Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

Cancer Caregiver Support: Caregiving & Bereavement Support with Ronni Levine, LMFT

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Cancer Caregiver Support: Caregiving & Bereavement Support with Ronni Levine, LMFT

When Aging Parents Need Help: Family Caregiving Roles & Impacts

 LISTEN TO THE PODCAST 

 
 

When older adults begin to experience physical or mental health changes, like with dementia disorders, it can be difficult to know the steps to take to be helpful.

It can be particularly difficult for family caregivers to know how to balance independence with concerns for safety.

And, to top it off, you may worry that insisting that your loved one see a doctor may rupture your relationship with them, push them away, or undermine their rights and dignity.

In situations like these, it's essential that we have experts to guide us, people like, Dr. Sara Qualls, Clinical Geropsychologist and Kraemer Family Professor of Aging Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS).

 

, Dr. Qualls discusses:

  • Common role transitions in older families
  • Tips for balancing safety and autonomy
  • Strategies for having tough conversations with aging loved ones while preserving dignity and respect
  • Steps to...
Continue Reading...

The 6 Stages of Caregiving Along the Caregiver's Journey

Understanding the stages of caregiving will help you to identify where you’re at in your own caregiver’s journey and the common struggles and goals in each stage.

Knowing that you’re not alone and having tools to manage challenges that may arise helps will help you along the caregiver's journey and reduce stress and feelings of guilt and overwhelm.

 

6 Stages of Family Caregiving 

There is no timeline for these stages along the caregiver’s journey. Some families receive a diagnosis of a terminal medical condition and move through these stages at lightning speed, and other families and illnesses (e.g., dementia disorders) can experience a drawing out of these stages.  

 

The following 6 stages of family caregiving are inspired by Denise Brown's 6 Stages of Caregiving and based upon  Caregiver Family Therapy by Dr. Sara Qualls and my near 20 years of providing family therapy to older families and as lead of a family couples...

Continue Reading...

Mild Cognitive Impairment Vs. Dementia Vs. Alzheimer's and What We Can Do About Them with Dr. Jason Karlawish

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST 

 
 

 


 

With so many questions about the difference between mild cognitive impairment versus dementia versus Alzheimer's Disease, we're glad to have experts like Neurologist, Dr. Jason Karlawish, to provide answers and share tips for staving off dementia when you have mild cognitive impairment.

 

Dr. Karlawish also implores the healthcare system, pharmaceutical companies, and society at large to change the way we practice inclusion of people living with cognitive disorders.

 

Whether you're a professional, a family caregiver, or person living with dementia, or all three, this is an interview you don't want to miss. 

 

In today's interview, Dr. Jason Karlawish, Neurologist and Co-Director of the Penn Memory Center answers some of your burning dementia questions, like: 

  • What is mild cognitive impairment? 
  • Describe the difference between Mild Cognitive Impairment Vs. Dementia Vs....
Continue Reading...

Tips for Better Communication in Dementia Care: 3 Caregiving Traps to Avoid with Dr. Natali Edmonds

 

 

 

When you care for a loved one with dementia, chances are you have years of experience with this person and are used to communicating with them in a particular way. Dementia changes the way a person thinks, processes information, and understands the information you're sharing, so the way that you communicate with your loved one also needs to change in partnership with the changes in the brain. 

 

Learning how to communicate with a person with dementia takes practice. It's like learning a new language. Thankfully there are experts in dementia communication, like Dr. Natali Edmonds,  who can help us develop skills in learning effective dementia communication strategies. 

 

In today's interview, Dr. Natali Edmonds, Geropsychologist and founder of Dementia Careblazers, talks about 3 caregiving communication traps to avoid and shares a very important message to dementia caregivers. 

 

The tips in this...

Continue Reading...

Living with Dementia: Finding Purpose and Hope with Christine Thelker

 

Chrissy Thelker was 55 years old when she had her first stroke and was subsequently diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. 

With more and more people living with dementia, it's imperative that we gain perspective and understanding of the lived experience of people living with dementia and the importance of advocacy, peer support, and building a purpose-filled life living with dementia. 

Today's guest shows us how. 

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn from my interview with Chrissy Thelker:

  • [07:21] Chrissy shares the painful experience of losing her husband to cancer when she was 47 years old, and just 2 weeks after he was diagnosed. 
  • [12:38] Chrissy recalls the moment she had a stroke at work and describes feeling her body "sliding down the wall"- it was after this that she was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia at the age of 55. 
  • [21:26] A lot has changed since Chrissy had been diagnosed and living with dementia. She...
Continue Reading...

Dementia Education for African American Families with Dr. Fayron Epps

 

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

 

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.

 

Today's guest, Dr. Fayron Epps, Nurse Scientist and Assistant Professor at Emory University, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, is focused on changing this by improving access to resources and awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias in African American and faith communities by conducting research and providing education. 

 

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn from my interview with Dr. Fayron Epps

  • [08:24] Dementia education is essential to caring for loved ones with dementia. Dr. Epps describes...
Continue Reading...

Lower Caregiver Stress with Proven Resilience Strategies - with William Haley, PhD

 

 

 

We have a narrative in society that says that caregivers have more depression and stress, spend their caregiving years suffering, only to lead to premature death. Our guest today shares a more balanced and factual narrative about caregivers.

Yes, many caregivers do indeed have increased rates of stress and depression. Research shows, however, that caregivers are remarkably resilient and actually DO NOT have a reduced lifespan as a result of caregiving.

Our guest today, Dr. William Haley, Professor of Aging Studies, reveals how caregiving actually affects caregivers and shares several resilience strategies you can use (starting today) to bolster your resilience and lower your stress. Listen until the end for all the great tips and strategies.

 

Here's a peak inside my interview with Dr. William Haley:

  • [04:02] Dr. Haley shares his story: Where he's from and what inspired him to study aging and caregiving.
  • [8:23]  Learn about a stress and coping model...
Continue Reading...

Dementia Communication Tips with Alzheimer's Poetry Project's Gary Glazner

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

 

 

 


 

In my work with people caring for loved ones with dementia, I often hear 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, I interview Gary Glazner, the founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project. In this interview, Gary generously shares with us strategies facilitating communication and connection with our loved ones with dementia and even shares about his own experience bringing poetry to his mom at the end of her life.

 

 

 Here’s a sneak peek at what...

Continue Reading...

Caregiving During COVID-19: 5 Self-Care Strategies for Caregivers

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

 

 

 

 


 

November is National Caregiver Month, but I really think this entire year should be dedicated to caregivers for all that they have been through during COVID.

 

In today’s episode, I share statistics about the toll of caregiving during COVID and 5 self-care strategies for caregivers during COVID. 


Family caregivers during COVID are more stressed and overwhelmed than ever before and here are some reasons why:

  • Approximately 61% of caregivers are employed while caregiving. Of these caregivers, 60% work 40 or more hours a week and another 15% work 30-39 hours per week. 
  • Caregiving resources during COVID have been limited. Many resources that caregivers rely on like senior centers and adult day programs have been (and remain closed) for several months.
  • Caregivers may not be comfortable with home health aides coming into the home for fear of exposure to COVID, so have cancelled home health aide assistance,...
Continue Reading...

Art & Alzheimers: Dementia Awareness through Visual Storytelling

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

 

 

 


In 2006, Gina Martin's mother, Diane, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease and died 5 years later. In a tragic yet poetic twist of fate, her father died 3 months later on his birthday of a "broken heart".

 

To honor her parents and raise awareness about dementia, Gina created the Bob and Diane Fund, which grants a $5,000 award each November to an artist depicting the dementia journey through the lens of photography.

 

 Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn from my interview with Gina Martin:

  • [05:31] Gina Martin shares about the inspiration for creating the Bob and Diane Fund
  • [11:11] Each November, the Bob and Diane Fund offers a $5,000 grant to a photographer telling a visual story of dementia. Gina describes the selection process and the esteemed group of judges.
  • [18:28] Visual stories of dementia are touching and compelling. Gina shares a little background on each of the past grantees (see...
Continue Reading...
1 2 3 4
Close

Download My Free

COVID-19 Wellness Guide for Older Adults

You'll get tips for staying mentally and physically well during the Coronavirus Pandemic.