The NEW Dementia Resource You Need Now
Imagine having instant access to dementia information, resources, and answers to common questions from top experts across the country, all for free. I sat down with Dr. Joshua Lang, one of the founding members of what could be the most significant dementia resource to date. Let's dive into the conversation and discover the revolutionary world of Roon.
Unveiling Roon: A Beacon of Hope for Caregivers
Dr. Joshua Lang, a cardiologist based in Boston at Brigham and Women's Hospital, shares the backstory of Roon's inception. Inspired by personal experiences, his sister had ALS, and his dad has dementia. Dealing with their struggles, Josh thought, "What if we knew more earlier?"
Driven by this question, he joined forces with like-minded individuals. They saw how tech changed our lives – from ordering groceries to getting pizza at home. However, in 2023, finding reliable healthcare information...
HELP! Dementia Diagnosis
Hey, Careblazers! Ever found yourself in a situation where you suspect your loved one has dementia, but the doctor insists otherwise? Frustrating, right? Well, buckle up, because today, I'm diving into a scenario shared by a Care Course member that sheds light on a lesser-known reason behind this perplexing situation.
Why the Discrepancy?
Recently, a Care Course member reached out, expressing her frustration. She knew something wasn't right with her husband, evident through his daily cognitive struggles. However, the doctor maintained that he didn't meet the criteria for dementia. Let's uncover the mystery.
Understanding Dementia Criteria:
To make this clearer, let's look at the guidelines in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This manual uses criteria for Major Neurocognitive Disorder, often checked in neuropsychological tests. People commonly think dementia is just about memory problems, but it actually...
Are You Accidentally Harming Your Loved One With Dementia?
Hey Careblazers, Today we're diving into a topic that hits close to home – those well-intentioned actions that might unintentionally stress out our loved ones with dementia. I recently had a Careblazer share a story that got me thinking, and I want to chat about it with you. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's dig in.
Alright, so picture this: you've got a routine with your loved one – a tradition that brings them joy every week. Now, what if I told you that continuing this tradition might not be the best idea? I know, sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. I had a Care Course member who, out of sheer goodness, continued taking her mom to their weekly lunch spot after placing her in a care facility.
Here's the twist – her mom wasn't vibing with it. Anxiety, distress, the whole package. It got me thinking about the gap between what we think our loved ones want and what they...
The Power of Asking for Help: A Guide for Dementia Caregivers
Hey there, Careblazers!
I recently came across some invaluable advice that I believe can truly make a difference in your caregiving journey. If you're a dementia caregiver, you know just how challenging it can be to navigate this path alone. That's why I'm here to share some simple steps that can help you get the support you need.
First things first, let's address the elephant in the room - asking for help. I get it, it can feel like a daunting task, but trust me, it's not as hard as it seems. All it takes is opening your mouth and voicing your needs. If speaking isn't an option, don't worry, you can write it down. It's that simple.
So, why do we find asking for help so difficult? It's all in our heads. We convince ourselves that we should handle everything on our own. We worry about rejection or recall past experiences where promises of help fell through. But here's the thing, those thoughts are what make it hard, not...
Careblazers, I recently had the privilege of interviewing Mac McDermot, a senior associate at the Milken Institute. Mac is deeply passionate about public health and has been actively involved in the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care. In our conversation, we discussed the crucial role of dementia care navigators and the groundbreaking GUIDE model, aimed at revolutionizing dementia care. Additionally, we explored the importance of destigmatizing dementia and championing caregivers. In this blog post, I'll delve into the key takeaways from our conversation, shedding light on the invaluable work being done to support dementia caregivers and their loved ones.
Meet Mac McDermot
Mac McDermot is a dedicated professional based in Washington DC, with a background in managed care. He spent two and a half years at Anthem, gaining extensive knowledge of population health trends among Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Mac's passion for public health led him to pursue a master's degree, and he...
Welcome back, Careblazer! In today's post, we're going to dive into five often-overlooked signs of dementia that deserve more attention. I'll be considering this Part One, but if you find it helpful and want more, just let me know after watching. When it comes to dementia, the stereotypical image of memory loss and confusion only applies to the later stages. In the early and mild stages, things can look quite different. So, let's explore these five surprising symptoms that could indicate dementia, while keeping in mind that they can also be attributed to various other factors.
One unexpected sign of dementia is a reduced display of facial expressions, also known as "lack of affect." Unlike typical reactions to exciting or pleasant events, individuals with dementia may not show the expected emotions. It's not about facial movement but rather the absence of emotion behind their words. Recognizing this can be challenging for family members who may be trying to...
Hey there, Careblazer! Dr. Natali Edmonds here, and today I want to talk about something really important... Are you tired of hearing about "self-care" and feeling like it's just not practical in your busy life as a dementia caregiver? I get it, and I'm right there with you. Stick around because I've got something better to share with you.
You know, I often hear from folks who struggle with the idea of self-care. They worry it's selfish or feel guilty even thinking about it. I get it; I really do. But here's the thing, self-care, as it's commonly understood, can sometimes come with a lot of baggage.
I used to be all about self-care, but let me tell you, it came with a load of guilt and grief. The moment I tried to focus on myself, it felt like I was somehow letting down the person I was caring for. Can you relate? I bet you can.
Now, I've swapped out the term "self-care" for something much more powerful - Life Care. I'd like to propose a shift in perspective....
Hey there, Careblazers!
I recently had the pleasure of working with one of the kindest men I've ever met. He's caring for his wife who has dementia, and she's currently in a memory care facility. All he wanted was to enjoy a game of golf, something he truly loved. But every time he mentioned it to his wife, it would upset her.
But guess what? In just one meeting, we found a solution that turned things around completely! And today, I'm excited to share this heartwarming story with you, because if there's something you want to do, but it upsets your loved one, there's hope for a solution.
Let me tell you all about it!
So, here's the scoop: this gentleman and I were chatting in one of our regular Zoom sessions (yes, we have those inside my care course!), and he opened up about how much he wanted to go golfing. But every time he brought it up, it upset his wife. That's when I knew we needed to find a way to make both of them happy.
Now, one of the easiest things you can do is identify...
Hey there, Careblazers!
I recently had an eye-opening moment while caring for my loved one, who experiences incontinence. It led me to a valuable lesson I want to share with you all. In the world of caregiving, we often come across a flood of advice from professionals and well-meaning individuals online. It's easy to get lost in the sea of opinions, but I realized something crucial: the most important source of information is right in front of you.
We all know that our choice of words can significantly impact our interactions with those living with dementia. Simple changes like calling medication "vitamins" or a nutritional supplement a "smoothie" or "milkshake" can make a world of difference. Similarly, using terms like "adult briefs" instead of "diapers" is commonly advised. And while this advice generally holds true, my experience showed me that sometimes, there's an exception.
My loved one always referred to his adult briefs as "diapers." At first, I hesitated, worried that...
Hey there, Careblazers! It's Natali Edmonds, your friendly geropsychologist, here to share some game-changing insights for your caregiving journey. Today, I want to address something that a fellow Careblazer recently opened up about: not liking the person they were becoming while caregiving for their loved one with dementia.
It's important to remember that being a caregiver comes with its fair share of challenges, and it's perfectly normal to feel frustrated, lose patience, and have tough moments. We're all human, after all. But if you're finding yourself in a position where you're truly unhappy with how you're showing up, I've got three simple steps that can help turn things around.
Step 1: Imagine Your Best Caregiver Self
Think of it like this: imagine a camera crew following you around, recording everything. Then, they show it on a big screen for you to watch. Would you like what you see? Focus on yourself, not the person you're taking care of. How would you want to respond...