Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:

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

Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode: Tips for Better Communication in Dementia Care: 3 Caregiving Traps to Avoid with Dr. Natali Edmonds

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...

Elderly Parent Calling Multiple Times a Day? 5 Expert Tips

 

 

Dear Dr. Koepp, 

My 85 year old dad is calling me multiple times a day. It’s interrupting my time at work. Sometimes he needs something. Sometimes, he just wants to check in. He has someone assisting him, but he’s always calling me. Can you address how to handle an elderly parent who is calling me all day long. 

Thank you, 

Theresa 

 

Here are five strategies to try If your older loved one or your aging parent is calling you multiple times a day

 

1. Take the time to understand what's driving this behavior.

It's important to understand what may be prompting this behavior. Is there a new medical illness that's been diagnosed? Is there a worsening of an already established medical condition? Is there a progression of dementia disorder, or fear and anxiety around an existing condition? Are they going through any big changes or anticipating big changes? Like the loss of a loved one or of their home? Have they...

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...

Managing Caregiver Guilt and Shame about Moving Aging Parent to Assisted Living

 

 

 


Have you helped your loved one move to a senior living or assisted living community only to find that in the midst of experiencing relief that your loved one is being cared for and is safe, you also have intense feelings of guilt and shame? 

You're not alone. Many caregivers struggle with guilt and shame after moving older loved ones into a senior living community. Perhaps you feel that you've let your older loved one down, like you're not being a dutiful spouse, daughter, or son. This can lead to emotional distress and discontent. 

To help you navigate the emotionally turbulent waters of caregiver guilt and shame, I've prepared 5 strategies for helping you to move through guilt and shame when helping your older loved one adjust to senior living. 

 

 

5  strategies for moving through guilt and shame when helping your older loved one adjust to senior living

 

1. Be...

Continue Reading...

How to Start a Senior Living Discussion with Aging Parents

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

 

 

 

 


There may come a time when you're faced with the conversation of talking with your aging parents about moving into a senior living or assisted living community. Many people dread this conversation.

 

Even simply starting the conversation can bring up all sorts of worry and feelings of guilt and shame.

 

If you're facing this situation, it can help to prepare. In today's episode, I share:

 

  • 6 Strategies for setting yourself up for success with the senior living discussion
  • Examples of how to start the conversation
  • Tips for managing escalation of emotions during this talk
  • How to go about finding senior housing or assisted living communities
  • The importance of taking care of yourself through it all.

 

 

6 Strategies for setting yourself up for success with the senior living discussion

 

1. Don't wait until there is a crisis

Starting these conversations long before your loved one has a medical, mental...

Continue Reading...

Expert Tips for Finding Senior Living with a Mental Health Condition

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

 

 

 


 

When he was in his late 80s, Candy Cohn's father unintentionally stopped taking medication for a long-standing bipolar disorder and experienced a significant mental health crisis requiring hospitalization and intensive treatment. It was following this episode that Candy knew that she needed to help her older parents find a senior living community that would provide more continuity and medication management and offer opportunities for a better quality of life than they were getting at home. But, where to start?

 

I have witnessed many older adults living with significant mental health conditions, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, at times struggle to find senior living communities.

 

There are some mental health conditions that are expected in assisted living environments, like depression and anxiety, which often occur with dementia and medical conditions. In fact, one in three residents takes a medication for a...

Continue Reading...

Older Adults and Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic: 5 Proven Strategies

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

 

 
 

 


When we think of older adults during COVID, images of older adults living in long-term care communities sheltering in place with hands pressed against windows trying to connect with loved ones circle in our heads.

2020 was a year of incredible hardship and pain for many people and especially for many older adults and their families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults have the greatest risk of requiring hospitalization or dying if they’re diagnosed with COVID-19. This has been one of the most heartbreaking fall outs of the pandemic. 
 

(Images retrieved on 1/5/21 from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html)


We also know that many older families living with dementia or other significant illness during COVID-19 have been hit especially hard with closures of adult day...

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...
1 2 3 4 5
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.