How to Make Caregiving Decisions

Uncategorized Apr 19, 2020

 

Hey there Careblazer!

Today, I’m going to share with you my favorite tip for handling other people’s opinions about your caregiving decisions AND I’m going to give you my 3 step process for deciding whether or not the person’s opinion you are worried about is even someone’s opinion you should consider. I hope this episode brings you a sense of freedom for all your future caregiving decisions. 

As usual, be sure to download your free Careblazer Survival Guide linked in the description below this video to take your caregiving journey to the next level. I’ve put my favorite strategies for responding to difficult behaviors in this guide and I hope it can help you as it has thousands of other Careblazers. Okay let’s get started. 

As long as you are interacting with other humans, you are going to face human opinions. Some of them can be helpful, some of them, MANY of them, not so much. 

Here are the 3 questions to ask...

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Routine in Dementia

Uncategorized Apr 16, 2020

 

Welcome back, Careblazer!

I hope you’re all hanging in there through this Corona virus. Since this virus has interrupted so many lives, closed down senior centers and adult day health care centers, reduced or totally stopped extra help from coming into the home, I thought we could spend some time talking about how to make a dementia routine at home. This idea came from Dr. Regina Koepp, geropsychologist in Georgia who told me many of the caregiver she sees are struggling with how to get through the days as best as possible without all the usual outside supports. So thank you Dr. Koepp. She also recently started a podcast called the Psychology of Aging

Whether this Corona virus has totally changed your caregiving schedule or whether it’s really made no difference at all, this will be helpful if you spend a large amount of your day with someone with dementia. I’ll go over why a routine in dementia is helpful and how you can make your own daily routine...

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How to Talk on the Phone with Someone with Dementia

Uncategorized Apr 05, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer. I hope you are all hanging in there with the current world circumstance of COVID-19.

In an effort to make my current posts as helpful as possible during this pandemic, I recently asked my Facebook group to submit topics that would be most helpful during this time.

I received several questions on how to handle phone conversations with loved ones who aren’t living in the same home. Maybe they are in a care facility on lock down not allowing visitors or maybe they live on their own and you are not visiting as often as usual.

Specific questions I received included things like “tired of the same phone routine. I call twice a day. I’ve run out of things to talk about. It’s always the same thing.”

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“How do you handle the more frequent phone calls, I want it to be a good conversation with good impact but I don’t know what to say.”

So I’m going to go over a way to think about...

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How to Respond to Demands to Leave the House

Uncategorized Apr 05, 2020

Welcome back Careblazer, 

I had another topic scheduled for today but I decided to pull it and do this one instead. With everything going on with COVID-19 I wanted to make sure the topics over the next week would be the most helpful to get you through this time. 

I posted in my Facebook group and asked you what the most difficult part of being a caregiving during his pandemic was and the most common response I received had something to do with a loved one with dementia not understanding what was going on in the world and insisting on still going and doing all the things they would normally do. 

Specific comments included things like: 

--My loved one doesn’t understand why I can’t visit

--My loved one not understanding why we can’t go out to places

--Having a hard time keeping my loved one inside the house 

--My loved one thinks I’m being mean by not taking him out

--One person said her father insisted he had a doctor’s...

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Why being "selfish" as a dementia caregiver is actually one of the best things you can do

Uncategorized Mar 22, 2020

Welcome back Careblazer.

Today I want to talk about something that gets in the way of many of you doing what you need to stay healthy and happy while caring for your LOWD. 

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of self care as a caregiver and I get a lot of reasons why it seems impossible to do. The one I want to focus on today is that it feels selfish to do things for yourself, to put yourself first when your LO needs so much help. Sometimes it’s to the point that when you do actually do something nice for yourself, it’s hard for you to even enjoy yourself because you start to feel guilty. Today, I want to put this struggle to rest by giving you a new way to think about selfishness. I was listening to a podcast by Brooke Castillo on this subject and it was so good and I feel like it applies to what so many of you talk to me about. 

So if you are struggling with feeling selfish whenever you think about or do something nice for yourself- take a break,...

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Don’t Forget this when Making Caregiving Decisions

Uncategorized Mar 15, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer!

Today I want to talk about something that all of you do as a Careblazer, yet many of you are leaving out one very important factor. I’m talking about making caregiving decisions. There are so many things to consider when making decisions about the care for your loved one, but chances are, you’re leaving out one very important piece that you need to take into consideration when you make these decisions. 

Ready for it? It’s you. 

I’m going to talk about how when trying to make care decisions, you think about your loved one’s thoughts, the cost, the feasibility, the quality, you might even think about what other people might think about your decision. Yet the one thing that many Careblazers don’t think about is what YOU actually want or need. 

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

If you struggle with making decisions because your LOWD doesn’t agree with you or other family...

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Comparing Yourself to Other Caregivers

Uncategorized Mar 09, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer.

Today I want to talk about something that you may be doing that’s causing you a lot of worry and fear. For some of you, it’s even getting in the way of getting the dementia support and information that can help you along your journey. In some cases, it’s even causing you to remove yourself from support groups, it’s stopping you from reading information about the disease, and it may even be stopping you from watching some of these videos on dementia. 

I’m talking about comparison. Or what I’m going to call COMPARE AND DESPAIR. And at the end of this blog I’m going to share the one thing you need to remind yourself over and over again to help you through all the difficult moments now and in the future. 

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

Comparing your caregiving situation to someone else’s situation. Whether you think you are in a more difficult situation than most,...

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Balancing Your Life as a Dementia Caregiver

Uncategorized Mar 01, 2020

 

Welcome back, Careblazer!

I’m so excited for today’s topic because I truly believe the concept I’m going to share with you today can really turn not only your caregiving situation around, but also your life around. If you are like many of the Careblazers I talk to, then you are probably stressed, overwhelmed, tired and feel like you have no time or energy or ability to do things for yourself that you want to do. 

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

If you take a look back at your life over the past year or so since you’ve been caregiving what do you notice? Do you notice that your health and relationships have improved over the recent years, or do you feel like these areas have gotten worse since becoming a caregiver? Most of the people I talk to would say that things have worsened- usually things like they’ve gained weight, eating unhealthy, no friends, etc. 

Before I share this, I want to encourage any...

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Alzheimer's Disease vs Dementia

Uncategorized Feb 23, 2020

 

Welcome back Careblazer! Today I’m answering one of the most common questions and one of the most misunderstood pieces of information by caregivers. That is, what’s the difference between dementia and Alzheimer's. 

Before I get into that, I want to welcome any new Careblazers. I’m happy you’ve found us. Be sure to download your Careblazer Survival Guide here. It’s completely free. Don't forget, if you would prefer you can watch my videos instead! You can find today's video here

Alright, so let’s answer this question. 

Dementia is not technically a disease. It’s a syndrome- a word that it used to describe a group of symptoms causing thinking problems. I like to compare the word dementia to the way the word cancer is used. When someone has cancer, it tells you they are sick, but it doesn’t tell you specifically what type of sickness, what’s causing the sickness. 

The same is true about dementia. When...

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Should you get Genetic Testing for Alzheimer's Disease

Uncategorized Feb 09, 2020

Welcome back, Careblazer!

Today I want to talk about your genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease and whether or not you should get tested. You may be like some of the Careblazers I talk to and are concerned about your personal risk of getting the disease. Some of you may even have been encouraged or discouraged from getting tested by your doctor. I hope this video can help you in understanding the different genes that place you at risk for Alzheimer’s and things to consider when it comes to genetic testing. 

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

 

Last week I shared the 3 main causes of Alzheimer’s disease; genetic predisposition was one of those causes. There are certain genes that make you more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. The Mayo clinic has a really nice write up on the different genes that place you at risk. The link to that article is here, but I’m going to summarize a lot of that information here. 

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