Witnessing memory problems in your older loved one can be really scary. You might not know what's causing the memory loss and fear the worst case scenario. You may think, if it is dementia, there’s nothing I can do about it, right? WRONG!
On the other hand, you might notice signs of memory loss in your loved one and brush it off thinking “everyone experiences significant memory loss as they age, right?” WRONG!
I've seen many individuals and families put off getting an evaluation to identify what’s causing memory loss for the reasons above and so many other reasons as well. But putting off an evaluation to determine what is causing memory loss can be more harmful than helpful.
In this article, I set the record straight about the benefits to early detection of dementia disorders. There's actually a lot that we can do to make your life and your loved one’s life with dementia easier- early detection is key.
Witnessing memory problems in your loved one can be really scary. You may wonder what's causing the memory problems and you might find yourself fearing the worst.
Over the past 17 years working with older adults and their families, I've seen many individuals and families put off getting an evaluation when there are memory concerns for three common reasons:
You might see memory problems and think, "well, my loved one is aging, it's normal to have memory problems." (Hear me when I say that there are some minor changes that happen in the brain with age, but significant memory loss and dementia are NOT normal aspects of aging.)
There is a lot of uncertainty, fear, and grief that happens when we're diagnosed with a serious, chronic, and terminal illness, which dementia is. As a result, you may want to avoid that pain by NOT pursuing an evaluation for a dementia diagnosis.
Last week, I talked about the 10 "must know" memory loss warning signs. If you missed that episode, listen to this one, then go back and watch that one. Today I'm going to share the 5 steps to take if you're worried that your loved one has memory loss.
Memory loss and memory problems that get in the way of daily life are NOT a normal part of aging. So, please take your concerns seriously by learning more about the 10 must know memory loss warning signs and which steps to take when you're concerned.
It's normal for an older adult to forget where they put their keys, look all over their glasses then realize they're wearing them or have trouble remembering someone's name. But there comes a time when memory loss can be really scary and concerning.
In today's episode of the Psychology of Aging Podcast, I share 10 Memory Loss Warning Signs to let you know that you might want to start the conversation with your loved one about memory loss and make an appointment with their doctor for further evaluation.
Let me start by saying that there are common changes in the brain that come with age and growing older. And then there are changes with the brain that are not common and are more concerning.
I'll discuss the difference between normal changes in the brain that happen with age versus when to be concerned about memory loss. I'll also review the 10 memory loss warning signs to be looking out for with the older adults in...
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!
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...
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!
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!
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...
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'sabout:
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, ...
The Psychology of Aging Podcast answers common questions about aging, like: what does a normal aging process look like? Why are family relationships in older adulthood so complicated? Do older adults still have sex? Why is driving such a big deal to older adults?
My hope is that this podcast will help you manage complex situations that come with aging and promote health and well-being for older adults and their families.
So, If you’re an older adult or caring for one, you're in the right place. Let's get started!