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Support Resources for Caregivers

 

If you’re caring for an older adult and you’ve had to change your routine in the last few weeks with senior centers, doctors' offices, and adult day programs closing due to COVID-19, you might find yourself experiencing more caregiver stress and burnout.

 

Last week, I met with a caregiver who was teleworking from home and whose husband with dementia was unexpectedly home at the same time. Before the Coronavirus Pandemic, his home health aide would come to his home 3 days a week and he would attend an adult day program 5 days a week. These resources would help his wife (the caregiver) to continue to work and have a break from caregiving, so that she wouldn't have to give up her whole life in exchange for caregiving. But, since the Coronavirus Pandemic has started, his adult day program has closed, and his home health aide has been sick. As a result, the caregiver is experiencing lots of stress and overwhelm trying to figure out how to work and caregive...

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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!

 

Read Transcript

 

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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5 Surprising Facts about Dementia Caregivers (Ep #038)

 

I hear from caregivers pretty regularly that"nobody really understands how hard caring for a loved one with dementia is!"

So, I decided to share some facts about dementia caregivers in the hopes that it will provide some understanding and support for the dementia caregiver's journey!

 

 

If you're caring for somebody with dementia, I see you and I value what you're doing. Please, please, please take care of yourself because we know that depression and anxiety and stress and strain will not only affect your, your sense of self and well-being, it will affect your health. And so please find some ways to take care of yourself. This episode will give you some resources for self-care. So, read (or watch) until the end!

 

Read transcript here

 

1. Nearly half of all caregivers provide care for someone with dementia

Nearly half (48%) of all caregivers provide care for somebody living with dementia. So of all the illnesses that older adults experience, all the...

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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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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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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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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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