Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

Art & Alzheimer's: Dementia Awareness Through Photography with Gina Martin

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Art & Alzheimer's: Dementia Awareness Through Photography with Gina Martin

The Limiting Belief I Had To Overcome To Be A Dementia Care Expert (Ep #039)

 

When I first started working with dementia more than a decade ago, I didn't know much about dementia.

Prior to this point, I had a lot of experience working with older adults and their families. I loved working with older adults, but I had very little experience working with older adults with dementia and their families.

 

My first thoughts were, "What can I do with folks with dementia? What can I do with families? I don't know." I was at a loss for how to help.

 

Watch this week's episode to discover the most valuable lesson I needed to learn to become a dementia care expert!

 

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And so, I got busy learning everything I could about dementia. I went to conferences, I signed up for webinars, I interviewed experts, I read text books and journal articles. You name it! I devoured it. 

 

And you know what happened? Over time, I actually developed an expertise in caring for families with dementia disorders and now I educate other...

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Why African Americans Have a Greater Risk for Dementia and What We Can Do About It (Ep #037)

 

Dementia is one of the most important, but often overlooked, health care issues related to older African Americans.

 

In fact, research shows that African Americans are two to three times more likely to develop a dementia disorder (compared to European Americans) and at the same time are less likely to be diagnosed early in the disease process and provided with adequate treatment.

 

The burning question is "WHY?!!".

 

Luckily there are experts, like Dr. Vonetta Dotson, Neuro-Psychologist, who can help us understand why this is happening and what we can do about it.

 

In this week's interview, Dr. Dotson shares biological, genetic, and social factors that increase the risk for dementia. She also shares what you can do to ensure that your loved ones are getting the best, most comprehensive health care. AND, she shares tips for keeping your own brain healthy!

 

So, take some time to watch it now!

 

 

 Here’s a sneak peek at what...

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How to Help Older Adults with Depression (Ep #036)

 

Depression is NOT a normal part of aging, but depression IS the most prevalent mental health condition among older adults. Unfortunately, depression in late life often goes undetected and untreated largely due to the false belief that with age comes depression.

This is why it is so important to learn about depression and have tools and resources to help aging parents get treated for depression. In this episode of the Caring for Aging Parents Show, I answer several questions related to older adults and depression, including:

  • What are the rates of depression in older adults?
  • What are the signs of depression in older adults?
  • What to do if your aging parent has depression?
  • How do I find mental health providers for older adults?
  • Is depression in older adults treatable?

   

                       

           

What are...

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How To Challenge Stereotypes About Older Adults (Ep #035)

 

Today, I want to talk about how to challenge our stereotypes about older adults.

 

Ageism is Bias and discrimination based on age and it affects older adults more than any other age group. Check out my episode from last week, where I talk about ageism and how it affects older adults.

 

I want to start by saying that categorizing and stereotyping people and developing bias and prejudice are a normal aspects of the human experience- we all do it, no matter our age, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc - we all do it. It's a common human phenomenon. So, if you find yourself falling into the bias trap about others, it can help to remind yourself that you're human.

 

But even though its common,  it’s not healthy, and it’s actually very harmful. As humans we’re good at creating biases and stereotypes, but as humans we’re also really also good at learning, healing, and growing. 

 

So I am going to challenge us to make...

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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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FAQs about Delirium

blog delirium dementia Jan 17, 2020

 

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I get about delirium

 

What is delirium?

Delirium is an acute medical problem often resulting in changes in cognitive function and mentation (e.g., the way the brain thinks, remembers, processes information, etc). It can create problems in thinking and cause confusion.

For example: An older adult who typically knows where they live and the day of the week may suddenly NOT know! Or, a person with dementia who is usually agreeable to receiving assistance from caregivers like with taking medications or bathing, may suddenly refuse care, and may even become agitated.

Delirium usually comes on very quickly. Like within hours or a few days.

 

 

What's the difference between dementia and delirium?

 
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between dementia and delirium because so many of the symptoms overlap.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of delirium is that the onset of symptoms is...
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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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