- An Alzheimer’s or dementia caregiver feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and maybe even fearful for the well-being of your loved one?
- Watching your relationship change with your loved one as your caregiving responsibilities increase and they become more dependent on you?
- Feeling guilty for thoughts of starting the search for a higher level of care, including transitioning them to a care community?
I’ve been through the 14-year dementia and Alzheimer’s journey with my mom. I’ve lived through all the decisions, made all the mistakes and come out the other side with a strong purpose to serve others who have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
I am a Certified Dementia Practitioner® (CDP ®) and Certified in Dementia Care® (CDC ®) and it’s my mission to work with you, the family member, in private, one-on-one conversations to provide you with an objective perspective and savvy guidance on this long and arduous journey so you can look back on it with peace of mind that you did the best you could.
Building a Dementia Journey Plan
You need solutions that work for everyone in your family, including your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s. I’m here to create a customized dementia journey plan with you so you have no regrets or guilt when looking back on this journey. As a Dementia Care expert, I can help you build a care plan that quiets the sense of overwhelm, fear, sadness, frustration and other emotions. You need a fellow journeyman to support you during this four to eight years, someone you can trust, who’s been in your shoes.
I work with you to build a dementia journey plan that you can refer to while on your loved one’s dementia journey.
- Work with you to create a phased plan, based on quantifiable criteria, so you know how and when to prepare for each phase of the journey
- Offer compassionate guidance and solutions from experience
- Help reduce your loved one’s resistance and frustration by enhancing and refining your dementia communications skills with both your loved one and family members
- Provide resource options, and other services to help you and your family make the best decisions you can for your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s
I am here for you, the Dementia/Alzheimer’s family member and caregiver. I am your lifeline for:
- Transitioning your loved one from one phase to the next, which may be from in-home care to a senior care community
- Facilitating family conversations about your loved one with dementia
- Helping resolve conflicts and resistance when things aren’t going the way you thought they should
- Ensuring you’re aware of the Financial and Healthcare documentation to minimize your loved one’s and your exposure to state-run attorneys
- Learning effective emotional coping skills and tools specific to having a family member with dementia or Alzheimers so you can handle the emotional rollercoaster better.
- Guiding communication with your loved one and family
Are you responsible for your loved one’s well-being?
Being responsible for a parent is a heavy load, especially if you have a family of your own and work. As part of the sandwich generation, Baby Boomers are facing difficult decisions for their parents’ care. You may be encountering all types of emotions from anger to frustration to guilt and sadness.
Or, perhaps you’re in the “things are getting worse” stage and are realizing you need to talk with someone who’s been on this journey and has insight and can help you build a care strategy?
I work with the adult children of parents who are showing signs of dementia or who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. These conversations with your loved ones can be challenging and require patience, calmness, and knowledge.
Here are some of the unspoken questions you may have:
- How do I handle conversations and get decisions when my parent can’t remember that we even talked about their care?
- My siblings and I disagree on next steps. How do we get resolution and make the best decision for our parent(s)?
- How do I stay involved in my parent’s care when I live in a different state?
- Aren’t all these senior facilities the same? Aren’t they just nursing homes?
- What if something happens to my parent and they need hospitalization and I can’t be there?
As the Alzheimer’s Care expert and trained communicator and coach, I work with you to build a plan around these questions. We work together to save you hours and hours of frustration, anger, and sadness and give you back that time to spend enjoying your loved ones. You also may have healthier relationships as a result of our working together.
Are you prepared to handle these questions?
How do I prepare for resistance and denial?
“I want to go home.” “This is your new home, Mom.” “No, it’s not.”
It’s a familiar conversation that can spin out of control quickly as your loved one communicates out of emotion and confusion and you communicate from a place of logic and reason. Read More…
When is the right time to talk about care?
I’m not a psychologist or social worker so this is my opinion based on my experience. The sooner the better, while everyone is healthy and emotions are calmer.
Yes, it’s a delicate topic and it’s important for everyone to understand what factors come into play and to what severity that will trigger a new place to call home. Read More…
What will life look like after the move?
You’ll have peace of mind. Life should not look too differently than it was for your loved one. It will be an adjustment More people. More interaction and stimulation.
What your loved one wants most to know is that you still love them and they’re not being abandoned or even punished for being forgetful or unable to understand what you’re saying. Read more…
Do you have an Alzheimer’s care plan?
1 out of 9 people over the age of 65 are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s not like any other disease in that it stops a person from being able to function and perform activities of daily living, requiring 24/7 “eyes on” care.
Many seniors want to prepare for their future so their children don’t feel burdened with difficult decisions. This is especially true when children live elsewhere or don’t get along. Indecision can be your enemy when it comes to making care choices.
It’s vital to your well-being and quality of life to have an objective and experienced expert who has lived the journey help you and your family members navigate the waters around preparation for dementia-related disease.
Here are just a few of the areas I will help you build a plan around:
- Recognizing the initial pre-diagnosis symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
- Learning to recognize the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and the stages your loved one will go through.
- Identifying the legal and healthcare documents needed or in need of an update
- Discussing living arrangements and care plans should dementia become an issue. It’s important that everyone be on the same page before symptoms arise.
- Establishing and agreeing upon the criteria for when it’s time to consider options for care should a loved one be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
- Identifying your criteria for care options, understanding the differences in the types of communities, and their services.
- Building a back up plan if you should fall ill and not be able to care for your loved one or be involved in their care.
Most people value having an impartial expert available with whom to discuss their options and make sure they understand the consequences of their decisions. I traveled this path as my parents’ health and well-being changed and they needed more care assistance while wanting to remain independent for as long as possible.
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My Mother’s Memory Care Story
It was December 2000 when I first noticed behavior changes with Mom. Anxiety where there didn’t use to be any. Forgetfulness (which I wrote off to age). Disorientation and confusion about where we were or why we were there.
Mom and I were very close. We talked most every day, sometimes for an hour or two. I sensed an acceleration of her symptoms and long story short, I packed up my parents and moved them to Phoenix, AZ. The good news is that the change actually seemed to give them both a new lease life. We were in a holding pattern – the symptoms didn’t get worse.
Then, in 2002, that all changed…
Praise for It’s Not That Simple: Helping Families Navigate the Alzheimer’s Journey
“My sister and I began this journey with our mother three years ago. It lays out precisely the steps and conversations needed to make the journey less painful. I particularly cherished Chapter 7’s discussion of emotions, which has been difficult for me. I learned some valuable trick and tips. As we continue our journey with mom and Alzheimers, I will be pulling this book out of my back pocket often.” ~Janelle Lowey, daughter and caregiver for a mom with Alzheimer’s Disease