It was another busy day working at the hospital.
My schedule was filled seeing patients with dementia and their family members.
When I called the next family from the waiting room, a woman stood up and started walking toward my office.
She was holding her husband’s arm in her hand and had a concerned look on her face.
I remembered them.
About a month earlier, I had diagnosed her husband with Alzheimer’s disease.
A month later, they were here for a follow-up visit.
They sat down in the only 2 chairs inside my small office.
She let out a huge sigh and then pleaded with me…
“Doc, PLEASE tell my husband he has dementia!”
I could hear the desperation in her voice.
I could see the tiredness in her face.
I wanted to help her.
But helping her meant that I wouldn’t do what she asked.
We already went over the diagnosis together about a month ago when I first tested him...
Medical Alert Devices: What Caregivers Should Know
Hey there, Careblazers. Natali here, and today, I want to dive into a topic that's crucial for caregivers - medical alert devices. Remember those "Help, I've fallen, and I can't get up" commercials? Well, these devices are designed to provide immediate assistance in emergencies. Let's break down the pros and cons.
A medical alert device is typically worn around the neck and can be pressed in case of an emergency. It instantly connects the user to emergency personnel who can assess the situation and dispatch help if needed. It's not just for older adults with dementia; anyone can benefit, including those with special needs.
One of the significant advantages is that it acts as a safety net. It ensures that emergency help is just a button press away, even if the phone is out of reach after a fall or in other emergency situations.
However, here's the catch, especially for individuals with dementia. For a medical alert device to work,...
Are you stuck in a loop where what happened before now decides what's happening and will happen to you?
Lots of folks, including caregivers, face this. Let's talk about a big problem that keeps many of us tied to our past.
This issue isn't picky; it affects Careblazers and anyone who thinks their history holds them back. Even if you don't have a big trauma, you might say, "Nothing ever goes right for me" or "Life is always tough." If you feel this way, keep reading.
I talked to someone who cares for her husband with dementia. She thought her past trauma was why she couldn't feel better. If you've been through trauma, talk to a mental health professional. This post is for people who have processed their trauma, have received professional help, and maybe even continue to receive professional help - AND - want to not let their past have a strong hold over them.
The trap is letting your past control today and tomorrow.
I have a family member who does this. She...
Welcome back, Careblazers! Today, we're excited to introduce you to Sue, who has been on our channel before. In fact, she was one of the very first Careblazers to join us over two years ago when we were just starting out. In this blog post, Sue shares her experiences and insights as she cares for her husband, who is living with dementia. From handling communication challenges to seeking help and support, Sue's journey is a valuable source of inspiration and guidance for fellow caregivers.
Sue is a caregiver who has been on this challenging journey for a while now. She retired a year ago to devote more time to caring for her husband, who is 16 and a half years older than her. This age gap means that Sue is a younger caregiver, a unique perspective in the caregiving world. She acknowledges her good fortune in having the opportunity to retire and care for her husband full-time.
Over the past two years, Sue has witnessed her husband's decline, with communication...
Hello there! Today, we're going to explore a medication commonly found in households. This medication holds specific concerns, particularly for individuals dealing with dementia. It's crucial to grasp the reasons behind why this medication should be approached with caution, unless recommended by a medical expert, a situation that's quite uncommon. Allow me to introduce myself – I'm Natali Edmonds, a board certified geropsychologist. My aim is to provide caregivers like you with access to valuable information without prolonged waits.
Let's kick off by taking a peek inside your medicine cabinet. As you examine the labels of over-the-counter medications you've picked up from drugstores or groceries, be on the lookout for any mention of "diphenhydramine." This is the ingredient that warrants our attention.
Diphenhydramine is present in widely used medications like Benadryl and Tylenol PM. It's also included in products designed for motion sickness and allergies. However, this...
Welcome back, Careblazers! Today, we are delving into a topic that has been making headlines lately – Alzheimer's disease and the role of genetics in determining our risk. With the rise in popularity of at-home genetic testing, many individuals have discovered their genetic predisposition to certain conditions, including Alzheimer's. But what does it all mean? Join me, Natali Edmonds, a board-certified Geropsychologist, as we explore the truth behind Alzheimer's risk and the genes we all carry.
The APoE Gene and Alzheimer's Risk:
One gene that has attracted much attention is the APOE gene, specifically the APOE4 variant. We all possess two copies of the APOE gene, one from each parent. The APOE4 gene has been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, while the APOE3 and APOE2 genes are less connected to the condition.
If you have one copy of the APOE4 gene, your risk of Alzheimer's increases by two to three times. However, having two...
The Search for a Care Facility: What You Need to Know About Placement Agents
Finding the right care facility for a loved one can be a daunting task. With so many options and considerations, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, there's a helpful resource available – placement agents. In this blog, we'll dive into what placement agents are, how they can assist you, and how they get paid. Let's get started!
What is a Placement Agent?
A placement agent is someone who works on your behalf to find a care facility that aligns with your budget and meets the needs and preferences of your loved one. They can assist in finding options for memory care facilities, long-term care facilities, skilled rehab centers, private caregivers for home care, and even group home settings. Essentially, when you're exploring different care levels for your loved one, a placement agent can provide invaluable guidance.
How Can a Placement Agent Help You?
Hey there, Careblazers! Today, I want to share a personal experience highlighting a critical issue in the healthcare system. As someone who has worked in the healthcare field for over 13 years, I recently found myself on the other side as a caregiver for my parents. The experiences I had during this challenging time have prompted me to address an important aspect that healthcare professionals need to keep in mind, and it can also help you, the Careblazer, in your caregiving journey.
Let me set the stage for you. My dad had a severe fall, which landed him in the hospital for a month, including some time in the ICU. From there, he was transferred to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. It was during this transition that I encountered a series of disheartening experiences that shed light on the state of care facilities today.
Upon arriving at the skilled nursing facility, nobody greeted me. The worker at the front desk was busy with her phone, failed to acknowledge my...
Welcome back, Careblazers! I want to talk about a lesser-known but valuable living facility option for older adults, especially those with or without dementia, who require assistance with their daily activities. While many seniors prefer aging at home and receiving care there, it may not always be feasible for everyone. Traditional options like assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and nursing homes are well-known, but another alternative, called "group homes," deserves attention. Let's discuss the pros and cons of group homes to help you make an informed decision for your loved one's care.
Group homes are residential facilities that resemble ordinary homes and are licensed by the state to provide specialized care for their residents. You may find them nestled within residential neighborhoods, blending in with regular houses. These homes cater to older adults who need support with their daily activities but want a more home-like environment.
*The Benefits of Group...
Hey there, Careblazers! Welcome back, today, let's talk about an all to common issue dementia caregivers face. What issue you may ask? Dealing with repeating questions in dementia care. It can be tough, but don't worry—I've got your back! Together, we'll tackle this challenge and make your caregiving journey a little easier.
Understanding Memory in Dementia:
Imagine this: your loved one asks you the same question over and over again, even after you've already answered. It can be frustrating and make you wonder if you're doing something wrong. But here's the key: in dementia, memory loss is a big factor that causes this repetition.
When Memory Plays Tricks:
When your loved one keeps asking the same question, it doesn't mean that what you said didn't work or that you need to come up with something new every time. Their memory is tricking them, making them forget what you just told them. It's important to remember this and not be too hard on yourself.
The Power of...