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My Spouse Has Dementia
A free, bi-weekly podcast that uses personal stories, occasional interviews, and simple rituals to support dementia caregiving spouses
Oct 22, 2022
The Power of Grief, Community, and a Tree
When tragedy reshapes your life, having a supportive community is key to your survival. Since my husband died of Alzheimer's three months ago, I've been in a cave of sorts, rarely leaving the house. My neighbors drew me back into the world of the living - with a tree. For family dementia caregivers, grief and guilt can become interwined. This episode includes a simple, self-care ritual for the caregiver.
Aug 27, 2022
Death and the Funeral
From the time my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, my goal was to care for him at home. He died last month, at home, in my arms. This episode shares deeply personal details about the changes in our relationship, the loss of physical intimacy, the physical realities of death, the practical considerations of a funeral, and more. Mentioned: https://www.myspousehasdementia.com https://www.celebrantinstitute.org (Find a Life-Cycle Celebrant) https://www.marycoburn.com (Life-Cycle Celebrant) https://dinastander.com (Death Doula and Life-Cycle Celebrant) https://www.carmonfuneralhome.com (CT - green funerals)
Aug 1, 2022
Hospice - Help When the End is Near
My husband died at home on July 19. From steady decline to dramatic drop to sudden nosedive, to death -- that was the pattern. I was prepared for some steps. Others blindsided me. Hospice helped both my husband and me in ways I didn't expect.
Jun 28, 2022
Sudden Falls and Rapid Changes
Alzheimer's degrades a person slowly over a period of years. When a downturn comes, symptoms can escalate suddenly. As a dementia family caregiver, you need to know what that downturn could look like. Knowing can help you survive.
Jun 19, 2022
Mistakes and Dementia Self-Care Rituals
Studies show that how the dementia family caregiver interprets her stress is key to her survival. I'm sharing 3 rituals I created that have helped me. I also share 3 mistakes I made in the early years of caring for my husband. He has Alzheimer's, late stage.
May 9, 2022
Our Loved Ones - The Power of the Stories We Tell
Zita Christian shares three personal stories about her husband who has late-stage Alzheimer's. She talks about the importance of telling the stories of our loved ones before they are seized with dementia. She talks about why it's important for us to tell our own stories, too.
Apr 9, 2022
Alzheimer's and Vision Changes
Even if a patient with Alzheimer's has healthy eyes, the brain can distort what the patient sees. Depth perception changes, too, as does the ability to recognize common items. For an 81-year-old man whose mind tells him he's now in his teens or younger, seeing his reflection in a mirror can be alarming.
Mar 18, 2022
Why You Need a Medical ID Bracelet
If your loved one wouldn't understand or know what to do if the police called your home because you'd been in an accident, you need to wear a medical ID bracelet. With the right info, it alerts first responders that your spouse has dementia. Check out LaurensHope.com for a variety of medical jewelry.
Mar 3, 2022
Lost in the Front Yard
More than 20 years ago, my husband successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail. More recently, he took a walk in our small condo complex. When he was finished, he got frustrated because his key wouldn't unlock the front door. It wasn't our front door.
Feb 18, 2022
Using the Word "Alzheimer's"
The power of a name is not restricted to fairy tales. For the longest time, I couldn't bring myself to talk about my husband's diagnosis: Alzheimer's. When I finally faced the power loaded in that word, everything changed.
Feb 2, 2022
Getting the Diagnosis
There was a difference between the news I expected and the news we received. Hearing "Alzheimer's," our future suddenly crumbled. The disease affects everyone differently. Maybe my husband wouldn't forget who I was. Maybe he wouldn't forget where we lived. Maybe he wouldn't get any worse than he was now. Maybe pigs fly. I had so much to learn.