Looking back to move forward: 2019 goals

Uncategorized Dec 31, 2018

Welcome back Careblazer. Can you believe it’s the end of 2018?

For some of you, 2018 may have been one of the hardest years ever. For others, 2018 may not have been that bad.

Some of you may have had a loved one diagnosed with dementia for the first time. Others may have lost a loved one with dementia.

And others may be in the middle of caring for the loved one with dementia wondering how much longer all this will last.

No matter what your dementia caregiving situation, I’m confident that 2018 has brought you some challenges. That’s part of the package of being a dementia caregiver.

 

Since the new year is a natural time to reflect on the past year and think about the year ahead, I wanted to talk about how to make the most out of the upcoming year. If you'd prefer to watch my video on this topic instead of reading, you can do so here.

As a busy caregiver, it’s easy to let the days pass by without much time for reflection or thought. But taking a...

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How to stop feeling guilty as a dementia caregiver

Uncategorized Dec 24, 2018

Well hello there Careblazer, welcome back!

Today I’m talking about that awful feeling that brings you down and keeps you down- GUILT.

You Careblazers are good at so many things, and unfortunately feeling guilty has got to be at the top of the list. I want to share with you the one question you need to be asking yourself to help you stop feeling so guilty and how you probably have a double standard when it comes to guilt. I hope you find this helpful. If you'd prefer to watch my video on this topic, then you can do so here

 

Why, oh why, do we feel so guilty? ESPECIALLY, when it comes to doing something nice for yourself or taking a much needed break for yourself. The minute you find yourself starting to feel a little bit of relief, it's like- BAM! Guilt starts to creep in.

It’s like something in our minds tells us that if you are taking care of someone then you shouldn’t be taking care of yourself too. On the surface level that sounds completely...

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Traveling with someone who has dementia

Uncategorized Dec 17, 2018

Today I want to talk about traveling with your loved one who has dementia. I have recently spent a lot of time traveling in and out of different airports and as I was sitting in a terminal one day, it dawned on me how stressful this could be for someone with dementia AND for the person traveling with the person with dementia.

I know the holidays are approaching and sometimes that also means more opportunities for travel so I hope this video can help. Whether you are traveling across town or across country I think the 5 tips below can be helpful for you.

You can also learn about these 5 tips by watching my video here

Before I go over the specific tips for traveling with someone who has dementia, I want to take a minute to talk about just how scary and stressful traveling can be for someone with dementia.

In dementia, routine works really well. The more you can get your loved one on a regular routine, the better. When things start to get out of routine, like a trip...

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Survive the holidays as a dementia caregiver

Uncategorized Dec 10, 2018

Today, I want to talk about surviving the holidays as a dementia caregiver. If you prefer to watch my video on this topic, click here.

Around this time of year, it can seem like all the commercials, movies, holiday songs, and social media posts is filled with wonderful family gatherings and events. This can understandably be a difficult time for the dementia careblazer.

The holidays can be stressful while caring for someone with dementia. As many of your memories from years ago start to replay in your mind you may find yourself feeling a bit sad as you realize that those events are a thing of the past. I hope this post  and my 5 suggestions can help you manage the coming weeks with some comfort.

 

Realistic expectations

Holiday traditions of the past may no longer be possible while caring for someone with dementia. Even if the traditions are possible, you want to be careful not to put yourself (and your loved one with dementia) through too many events....

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Dementia Caregiver Anger

caregiver stress Oct 28, 2018

Today I want to talk about a caregiver emotion that isn’t talked about often even though it happens often- caregiver anger.

Do you ever get angry at your loved one for not doing something correctly? What about when they make a big mess? Do you feel that they are doing something on purpose to make your life more difficult? If so, then this post is for you. If you prefer to watch a video on the topic, you can watch me talk about this here.

There are so many emotions involved when being a dementia caregiver. Some of those emotions can be good, but often the emotions are frustrating, depressing, lonesome, and in some cases just plan mad.

 

When you think of everything that is involved in caring for a loved one with dementia, it’s not surprising that anger is a common emotion. You sacrifice time in caring for your loved one. You sacrifice hobbies and friendships because there just doesn’t seem to be the time for you to do those things since all...

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Dementia and Sundowning

behaviors Oct 25, 2018

Welcome back to the place where we talk about everything dementia. 

Today I am talking about Sundowning. A common symptom of dementia that leads to a lot of caregiver stress. If you'd like to watch the video, I did on sundowning, you can watch it here. Otherwise, keep reading. 

Sundowning, or Sundowning Syndrome is not actually a diagnosis. It's a term used to describe a variety of symptoms that commonly occur during the evening for people who have dementia. The medical community does not have one agreed upon definition, but common symptoms include:

  •  increased confusion
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • pacing
  • aggressiveness
  • disorientation 
  • mood swings
  • hallucinations
  • an unusually demanding attitude

It’s called sundowners syndrome or sundowning because these symptoms typically occur in the late afternoon, evening, or at night. This often means your loved one will also have difficulty sleeping and may be an an increased risk for wandering. 

Sundowning can occur in...

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DIFFICULT DEMENTIA CAREGIVER EMOTIONS

caregiver stress Oct 06, 2018

Well hey there Careblazer. I hope you and your loved ones are doing well.

 

Today’s, I am going to talk about how your expectations and society’s expectations about how you are supposed to feel all the time may actually be keeping you down instead of helping you. It’s a little bit of a different viewpoint than I think most people are used to hearing, and I hope that you find it helpful. I did a video on this topic and you can watch it here

 

Before I get into the details,  I want to take a moment to thank all of my amazing subscribers on YT and especially those who who are supporting me on Patreon. You are the reason why I do what I do. 

 

Okay, let’s get started.

 

Do you feel like you are supposed to feel happy most of the time? When you get frustrated, upset, or sad do you feel like something is wrong with you and that you shouldn’t feel that way? I want to take that pressure off of you.

 

It is...

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2 THINGS MAKING YOUR DEMENTIA CAREGIVER STRESS WORSE

caregiver stress Oct 05, 2018

Welcome back, I'm so happy you are here.

 

I am going to talk about a very important topic- dementia caregiver stress. Specifically, I want to focus on how you may be making your caregiving situation worse...without even realizing it.

 

I did a whole video on this topic and if you prefer to watch that instead of read, you can click here to watch now. 

 

This post is to help those of you who:

- have put your life on hold since caring for loved one with dementia

- feel depressed, lonely, frustrated

- haven’t done anything JUST FOR YOU in the recent past because all your time is given to caring for your loved one

 

I’m going to share 2 ways that you are making your caregiver situation worse and what you can do to start shifting the tides to live a life that you feel better about...all while caring for a loved one with dementia.

 

I’m also sharing some exciting about how to work with me further on dementia caregiver stress for those...

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THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL AS A DEMENTIA CAREGIVER

caregiver stress Oct 04, 2018

Well hi there, Careblazer. 

 

In anticipation of my upcoming live care class, this week’s video is all about how to handle the things about dementia that are outside of your control AND the one thing that is in your control.

 

If you prefer to watch the video I did on this topic, you can click right here to watch. 

 

There are sooo many things outside outside of Your control in caring for a loved one with dementia. I talk a lot about how your own behaviors and non-verbal cues impact your loved one with dementia, and I 100% believe your own actions can impact your loved one’s behavior for the better or the worse.

 

I also acknowledge that there are just some days that no matter what you do, things are not going well. Days when no matter how great you feed your loved one, exercise your loved one, take your loved one to the doctor, etc. that things will be out of your control.

 

In situations where your loved one with dementia...

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DOLL THERAPY FOR DEMENTIA

Uncategorized Sep 05, 2018

Well hey there Careblazer. Have you ever heard of doll therapy for dementia? Basically, it's a practice that is becoming more common and it basically involves giving someone with dementia a baby doll to care for. I did a video on it an you can watch it here.

Although there are currently only a few research studies on this topic, studies are promising. Results show that doll therapy can be a way to reduce some of the difficult behavior symptoms of dementia like agitation, aggression, obsessive behaviors, wandering, and negative mood. Despite this information, there are some people who are against this approach. 

In this post, I'm going to talk about:

  • Evidence for doll therapy
  • Pros/Cons are against doll therapy
  • And how to decide whether this is something you want to consider with your loved one.

 

What is doll therapy?

Doll therapy is basically giving someone with dementia, usually someone with moderate to severe dementia a baby doll. It’s...

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