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.
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...
A few weeks ago, I received an email from a listener:
"Hello, Dr. Regina,
"I work in an assisted living facility. As the election approaches, family members of residents on memory care units have asked to have residents vote. Residents on this unit are here because they're unable to make informed decisions and don't have a grasp on reality. Also, the particular resident shows no interest in wanting to vote. It's the family that essentially wants to cast a vote for the individual, which seems unethical to me. I've tried reaching out to professional groups for some guidance to no avail.
Do you have any thoughts regarding this topic?"
Older adults tend to vote more often and more consistently than other age groups. According to a US News Report, in 2018, 64% of adults age 65 and older voted in the November 2018 election, the best turnout of any age group. With this said, 10% of older adults, however, will experience a...
Caregivers often approach me with the question: "my parent had dementia, does that mean I'll get it too?"
It's a scary thing to devote years of your life caring for a loved one with dementia and all the while wonder if you will end up developing dementia, too.
Today on the podcast, our favorite Neuropsychologist, Dr. Vonetta Dotson, is back to talk with us about genetic risk for dementia and reminds us that even if you have an increased risk for developing dementia, there's a lot that you can do to prevent it. Listen all the way through and you’ll learn several easy to use strategies you can start using today to reduce your risk of developing dementia.
To help you navigate the turbulent waters of memory loss and dementia, I created a memory loss guide for you to use. In this guide, you’ll get a checklist of memory loss warning signs, learn more about the benefits of early diagnosis of dementia and...
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...
Older adults have mental health needs just like everyone else. But here’s the thing: Older adults are often left out of the conversation when it comes to mental health and wellness. Together we can change this.
I created the Psychology of Aging Podcast to have conversations about mental health and wellness that include older adults. We talk about common mental health concerns as we age, resources to help older adults live their best lives, and we have fun doing it.