4 Things to Know about Dementia Stages

dementia stages Sep 07, 2020

Welcome back Careblazer. Today, I want to share with you some information about dementia stages. Specifically, I’ll be sharing 4 important things to keep in mind whenever you want to find out what stage of dementia your loved one is in. 

If you would rather watch my video on this topic, click here

Next week. I’ll share with you some specific staging models - basically how you might be able to determine what stage your loved one with dementia is in. Today, I want to talk about some common questions and confusion that exist around stages of dementia so that when you watch next week’s video on the different stages, it will make more sense. 

Also, if you haven’t already downloaded your dementia Careblazer survival guide, click here. It’s free and it’s filled with a ton of tips and strategies to help you survive this dementia careblazer journey. 


So the first thing I want you to know is there are many different...

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Simple Approach for Difficult Dementia Behaviors

behaviors Aug 30, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer. 

Today, I want to share with you 2 ways you can approach difficult dementia behavior so that they go away or don’t happen as often. So if your loved one sometimes does things that you find confusing, difficult to manage, and you wish you could get to stop,  this may help. 

If you would rather watch my video on this topic, click here

Before I share these 2 approaches, I want to welcome any new Careblazers. This is the place where we talk about everything about dementia. I’m Natali Edmonds- a board certified geropsycholgoist and I post a new blog and a new YouTube video every Sunday. 

Let’s get started. 

1. Removing the obstacle

The first approach I want to share is the easiest and most preferred whenever you can do it. It can save you and your loved one with dementia a lot of time and energy and whenever it’s possible, I recommend giving this approach a try first. When you're...

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3 steps to help you manage guilt and sadness as a caregiver

Welcome back, Careblazer.

I was recently invited to talk at a support group. It was a virtual support group and apparently they had watched some of my videos so the leader reached out and asked if I would be willing to join them for one of their sessions.  It was an honor getting to meet these amazing Careblazers. Today, I want to share one of the questions a Careblazer asked. He was a Careblazer for his wife who was in a care facility and he shared that he feels so much grief and guilt when he was out living his life, knowing his wife is in the facility. He shared that he sometimes will find himself enjoying a moment with his daughter or grandkids and then he’ll remember how his wife isn’t there and can’t enjoy that same moment. This brings on a wave of sadness, grief, and guilt for him in these moments. His question was something like: "how do you experience joy in life when you know your loved one with dementia can’t also enjoy those moments?"...

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Chair Yoga & Getting Someone with Dementia to be More Receptive to Help: Interview with YogaFlava

self-care yoga Aug 16, 2020

Hey there Careblazer!

I recently did a video interview with a very special lady named Robin Downes.  She is the creator of YogaFlava. In our interview, she talks about chair yoga and how this can help both caregivers and people with dementia. 


Robin is a Careblazer for her father with dementia and a teacher of yoga for the past 25 years. 


The video topic was intended to be on the benefits of yoga and chair yoga for Careblazers and their loved ones with dementia. Robin is the founder of YogaFlava and has seen a lot of benefit from including her father in the practice. 


But what this interview turned into was so much more than talking about yoga. She shared so many gems about how she got her father, a former Sergeant Major (SGM), to be receptive to her help. How she got him to be more active. How she advocated for him in the hospital. And how she makes sure to prioritize her own self-care so that she can show up in the best way...

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4 Common Dementia Caregiver Mistakes

Welcome back, Careblazer. Today I want to talk about the most common mistakes I see Careblazers make and how you can avoid them. This is an important topic because when we do these mistakes, it tends to:

  • Make the person with dementia more upset, sad, and stressed.
  • Increase your stress level because you are now having to deal with their difficult emotions. 
  • Adds tension and strain to your relationship making it more difficult for you to provide care to them in the future.

If you would rather watch my video on this topic, click here


By avoiding these mistakes you will be less stressed, calmer, and you will have a better relationship with your loved one. And, when all those things happen, it is much less likely that your loved one will show difficult dementia behaviors. 


That’s one of the hardest parts of this disease. We can’t just tell our loved ones to do or not do something. We can’t just tell them something to get them to...

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When family & friends stay hurtful things: How NOT to get defensive

Uncategorized Aug 09, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer. 


I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about what to do when other people don’t think your LOWD has any problems. They hear you talk about the challenges, the stress, the strange behaviors, the decline...and then they see your LOWD and your LOWD seems fine. They might even make comments to your that your LOWD doesn’t seem bad at all.


Here’s a question I got from a Careblazer during a live Q & A session I did:


I need some good responses to people saying..." "I just had a wonderful conversation with ___, he is doing so well."  This makes me feel defensive and want to say - and I have on occasion - "Try living with him." Sound familiar? If so, you will want to keep reading. 


If you would rather watch the video on this topic, click here


Before I share some new ways to think about this, make sure you download my FREE Careblazer survival guide here.



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Convincing someone with dementia to go to higher level of care

Uncategorized Jul 26, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer. 


Last week I talked about things to look for when trying to decide on a higher level of care for your loved one with dementia. 


Today, I want to talk about some options for how you can talk to your LOWD about moving to a higher level of care. This is understandably a very sensitive topic that not a lot of older adults look forward to. Your LOWD is probably going to have some anxiety, hesitation and even resistance to the idea of living somewhere like a memory care facility. 


If you would rather watch my video on this topic, click here


I’m going to specifically share with you how Careblazers inside my FB community handled this situation because sometimes the most helpful information comes directly from a Careblazer whose been in your shoes. 


If you haven’t joined the FB online community, It’s a place to give support, receive support and share tips with other Careblazers. The...

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Things to consider when looking for a nursing home or other care facility

Uncategorized Jul 19, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer.  Today I want to share some things you’ll want to think about and consider when trying to choose a care facility for your LOWD. 


If you would rather watch my video on this topic, click here.


When it comes to finding a higher level of care, everyone knows that cost is a big consideration. But today, I want to share with you other factors that are also important to think about so you are well-informed and can have a better understanding of whether the facility is a good fit for you and your LOWD. 


Once you’ve found some options in the price range you are looking for, It’s easy to walk into a facility, notice the fancy chandelier in the entrance, the fireplace in the lobby, the nice furniture in community areas. These things can make you feel like it’s a good, caring place.  But, those things are there to impress you and tells you nothing about the type of care your LOWD will receive. 


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Quality of life in end stage dementia

Uncategorized Jul 12, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer. 


In last week’s blog post I talked about creating your own joy plan for living with dementia. This week I want to talk about how to die with dementia - in a way that you want. This is from the book Dementia Reimagined that I’ve been talking about and I want to share with you Dr. Powell’s insightful thoughts on dying with dignity in a way that you want; not just the way that others want. 


If you would like to watch my video on this topic, click here


Dr. Powell states the type of death most American's don’t want - in an intensive care unit, hooked up to various machines and tubes, being poked and observed by busy workers, sedated, tied down and suffering is actually one of the more common ways American’s die. Most older Americans say they want to die at home. But, 75 percent of people dying in hospitals are over 65 years old. 

In order to avoid this type of death, you have to be...

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How to create a dementia "joy plan"

Uncategorized Jul 06, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer!


Today I want to talk about a book I recently read called Dementia Reimagined. 


Specifically, I want to share some takeaways from a chapter in the book called "Try a little tenderness". It's essentially about how this psychiatrist has planned ahead for facing a future where she may have dementia. She states that somewhere between “ and ½ of Americans will have dementia by the time they are 85". She’s assuming that she’s in the batch that will have it based on her family history, and is planning ahead for that time. 

 If you would like to watch my video on this topic, click here

What might surprise you is that her planning for a future with dementia is centered around joy and how she can increase the chances her life will still have joy in it despite the disease. This isn’t the perspective most people have and I thought it was refreshing, thought-provoking, and I’m encouraging all...

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