• My Backstory

    My earliest memory is being on the phone with my mother as she told me I had a new baby sister. I was so excited! Mom said she would bring the baby home to meet me in time for my 2nd birthday in 3 days. I would grab a diaper, wipes, or burp cloth with extreme speed and accuracy. Mom could count on me to care for this tiny, often crying, sweet baby sister, who was so helpless. I was a secondary caregiver at 2 years old! A short 15 months later, it happened again! My mom was a baby-making machine! She had 4 kids in 5 years!!   This time…

  • Pete and repeat….

    When you have a loved one with dementia, you may experience what I call "the repeats." It reminds me of an old joke I heard as a kid that was super annoying to me. It went like this: Pete and repeat went up a hill. Pete fell off, and who was left? As soon as the victim says "repeat", you say the lines again. "Pete and repeat went up a hill..." Annoying, isn't it? As kids, we chose to be annoying by telling that joke to people. Our loved one didn't choose any form of dementia. Nor would we wish it on them! On a good day, they will ask…

  • Crowds and dementia can be tough

    Successfully navigating large gatherings with a loved one who has dementia, can be difficult. We can take steps to make the visit less stressful and thereby happier for all involved. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it or pretend I have it all under control. For one thing, many of you have been with me long enough to know that just isn't true. I try, (really hard,) but sometimes I still blow it. Maybe you can relate? Mom has vascular dementia, so our large family gatherings are challenging. I refuse to leave her out of them. I want her to be with family as much as possible, even when she no longer…

  • Who has time to Relax?

    What goes through your mind when someone says "you just need to relax"? My guess is you are not instantly deep breathing and calming down, correct? If anything, you are more worked up now than before they offered their "helpful" opinion. (I need a designated sarcasm font! lol) The truth is, they are correct. We do need to learn to unwind. Please stick with me; I'm not finished. While their sentiment may be right, it is not helpful. We know stress is bad for our minds and bodies when it's prolonged, and caregiving definitely comes with a lot of stress. But what can we realistically do? We can't run away,…

  • Lessons from my Ivy Plant

    I've found there are lessons in nature all around us, but we often miss them. Why? Because we are in a hurry, not really paying attention, or pausing long enough to really take in what we are viewing. I was watering my indoor plants on Saturday like I always do. (I discovered long ago that they grow much better if I water them consistently.) As I watered my giant ivy (Golden Pothos is its technical name,) I took time to really observe it. I've cared for it for nearly 20 years now yet I still learned a valuable lesson from it on this bright morning. When the ivy is growing normally,…

  • Why Do People Journal?

    Have you heard people talk about journaling and wondered why they do it? Is there any benefit, or is it yet another thing to add to your already full day? How can it possibly help? I thought those same things! I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water with my job, family, and caregiving. I’m asking you to read on and consider if journaling might help you. I’m NOT asking you to do it or commit to anything; I’m just offering thoughts to ponder. If it’s something you want to try, great! If it’s not for you, that’s okay too. And for those avid journalers among us,…

  • 5 Stress Relievers

    Prioritize Take a good look at your To-Do List. On one sheet of paper, write items you MUST accomplish; on another, list things that would be nice to achieve. What I'm going to say next is hard to hear, but it's VERY IMPORTANT to reducing your stress levels. Are you ready? Throw away the second page. You don't need the pressure of having it on your To-Do List when it's not essential. When you have some free time, you can think about those things. If you can't bear throwing it away, put it in a drawer out of sight. (I understand.) Now look at the items on your smaller To-Do…

  • The Dr. said “Dementia”, Now What?

    Your doctor said those words and left you reeling. Perhaps he told you there is no cure, and it's terminal. Your mind is racing so much that it's hard to formulate all the questions. What now? Is there anything that will slow it down? Are there medications that will help with symptoms? What am I supposed to do? It's not contagious, right? (No.) And many more questions you haven't even considered yet. It's upsetting to be left with what seems to be so many missing pieces to the puzzle. I get it. I've been with family and friends when they received the diagnosis. It's never fun, and it's always upsetting.…

  • A Fun Interview?

    Betsy Wurzel Chatting with Betsy on Passionate World Talk Radio Being interviewed can be stressful. Being interviewed on live radio multiplies the nerves, usually. This was NOT the case in a recent interview I had with Betsy Wurtzel on her program #ChattingwithBetsy. Betsy speaks on Passionate World Talk Radio which broadcasts to 174 countries. She was, and still is a caregiver, just like me. We are both Christians and we both have a strong desire to help other caregivers so we connected right away. Here's the link to the live broadcast of Chatting with Betsy: https://bit.ly/3Anfwxi If you are a caregiver, I highly recommend you check out her show as…

  • Retirement Planning Simplified

    Retirement planning is an important task we all face if we are fortunate enough to live longer. Since I am NOT a tax expert or a Financial Planner, I will happily give you information from a company that knows all about it! The kind folks at Finance Strategists have put together a comprehensive breakdown of what can be a very confusing subject. They will explain different types of retirement plans, retirement investments, facts about pensions, profit sharing, and more. Take advantage of this FREE Information. Follow this link to de-mystify retirement planning options. https://learn.financestrategists.com/finance-terms/retirement-planning/ I hope it helps you have a more secure future!

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