people forming a family caregiving circle

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s requires lots of support. Forming a family caregiving blueprint is the first step.

Family caregiving would seem to be a natural outcome of our love for each other. Unfortunately, that is frequently not the case. Caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s is hard enough but going it alone doesn’t work.

65% of caregivers end up hospitalized and 18% of caregivers die before their loved one which is a terrible statistic. Coupled with the stress, heartache and physical demands of caring is the tendency to become isolated.

With this in mind, I offer up a family caregiving blueprint. I spoke to Cindy & Cory (Mom & son) about how their family has approached the needs of several family members across the country.  They formed what they affectionately call “the committee” and have expanded the participation as more of their family require care.

So that you can get started as you listen, some tips;

  1. Don’t expect anyone to do anything.
  2. Allow each person to handle tasks that align with their skills.
  3. Talk about what needs to be done and the best way to make it happen
  4. Remember, this is your family, lead with love.

Thank you to my sponsor Family History Films

I Love Someone with Dementia, So Why Am I Losing My Mind?

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By all means, share this podcast with other caregivers!  You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Bonus Ep: My Family History Film

My Family History Film logo

My Family History Film creates your own personal family history film.

Have you ever watched a family history TV program and thought ‘I wish I could have something like that for my family’? You’re in luck! With My Family History Film, now you have that option.

They are a company that creates personal, broadcast-quality documentaries about your family. These films are fully researched by professional genealogists and historians. They explore your family’s ancestry and origins all over the world!

Caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s, I am painfully aware of our lost history. Because of this loss, being able to watch a high-quality film all about my family is a dream come true. The question for me is what part of the family lore do we start with?

Specifically, I’m interested in learning more about the “Rum Runner” from Moms side of the family. Especially interesting to me is whether or not the stories about diamonds in jars are actually true. Additionally, there are fairly recent stories about a 3 times great grandmother who may have been a native person.

Generally speaking, we all have much family lore to explore. What part of your family tree would you like them to start with?

Thank you to my sponsor Family History Films

What Do You Remember?

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By all means, share this podcast with other caregivers!  You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Visiting With Mom (Jen’s Journey)

Visiting with Mom

Visiting with Mom frequently includes photos and videos to document her journey.

Visiting Mom, trying to connect and give her pleasant times is a bigger challenge than I ever expected. Trying to connect with her and failing, researching better options and coming up short was the impetus for creating this podcast.

Not only did I realize that family caregivers didn’t have time to do such in-depth research, I knew that a podcast would be an easy way to get support. It’s what I looked for and not finding it, I created it myself.

Equally important, I want to dedicate this episode to the two women I met at WerkIt, the podcast festival I attended in October 2019. It was their idea to dedicate an episode to what visits with my Mom are like. At first, I thought they were nuts. Of course, the more I thought about, the more I realized the potential benefits.

For the most part, Mom has been fairly easy, but that doesn’t make visits easy. Finding things to do that work for both of us has been a challenge. Overall, I have had to learn to be in Moms’ reality. That’s easier said than done. I thought I was doing this but just recently I’ve found a better way to do this.

Enjoy this episode. There are actual examples of what our visits are like, the good, the bad and how I’m moving forward now that Mom is giving us more challenges.

Thank you to my sponsor Family History Films

Join Fading Memories On Social Media!

By all means, share this podcast with other caregivers!  You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

Misty Tales Episode

What Do You Remember?

Brain Trauma & Alzheimer’s

Brain trauma & podcasting

Brain trauma is a topic that the host of Nooks & Crannies knows all too well

Brain trauma is a topic that the host of Nooks & Crannies podcast knows all too well. Matt joins Jen in this episode to talk about brain trauma, brain health and a little bit about how podcasts can change the world!

I’ve personally had at least one, probably two concussions. That’s enough to worry me about the possibility that I’ve increased my risk of developing Alzheimer’s. My family history is enough risk. It’s not completely clear if there is an increased risk of cognitive impairment from one or two concussions. That’s still being researched.

My guest, Matt, from the Nooks & Crannies podcast has sustained 20 plus concussions. He’s probably lost count if we’re being honest. At 37 he does have warning signs of brain trauma that could lead to early cognitive impairment. We discuss how he got so many head injuries and how they are currently affecting his life.

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By all means, share this podcast with other caregivers!  You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

More “Brain Stuff” Talk

Two-Lap Books – A Great Way To Connect!

Two-Lap Books – A Great Way To Connect!

Two-Lap Books are Read-Aloud Books for Memory-Challenged Adults,  People with Alzheimer’s disease (and other forms of memory impairment) gradually lose their ability to initiate communication with others. As a result, Lydia designed these uniquely adapted books to “give voice” to them. Using the book’s large, simple text and colorful illustrations we can initiate conversation.  Notably, reading books together can make meaningful connections with our loved ones and help stimulate their minds.  As a result, caregivers will enjoy sharing these books and creating purposeful, interactive activities for engaging people with memory deficits.

Two-Lap Books - The Sunshine on My Face

If your loved one has memory loss and you’re looking for a way to connect with them, Two-lap books are a great solution.

For this intention, this episode is a conversation with the author Lydia Burdick. We discussed these wonderful books and the inspiration behind their creation.  I purchased two of her books and took them on a visit with Mom.

Reading the book together gave us the opportunity to laugh, talk about likes and dislikes and even sing a little.  As a result, our visit was one of the better ones in a long time.

As a result of sharing the books, I made two other residents as happy as Mom. All three ladies enjoyed the beautiful illustrations and relatable scenarios. Each resident has their own level of reading ability and as a result they were able to read on their own. Regardless, reading together gave all three got a tremendous amount of pleasure from the books. I highly recommend these books for anyone dealing with a loved one with memory loss.

I have included a direct link to Lydia’s Amazon page for your convenience.

Join Fading Memories On Social Media!

By all means, share this podcast with other caregivers!  You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!

The Benefit of Reading to Seniors

What’s Going on in Their Minds Ep. 13

Alzheimer’s & Intimacy (Yep, We Went There!)

Older couple engaging in physical intimacy.

Couples living with Alzheimer’s may need to find new ways to show intimacy.

 

Alzheimer’s & intimacy may seem counter-intuitive. It’s important to realize that everyone has a need for companionship and physical intimacy.  Couples living with Alzheimer’s may have to find new ways to show love and affection.

Sometimes as the disease progresses the caregiving spouse has very little desire for intimacy from their spouse. Due to the daily activities involved in caring their normal desires. Granted, the person living with the disease may never lose their need for sex.  With this in mind, couples need to find new ways to show intimacy that works for both.

It is not unusual for men living with Alzheimer’s to misinterpret care for a desire for intimacy. For this reason, paid caregivers need to learn how to lessen this possibility and deal with it properly if it does happen.

All of these scenarios are part of the conversation I had with Betsy Wertzel. Betsy is a caregiver and radio host and was brave enough to be part of the podcast. She told me she was an open book so the topic of Alzheimer’s & Intimacy didn’t scare her off!

Alzheimer’s Trippin’ With George
Join Fading Memories On Social Media!

Be sure to share this podcast with other caregivers!  You can find us on social media at the following links.  Facebook    Instagram    Twitter

We share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!