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What is Ageism? And, How Does it Affect Older Adults? (Ep #034)

 

What is Ageism? 

Ageism is bias and discrimination based on age and it affects older adults more than any other age group.

To start, I want to give you a few examples of what ageism looks like in every day life. 

Start by thinking about older adults in your every day life. And, ask yourself if you've ever had any of these thoughts?

  • She's so cute!
  • He's surprisingly sharp!
  • Isn't it time that she retires!
  • He's doing so well for 85!   
  • Old people can’t change! “old dogs can’t learn new tricks”        
  • Of course he’s depressed, he’s old
  • Of course, she has dementia, she’s old. 

 

Watch and learn!

                                                         
How...

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Creative Tips for Talking With Your Loved One With Dementia (Ep #033)

 

In my work with people caring for loved ones with dementia, I often hear that it can be hard to connect with a loved one as the illness progresses. Comments like: "they've become a stranger to me" or "I don't even recognize them anymore".

Dementia is a devastating illness that often robs families of the opportunity to connect and experience joy.  Because of this, it's essential that we find a way to share connecting moments, enjoy one another, and see a little piece of the person eclipsed by the shadow of this devastating illness.

And, I have just the person to help us with this!

In this week's episode of the Caring for Aging Parents Show, I interview Gary Glazner, the founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. In this interview, Gary generously shares with us four strategies for using poetry to enhance connection with our loved ones with dementia and he even shares about his own experience bringing poetry to his mom at the end of her...

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Life, Love, and Alzheimer's: Interview with Lauren Dykovitz (Ep #032)

 

In this episode of the Caring for Aging Parents Show, I interview Lauren Dykovitz, author of Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer's about:

  • Her journey as a caregiver over the past 10 years
  • The challenges of being 25 when her mom was diagnosed with dementia
  • Tips for young caregivers
  • What she’s learned about her mom and herself since her mom has been diagnosed with dementia
  • Ways to find gratitude in the midst of loss.

 

Watch this episode, now!

 

 

Lauren Dykovitz is a blogger and author. She lives with her husband and two black labs. Her mom, Jerie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 at age 62. Lauren was only 25 years old at the time. Jerie is still living with late-stage Alzheimer's. Lauren writes about her experience on her blog, Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s. She has also been a contributing writer for several other Alzheimer’s blogs and websites. Lauren self-published her first book, ...

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The Beers List: The "Must Have" List When Caring for Older Adults (Ep #031)

 

Do you know if the medications your older loved ones are taking are actually harming them?

You might have a guess, but how do you actually know?!

Thankfully there is a resource, called the Beers List, put out by the American Geriatrics Society, that lists potentially harmful medications for older adults!

The Beers List is a list of prescription and over the counter (OTC) medications put out by the American Geriatrics Society every 3 years. It includes a long list of medications that are potentially inappropriate and harmful for use in older adults.

 

This list was originally designed for clinicians, educators, researchers, healthcare systems, etc, but it is VERY important that YOU, as a caregiver for an aging parent, know about this list as well!

Having this information will help YOU communicate with your loved one's medical providers and help YOUR LOVED ONE live their best life!
 

 

Watch the interview now!

Read the transcript

 

In this bonus...

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Older Adults & Psychiatric Inpatient Units. Interview with Dr. Lisa Frank - Part 3 (Ep #030)

 

Caring for an aging parent who has been hospitalized on a psychiatric inpatient unit is incredibly challenging.

 

Older adults who end up needing psychiatric inpatient care may have a longstanding mental health condition, a new mental health condition, a mental health condition with medical problems, like dementia,  and countless other scenarios.

 

If it happens that your aging  parent needs psychiatric hospitalization, not only are you likely to be scared and confused, so too is your aging parent. It's incredibly upsetting to see our aging parents suffer. When we witness them struggle with mental health concerns and we see that they are suffering not only in their body, but in their psyche and their soul, it is incredibly painful thing to witness.

 

If you find yourself in this situation, I want you to know that you’re not alone. I'm here to help by sharing some information and resources.

 

This is exactly why I am devoting an episode to...

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Hallucinations, Delusions, & Antipsychotic Medications. Interview with Dr. Lisa Frank- Part 2 (Ep #029)

 

One of the most common questions y'all send to me and that I'm also asked frequently in my own practice with families are questions surrounding hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis.

 

So, today, Psychiatrist, Dr. Lisa Frank, helps us understand psychosis, hallucinations, delusions, and antipsychotic medications!

 

Some of you have written to me saying:

 

 

AND

 

 

 

In this interview, Dr. Frank answers these questions and so much more about hallucinations, delusions, and antipsychotic medications in the context of dementia disorders! This is the second of a 3-part interview with Psychiatrist, Dr. Lisa Frank.

 

Watch the interview now!

 

Read transcript here!

 

Lisa Frank, MD is a board certified psychiatrist with special interests in geriatric psychiatry, trauma, and mood disorders. Dr. Frank has practiced in a variety of clinical settings, including inpatient psychiatry units, partial hospitalization programs, and...

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Dementia, Delirium & When to Seek Medical Care. Interview with Dr. Lisa Frank- Part 1 (Ep #028)

 

One of the most complicated situations families that I work with are faced with has to do with older adults with dementia developing a delirium.

 

Is the dementia worsening? Or is it a delirium? It's so hard to tell.

 
In this week’s episode, I am delighted to interview my best friend, Dr. Lisa Frank to talk with us about dementia, delirium, and when to seek medical care.
 
 
This is the first of a 3-part interview with Psychiatrist, Dr. Lisa Frank. 

 

In this interview, Dr. Frank explains the difference between dementia and delirium and talks about the signs that you should be aware of that would indicate that your loved one needs medical care. She also gives an overview of what to expect in the Emergency Room with your loved one with dementia, who may also have delirium. And, we talk about the important role that families play.

 

Watch the interview now!

Read transcript here!

 

Lisa Frank, MD is a board certified...

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The Most Inspiring End of Life Story Ever Told. Interview with MJ Grant (Ep #027)

 

In this second interview with MJ Grant, MJ shares the most intimate details of an end of life conversation she had with her dad, Manley "Mannie" Grant.

 

In this interview, MJ also shares about how it was discovered that her dad was deaf and the information that his family received from professionals about how to communicate with him (unfortunately the guidance Manley's family received was not affirming of him).

 

MJ also describes her dad's painful illness journey and her role as a caregiver. She opens up about her grief process, shares how she knows that she is burning out as a caregiver, AND her favorite self-care strategies.
 

My hope is that by watching this video, you will have the courage to lean in to difficult end of life conversations when you are faced with them.

 

Grab a box of Kleenex! This conversation will leave you moved and inspired!

 

Read transcript here!

 

About MJ Grant

MJ is a remarkable woman! She is a CODA, that's a...

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Dementia Can Be Beautiful with MJ Grant and Her Mom (Ep #026)

In this first of a two-part interview,  I have the incredible honor of interviewing Mary Jane, "MJ", Grant about her experiences with caring for her mom with dementia.

You may remember MJ Grant's video that went viral, called "Dementia Can Be Beautiful". It's had more than 2.2 million views (on Facebook alone!) and shows MJ and her mom sitting silently in a car signing with each other.
 
In the video, MJ's mom, Carmen (Wiggins) Grant, who is deaf and has dementia, doesn't remember that MJ is her daughter. During the conversation, MJ's mom comes to discover MJ and they share a warm embrace. The level of love and connection in this video is a sight to behold!
 
I start my interview with MJ Grant talking about the "Dementia Can Be Beautiful" video, including how and why she made it, and what makes it so special.

 

[Read transcript here!]

 

In this interview, MJ also opens up about her mom's history of depression and anxiety, her mom's dreams of...
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Talking With Aging Parents About Their Military Service (Ep #025)

 

You may be surprised to hear that about half of today’s Veterans are 65 and older.

If you're caring for an aging Veteran, you may have many questions but not know where to start. Once you do get started, you might not know HOW TO ACTUALLY HAVE a conversation with your loved one about their military service.
 
Maybe you're afraid of saying the wrong thing, pushing too hard, or maybe you're afraid that starting this conversation will open pandora's box of memories.
 
I have been working with older Veterans and their families for more than 10 years, so I thought it would be helpful to share these expert tips on talking with aging parents about their military service with you!

 

 [Read the Transcript]

 

Chances are, if you're caring for an aging parent (65 or older) who served in the military, their service was influenced by WW-II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.

 

Offering the opportunity for your aging parents to share about...

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