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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 Most Inspiring End of Life Story Ever Told. Interview with MJ Grant- Part 2 (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 is NOT a Normal Part of Aging! (Ep #024)


You’ve heard people say “she’s doing great! She’s old, but she’s all there!” or “he’s 90 and still so sharp!”


These statements about older adults make the assumption that with aging comes serious cognitive problems, like dementia! But, these ideas are actually not supported by science and in fact, are a myth and a direct result of ageism, which includes bias and stereotypes based on age, and affects older adults more than any other group. 


In today’s episode, I want to share an important message that DEMENTIA IS NOT A NORMAL PART OF AGING!


 [Read transcript here!]


There is a big myth out there that with age comes dementia. And while, with age the risk for dementia does in fact increase, it’s important to know that Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging!! 


What is dementia?!

Dementia is a general term that we use to describe a certain type of brain condition...

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Why Is Moving Aging Parents In With You So Complicated? (Ep #022)

The idea of moving your aging parents in with you is really complicated.  If you're facing this possibility AND you're in a relationship, this can up the ante of complications.


A few weeks ago, I was featured in the Chicago Tribune in an article that had to do with how to go about making the decision to move your aging parents in with you! So, I decided to create a 3-part series on moving aging parents in with you!


The transition of moving aging parents in with you is not only practically challenging, it's emotionally REALLY COMPLICATED!! So, I thought it would be helpful to create an episode answering the question, "Why Is Moving Aging Parents in With You So Complicated?"



[ Read Transcript Here! ]


To answer the question, Why Is Moving Aging Parents in With You So Complicated? I have to discuss three complexities that you and your partner will indeed experience as you approach moving aging parents (or in laws) in with you!



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Is My Aging Parent Safe To Drive? 10 Driving Warning Signs! (Ep #015)

I’ve been talking a lot about driving and how older adults are by and large good drivers. I've also shared how to keep older adults driving safely for as long as possible.


Even with this said, there may come a time that you’re concerned about your parent’s driving. You might catch yourself wondering,

“My parent just made a major driving error.

Is this normal? Or something I should be concerned about?” 


In this episode, I share warning signs, or red flags to consider, to let you know that you may want to start the conversation with your parent about changing their driving or stopping driving all together.



Every day, I get questions from physicians, social workers, nurses, friends, and so many others about older adults and driving. So, I decided to create a series on driving in the hopes that it will help you to navigate a very difficult topic for many families.


So here are warning signs...

Or red flags to...

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How To Find Senior Living Options! A Step By Step Guide (Ep #010)

This month has been all about senior housing!!!
A couple of weeks ago, I described the different living options for older adults (link here!). I answered the question, "WHAT are the different housing options for older adults, anyway?!"
Last week, I reviewed WHY it's so important to know the different types of living options (read it here!).
In this blog and video, I give you a tutorial on HOW to go about finding living options.
I figured, it's one thing to tell you that you need to know the living options, it's quite another to help you figure out how to go about finding them!
As we get started, I want you to know that I am not affiliated with any of the resources I am about to list. My goal is to give you options and methods to help ease the process of caring for your aging parents. With this in mind,  I'll share pros and cons for each method I list.
For this blog you will really want to watch the video!...
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Why You Should Know Living Options For Older Adults! (Ep #009)


Last week, I listed the various types of living environments for older adults, this week, I wanted to share exactly why you should know living options for your aging parents.


Why is knowing the different living options for older adults so important?

  1. You need to know what options are available as your parents' care needs change.
  2. Knowing options will help you to identify the best fit and feel for your parents’ care needs
  3. Being familiar with options before you need them will help to increase your comfort in conversations with your parents about their living options. (The more comfort you have, the healthier the conversation is likelier to be!)


Here are are...


7 (Additional) Reasons Why It’s Important to Know The Different Living Options For Older Adults!


Watch it here, read it below, or do both! 



7 Reasons Why It’s Important To Know

The Different Living Options For Older Adults!


1. Helps you to prepare...

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What Are The Different Living Environments For Older Adults? (Ep #008)


Did you know that most older adults DO NOT live in Nursing Homes?


That's right!

In 2010, only 4.5% of older adults were living in nursing homes. But somehow there's a misperception that most older adults live in nursing homes.

So, if they don't live in Nursing Homes, where do where DO older adults live?

The vast majority of older adults (93.5%) live in.... (drum roll).... the community!

Because there are so many misperceptions about where older adults live, I thought I would take this opportunity to describe the different environments that older adults live in!


Watch it here!



So, why is knowing the different living options for older adults so important?

  1. You need to know what options are available as your parents' care needs change.
  2. Knowing options will help you to identify the best fit for your parents’ care needs
  3. Being familiar with options before you need them will help to increase your comfort in conversations with your parents about...
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Which Legal Documents Do I Need to Help My Aging Parents? (Ep #007)

caregiving documents Jul 03, 2019


Taking the time to prepare and organize documents when it comes to caring for your aging parents in the short run will set you up for smoother transitions in the long run!


Since there are so many more legal, insurance, and financial documents than the ones I included in the video, I created a comprehensive Essential Documents Checklist  to accompany this blog. It's filled with documents that you'll want to gather to help you manage your parents' care, including:

  • legal documents
  • insurance documents
  • financial documents
  • professional contacts

You can download it here!


You'll want to gather these documents over time (but don't wait too long). Starting this process as soon as possible is ideal. This way, you and your aging parents will have a better chance of working together as a team.


And, speaking of teamwork!


I recommend giving a copy of this checklist to your aging parents and asking them to:

1. Gather documents and store them together...

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