A personal blog...

...chronicling the dementia adventures of...

...Girl and

The Other Girl...

...sharing hilarious and 

heartbreaking moments

of life...

 

...with our mom who has vascular dementia.

 

Forced Dancing 2: Riverdance!

Mom loves dancing! (She doesn't, I do.) Mom is a huge fan of Riverdance! (Nope, never once heard her mention it.) Mom has always been known for her kooky antics... (Not at all true.) ...and her love of being on camera! (Such a HUMONGOUS lie that I know I'm in for a good cuffing when she and I meet again in the hereafter.) While you are enjoying "Forced Dancing: Riverdance!" know that Mom is super looking forward to the next installment of Forced Dancing... HAMMERTIME! (If she could, she would totally kill me right now.) Oh, and you can find the original Forced Dancing right here. #dementiahumor #august2019

Sundance

Dancing the Sundowners away! If you're in the Portland, Oregon area, you may already be familiar with the adult day services at Marie Smith Center in North Portland, or the Lambert House in SE Portland. Both are run by the Oregon Chapter of the Volunteers of America and offer a full-day of activities and social engagement for functionally and/or cognitively impaired adults. I call that all things dementia good. But recently Lambert House has taken it up a notch to "Dementia Total Domination" with a new program called Sundance, providing music therapy and a multi-sensory environment for mid to late-stage dementia folks every Tuesday and Thursday, and get this... during peak sundowning hours!

Hospice 101

I have had a great deal of confusion in my life about a great many things: calculus, non-alcoholic beer, how the movie Pootie Tang never won an Oscar, and why it's just called "necking" and not "the warm fuzzy-tingle times" (a way more accurate description). Hospice is also on my list of Most Baffling because I've had very limited experience with death. My hospice assumptions were based on friends and family's hearsay, and I swear I heard them say hospice services were 24/7 - sitting with the terminally ill person, and giving comfort to both the living and soon to be not-living. So, you can imagine my shock when they sent my dying father home from the hospital, and I found out 24/7 hospice

Caregiver Burnout and Caregiver Self-Care

A Rant. Along the lines of "Oh for gawdsakes, just shut the hell up!" When I spoke at the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's 2019 Educating America Tour conference in Portland, Oregon earlier this summer, I was asked a follow-up question: "How do you avoid caregiver burnout?" My answer was instantaneous and definite: "You don't." I probably should have thought that one through before I deflated the hopeful faces of about 300 caregivers and dementia folks looking up at me for guidance, but I'm new to the speaking-engagement game, and clearly need to work on my off-the-cuff responses to queries I have not planned for. I stumbled through some explanation of what I meant, not wanting the atten

Epiphany

I woke up this morning wishing I was not a caregiver. I woke up this morning wishing I was not facing a fight to pull down pull-ups. I woke up this morning wishing my life had nothing to do with organizing pills, stocking up on baby wipes, scrubbing carpets to lessen the pee smell, coaxing and cajoling a combative old woman into a shower, turning the other cheek to frustrated screams, scheming humane ways to accomplish toileting, pill taking, clothes changing, bed going. I woke up this morning wishing I didn't have to calculate how long a life will be lived, what end-of-life resources may be required, how much they will costs, construct scenarios of "if years are X then amount is Y". I woke

Sister of Mercy?

Or Sister of Death? Mom went to the ER a couple of weeks ago. She was in the kitchen after dinner, talking to the dishwasher (conversations with inanimate objects are not unusual in our household - how 'bout yours?), but her posture struck me as strangely wrong. Her knees were bent weirdly and she was almost doubled over. Concerned, I placed myself between her and the non-communicative appliance, wrapped my arms around those bony shoulders only to have her slowly collapse into me. I couldn't keep her upright so I guided her down to the floor, realizing then that she was sweating profusely yet cold to the touch. Her eyes remained slightly open but were not tracking movement as I frantically w

The Littlest Kindness

Old people and kids are like Scotch and soda: a solid pairing. Old dementia people and kids are like fortified wine and a lovely church stoop to sleep it off on: the perfect combination. But as of late The Other Girl and The Other Other Girl have been the recipients of some rather awkward moments involving children, Mom, and of all places, grocery stores. A couple of months ago our local Trader Joe's was ground zero for an unintentional racist overture from Mom. While Mom and the baby boy were unfazed, MotherMinder's attempts to mitigate the damage with the child's begetter begot her nothing but trouble. A few weeks later, The Other Girl had to rescue a little lass's donut from Mom's clutche

2019 Walk to End Alzheimer's

The day I registered Team Stumped Town Dementia for the 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s was a bad day for Mom. She was racked with episodes of rage, couldn’t swallow her pills, frantically repeated her mantra of “going home” desperate to escape her actual house in an effort to escape herself. As I tucked her into bed that night and tickled her toes, winning the only giggle of the day from her, I thought of the Walk and said to myself, “Yeah, I got skin in the game.” I'm participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer's® because I'm committed to raising awareness and funds for dementia care, support, and research not just for our dementia household but for the 5.8 million people currently living with

Stumped Town Dementia

featured on...

Here & Now

NPR

May 2020

Open Caregiving

August 2020

When They Forget

Podcast

September 2020

Alzheimer's Society UK

March 2018

AlzAuthors

July 2019

Ro & Steve

June 2019

Being Patient

December 2018

Family Caregiver Alliance

September 2018

Alzheimer's Society UK

August 2018

The Caregiver Space

September 2018

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