Posts in category "Finding Meaning"

Village for Those with Dementia Shines with Dignity

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Perhaps it takes a village to care for a person with dementia too. Imagine a place where people with dementia could live with freedom yet safety; independence yet supervision; consistency amid inevitable change. Sound too good to be true? That’s because it only exists in... Read more »

Let’s Make Room for What’s Important

This morning, I read a stirring article in the Chicago Tribune about the “Above and Beyond” memorial – a Vietnam War homage consisting of 58,000 dog tags representing all of the servicemen and women who died in this tragic war. The sobering display, wherein the dog tags were hung from the ceiling like wind chimes,... Read more »

Late-Stage Dementia: How to Reach the “Unreachable”

I once told you the precious lesson my grandma taught me about dementia – namely, that we should never, ever consider someone with dementia “unreachable.” Even if the person has not spoken in years, there’s still a person in there, and that person can be reached on a very human level. Somehow, communication can occur.... Read more »
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“Reminiscence League” Helps Baseball Fans with Alzheimer’s

Given the recent crackdown on baseball players using performance-enhancing drugs – and the disgust that many of us feel toward the sport right now – a baseball story may be the last thing you want to read. But this one is different. It’s a good one. You’ve got to trust me on this, considering that... Read more »

Dance for Dementia on June 23

If you live in Chicagoland and are caring for someone with dementia or simply care about this cause (in which case, many thanks and blessings), you might want to check out this innovative social event and fundraiser. Dance for Dementia, coordinated by North Shore Dance Therapy in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, strives to connect... Read more »

Seven Reasons Why Cubs Fans Make Great Caregivers

This post was originally published on April 4, 2012. In celebration of Opening Day at Wrigley Field for the 2013 season, I’m republishing the post in its entirety. (Note: Two minor changes were made to reflect that at the time of publication, it was Opening Day, not the eve of such.) If you are from... Read more »
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The Time We Have Left: A Theory for Caregiving and Self-Care Alike

I recently began adjunct teaching for a local college. Given that my father, uncle, grandma, and grandpa were all educators, I felt a sense of history and continuity as I embarked on my first lecture, making sure to emulate a few of my dad’s signature gestures along the way. Though the experience connected me to... Read more »

A Caregiver’s Credo for 2013

If you’re a caregiver, I doubt you’ve had time to even begin formulating any New Year’s resolutions for 2013. While each caregiver’s experience is unique, there are common bonds that join you in your journey. Those common bonds are the foundation of this Caregiver’s Credo, which I offer to you as you look ahead to... Read more »

Successful Caregiving is in the Eye of the Beholder

Let me guess – as a caregiver, you’re kind of hard on yourself. You’ve set some pretty high expectations that you wouldn’t expect anyone else to be able to meet, yet you believe that you should be able to achieve them, even when crises come down the pike and things don’t go at all as... Read more »
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Playgrounds for Elders: A Great Idea with a Horrible Name

Several years ago, I visited my great aunt who had recently moved into a nursing home. I was accompanied by my father and uncle, neither of which was very, um, enthusiastic about the potential indignities of long-term care. As we wound our way through the old hallways, we found we could walk through the dining... Read more »