Updated: Oct 22, 2020
A delicious concoction to cure the crazy that ails 'ya!
(Or at least distract you for an hour or so.)
Goodness! We've been pretty damn dementia affable around here lately. No big leaps in dementia progression. No scorched-earth dementia outburst. Not one peep of dementia caregiver fail to regale you with. Although, Mom did manage a dementia face plant in the front yard yesterday, but it didn't feel all that genuine. <sigh>
Mom post-face plant, after I'd brushed all the grass and dirt off her cheeks and nose.
I think she's trying to liven things up 'round here. Such a drama queen.
With the lack of continual crisis it's been rather dull in our digs, so I took the time to investigate some cool dementia diversions I've run across but was never able to check out.
I've come across two online radio stations designed specifically for dementia folks and their caregivers.
M4D Radio (Music for Dementia) offers 4 themed radio stations and one general mix station. As musical memories are made in our formative years the themed stations are based on the decade the listener was born - brilliant! The general mix station offers a variety of programs such as a sing-a-long hour, top tunes from musicals, and "a little night music to keep you company after dark."
The second is Deepness Dementia Radio. Created by Deepness Dementia Media, it is only one component of their mission to give people tools for living well with dementia, all designed collaboratively with dementia folks leading the process.
They offer not only the radio station programmed for dementia, but also online courses such as "Living Well with Dementia", and "Move Better, Think Better".
The radio programming is quite varied with early morning meditation, classical hour, and featured artists such as Lyle Lovett, Edith Piaf, and Queen.
Both are available online and through Alexa - easy peezy! - and both are based in the U.K. Thank you, England, for fish and chips, this guy (nom, nom, nom!), and dementia radio.
Memoryz was foolish enough to contact me for an interview about dementia family caregiving, so of course I said "YES!" Then they told me I would be on camera. Boo! Hiss! Oh well, I did it anyway.
The interview focuses on siblings trying to make parental dementia care work without killing each other (so far so good), and caregiver frustration through the messiness of dementia life and death.
You can watch/listen to the interview here. And if you're in a helpful guinea pig kind of mood, you can also sign up to beta test the new Memoryz care partners app! It's got features to keep you and your dementia person connected throughout the day like activity reporting, task reminders, and chat based companionship.
Dick Johnson is Dead
Actually, he's not, but not for lack of trying!
Dick Johnson is Dead is a phenomenal new documentary on Netflix. The filmmaker Kirsten Johnson, and her father Dick Johnson supported each other through the death of their mother/wife from Alzheimer's a decade earlier. When Dick was diagnosed with dementia in 2017, he and Kirsten came up with a unique way to further deepen their bond and work through their fears of traversing cognitive decline yet again.
I gotta tell 'ya, I don't relish watching dementia when I'm not watching my mom with dementia, but this film moved me, filled me with joy, and inspired me to view our journey in a different light.
Darkly funny, poignant, gorgeously ethereal; watching it I saw the task before me with new eyes. Will it make the remainder of our dementia sojourn easy? Nope. But it gave me a fresh perspective that lightened my load.
And now for something completely different...
Since COVID, and all the other funs that have overrun us during 2020, I've had a hard time engaging fully in much of anything. I barely read anymore. If I start a book I seem to peter out in the middle and never finish. Same with some great TV shows; I've got loads I'm in the middle of but can't seem to muster much interest for completion.
For the most part, I'm still spending my nights glued to a stupid game on my stupid phone while 99 bottles of wine on the wall get sucked into my face.
But there is an exception to this rule of apathy - I am gleefully possessed by Lovecraft Country on HBO! Each Sunday, for a full hour I forget the monsters of dementia - instead I'm rapturously engrossed by the imagined and real-life monsters of Lovecraft.
Set in the Jim Crow south, LC allows me to walk in another's shoes as a person of color experiencing racism, gives me thrills and chills befitting the Halloween season, and the best part... it is awash in the blood of powerful female characters, pulling out some bad-ass, dick-kickery to keep themselves and their loved ones safe!
It is just plain FUN! An awesome mountain of sand to hide your beleaguered dementia head in.
From our Stumped Town Dementia household to yours, I hope some of these diversions become useful in your dementia journey. Be brave, buckaroos! We got this.
p.s. Don't forget to get those flu shots!
p.p.s. Don't forget to vote!