Memory Feed

Have you been accused of stealing from a loved one? The first time it happens many caregivers find themselves choking back tears. They try a logical approach although they’ve long realized that logic is not effective when communicating with a person living with dementia. But to be accused of stealing your dad’s hearing aid? Your mom’s sweater? This is the parent for whom you gave up so much in order to provide care. Now they think you are stealing from them. How do you handle this all-too-common problem? Read more →

When the average person thinks of dementia, generally Alzheimer’s disease comes to mind. At the same time, the person will likely think of memory loss. Both of these conclusions are understandable since Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and memory issues are often, though not always, the first symptom of that disease. Read more →

...One reason for this intense fear of Alzheimer’s is obvious. While many types of cancer can be cured, most types of dementia cannot. However, another reason is that the idea of being betrayed by our brains to the point that we are essentially lost in the disease is abhorrent to most of us. Read more →

...Accepting this current failure to produce a drug that is of real help to people with the disease has been a struggle for researchers at large. There are still many questions about exactly what triggers Alzheimer’s disease and whether or not there is just one cause or if there are several. Researchers will continue to try to solve the puzzle. Most likely they will eventually develop a method that can reliably prevent or cure Alzheimer’s through pharmaceutical intervention. Meanwhile, as is often the case, acceptance of this current failure has led to studies that seem to have produced some hope on a more basic level. Read more →

Many, if not most, younger people find the idea of older adults having sex uncomfortable. Even middle-aged people avoid thinking that their parents are still enjoying sexual intimacy. They know it’s likely, but they don’t like thinking about it. It’s their parents for heaven’s sake! This attitude is terribly sad. For most people, physical touch and emotional caring - which underlie good sexual encounters - are needed for true quality of life. Sex for older adults is simply normal. Read more →

Dear Carol: My dad has late stage Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home in our community where he seems to be receiving good care. Mom is with him every day. He no longer recognizes either of us, but Mom says that he is her husband and she will be there with him. I respect and understand that. I’m married and have a full-time job and three children who are in many activities so it’s not easy for me to take the time to visit my dad. He doesn’t recognize me so I don’t know how important my visits are anyway, but mom thinks that it matters to dad. I do want to see him, even though it’s painful, so I feel guilty if I don’t go at least once a week, but I balance the normal chaos of working and raising children along with making it a point to see Dad. Should I still visit even though he won’t remember? – GT Read more →

...Since I’m a dementia caregiver with my own history, I quite naturally wanted to understand the thoughts of other dementia caregivers on this issue, so I asked several of them for input. As one would expect, responses to my question varied, though not one of those who responded mentioned Valentine’s Day itself as being a trigger for showing love. Here is a sampling of caregiver responses: Read more →

You may go home from the nursing home where your spouse lives and cry from the loneliness that resides in your heart. Or, if your spouse is still home, you may continue throughout the day in the vein of celebration even though, realistically, you are celebrating alone. Still, think of the alternative. Read more →

Increasingly, studies are showing that hearing loss is not simply an inconvenient part of the aging process. Hearing loss can have serious effects on the aging brain health. As with many health issues, early intervention may be able to prevent damage as well as ease frustration. Read more →

Specialized care is needed at different stages of dementia. Frequently, the only way to provide that kind of care is to move the person to either a memory unit or a family home, while supplementing care provided by family members with paid in-home caregivers. Read more →