HartFelt wishes……(my blog)

Managing health issues and dementia

(an update from my previous post….) I continue to struggle to help my loved one with dementia as it relates to her food choices. Heck, I struggle with my own food choices never-mind helping someone else. Soon after we had a diagnosis of mixed dementia I was informed that life expectancy is often shorten. When…

Dementia and food choices

My loved one with dementia is now managing Type 2 diabetes. She was diagnosed prior to the pandemic. We worked with a nutritionist before medication was prescribed. She does not remember going to that appointment. Eventually her primary care prescribed medication and it helped. Then the pandemic and the assisted living facility went into lockdown.…

True Thoughts?

Anxiety is often a result of our thoughts. I have a thought about a circumstance. My thought creates a feeling. That feeling causes me to act or not to act. And that action or lack of action creates a result. A result that may be unwarranted. My loved one with dementia recently moved to a…

The 90 second rule

Recently a meditation session introduced me to the concept of the “90 second rule”. I am a logical thinker and it does not feel good when I have a knee jerk reaction. It does not feel good when a knee jerk reaction results in regret. I try counting to 10. It does not consistently work.…

Benadryl and dementia

My loved one with dementia has abused Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for decades. This is my observation and opinion. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an anticholinergics and they have been linked to increase risk of dementia. Until a month ago she was able to procure on her own as much Benadryl as she wanted. She simply walked to a…

Mother’s Day 2021

I came across this photo. It is an Easter photo of my mom, grandmother and aunt in our Easter finest (must be headed to church given we are wearing hats). It has made me smile this Mother’s Day. The women in the photo were and are my role models. Amazing women they were and I…

Life Interrupted

A year ago I set a goal to publish once a week. How hard could that be? To sit down and write for 20 or 30 minutes. Well my life was interrupted and I have not published weekly. My dad turned 92 years of age on March 17th and shortly after he decided to join…

Life is not going as planned

At the same time I am moving my loved one with dementia from her current assisted living to another, my 92 year old father needed to be placed into a nursing home. There is no stress in my life! Of course there is stress. I would not have tackled both at the same time but…

I can’t control circumstances

“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?” asked Piglet to Pooh“Supposing it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.Piglet was comforted by this. I have been a worrier all my life. It took decades to understand its impact on me and I work hard at mitigating worry. It begins with fortune telling.…

Anticipatory grief

I have not been motivated to post a blog. I feel stuck. I am thinking that I can’t do anything more than I am already doing. My life is already complicated. Sadly I am now managing my dad’s end of life care. God willing he will turn 92 years old in a few days. He…

Fortune Telling

I have been fortune telling lately. And I am not good at it. In fact I am batting zero as it relates to my loved one with dementia. I have envisioned the worse possible outcome and it has not happen. As a result I have felt emotions especially guilt and fear. The circumstances are neutral.…

Executive Function and Dementia

Executive function is the high level thinking skills that control the low level cognitive functions. It is the ability to plan, organize and implement a set of tasks in an efficient manner. It includes the ability to self-monitor and control behaviors and other cognitive functions. Impairments with executive function is often part of dementia disease.…

Compounded Cognitive Distortions

Lately I am using “should” and “should not” statements in my thinking. I “should” know better because I have studied cognitive distortions. I know these thoughts causes me to internalize guilt and externalize anger I also manage to compound cognitive distortions. Lately I have been thinking “I should know better to not jump to conclusions,…

Jan 31st is Backwards Day

Jan 31st is Backwards Day. A day that encourages us to do things in an order that we would not usually do them in! A day for children and adults alike. For my loved one with dementia, many days are backwards days. She is not bothered by it at all. I express frustration with the…

Transformation is like watching a seed grow

As a caregiver I have found myself putting my needs low on my priority list. This is very common for caregivers. But I expect many of us have found ourselves in this position even if you are not caregiving. As a result of not taking consistent care of my needs, I am finding it harder…

My blood pressure is up!

My loved one with dementia lives in an assisted living facility. They have an outbreak of Covid19. In the past week 5 more residents and more employees have tested positive. I cannot visit her. Only for urgent medical needs should we take our loved ones out of the facility. The vaccine will not start being…

Events of January 6th and its impact on my loved ones

The events of January 6th in Washington DC still resonate with me but for a different reason than you may think. Actually for an additional reason. I too am appalled at the actions of many. As I draft this post, my stomach is knotting up again. For five years I have been to Washington DC…

New Years is just a day

We did not celebrate a new year. I have in past years but Covid19 is escalating and the right decision was to stay home. We quietly observed with no fanfare the date move from year 2020 to 2021 . There is no change for me as it relates to caregiving. My goal remains the same…

Christmas, Covid19 and assisted living

Covid19 cases are escalating, they are spiraling out of control and it is Christmas My loved one is in an assisted living facility that has shut down all visits. Residents can leave for medical appointments only. My loved one is staying in her tiny, studio appartment. Alone with the exception of meals and medication management.…

Self-care

Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is not just a day at a spa although that would be wonderful. It is emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Self-care is my word for 2021 Every year I select a word that I use to exemplify my goals and priorities for the year. The past two years I…

And Covid19 keeps taking….

My loved one with dementia has been attending an adult day health program for three years. Given her early onset diagnosis, this program has been a godsend keeping her active and engaged. She loves going to it and missed it greatly during our pandemic shutdown. This week I learned the program is ending on December…

A note to myself

A year ago I attended a seminar and we were asked to send a letter to ourselves. We were given a card and envelope to address. The card was written, I sealed the envelope, handed it in and promptly forgot about it. Yesterday I received the card. It was a surprise to see my own…

My attitude

My “plate is full”. It is bigger than a plate. It is a turkey platter and sometimes a rolling cart. This week the rolling cart is full and has a bad wheel. That bad wheel is my attitude. My thoughts are driving my attitude and I am very annoyed. There was an event earlier this…

What keeps me up at night

My loved one with dementia is my 58 year old sister.She is two years younger than me. She is single, no family other than siblings and a father who is 91 almost 92. She is disabled. I am her guardian, health care advocate and power of attorney. Yet I feel powerless. She needs supervised care.…

Comfortable with Uncertainty

I have been reading “Comfortable with Uncertainty” by Pema Chodron. I am actually going through it a 2nd time and probably will do so again and again. For me it is a book of daily reads. I love books and have purchased many daily reads in my lifetime. It has been a long time since…

I tackle worry with education

I usually post on Thursdays, Friday at the latest. This week I was in a virtual training class, Dementia Care Education class for 2 half days. (I included the link because I found the class very informative.) The education helped me to understand dementia and apply it to how my loved one’s brain is functioning…

Memory loss is like a damaged file cabinet

I am on a journey to understand dementia as it impacts my loved one. Dementia is not the diagnosis but rather a general term for memory loss, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that interfere and impair daily life and the ability to live independently. My loved one has a mixed diagnosis and it includes…

Lucy has a good home

Before her diagnosis my loved one with dementia got herself a puppy. This was before my involvement as caregiver. My dad knew she could not take care of the dog. The day it was brought home he suggested the puppy stay with him for a short time. That puppy is now 8 years old and…

60+ years of memories

Yesterday my dad’s garage, storage area and his yard was cleaned out. A little bit about my dad. He is 91 years old and has been living alone since my mom passed in 2018. He is the last of his generation, having survived all his family including in-laws. Someone has to the first and someone…

Communicating to our loved ones with dementia

Soon it will be officially autumn by the equinox calendar. In North America we tend to use the term Fall. In New England the Fall colors are spectacular. My husband and I love the Fall for its color and cool but not cold temperatures. Mother Nature is getting ready for a winter sleep. But that…

The only constant is change

It is October 1st The hummingbirds that frequent my feeders have long gone. The Gold Finches are no longer bright gold. Locally the leaves are turning fast, up north the color is spectacular. We had the heat on several times last month. Will be putting summer furniture away for the winter. Daylight hours are fewer.…

News and its impact on loved ones.

This week we celebrated World Alzheimer’s Day. It almost got by me. I have been preoccupied with several caregiving tasks for my loved one with dementia and for my elderly father (91 years old this year). Just as soon as I thought I had time to breathe and work on my own projects, life interrupted.…

On the bus

I just received my daily text from my loved one with demetia that she is “on the bus”. She attends an adult day health program five days a week. The bus picks her up at her residence and returns her mid afternoon. I am very grateful for the opportunity to send her. For those not…

Next time I will not ignore that little voice in my head.

My loved one with dementia struggles daily with the affects of dementia, add a urinary tract infection and the results are amplified. But the impact of an UTI on my loved one is very cunning. It does not manifest itself overnight rather slowly creeps in. It can go unnoticed for days even weeks. She does…

When stuck I find action of any kind helps

Currently I have a lot on my plate. In fact my plate is a turkey platter, some days it is a rolling cart with a bad wheel. I am also a perfectionist and for a caregiver that can cause my challenges to seem insurmountable. I try to juggle everything and I am bad at juggling.…

I miss the person my loved one once was

My loved one with dementia is my sister. We were not the best of friends despite being only two years apart in age. Growing up we fought like many siblings do. Our parents could not understand why we did not get along. They tried to encourage our friendship which only served to ignite more fighting.…

Procrastinate Now

I have a self imposed deadline to post weekly on Thursdays at 10am EST I usually meet that deadline This week I am not motivated to write I enjoy writing I don’t enjoy most aspects of caretaking I am putting off tasks that are necessary I am procrastinating now I do not typically allow myself…

I can only have one priority

I really have an issue with the term priorities. By definition priority is the single item that is more important than others. How did we manage to make a plural out of this? Not until the 1900s did we start to use the word in its plural. And use it we did and still do.…

I am a social creature

Over the past five months I have learned more about myself, my likes and dislikes. This was not an intentional analysis. Rather the result of COVID19 protocols. I learned I am a very social creature. I do not do well sheltering at home in an effort to keep myself, my husband, father and sister safe.…

Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable

I agreed to a 7 day challenge from my business coach. I agreed to spend one minute every day in a cold shower to experience discomfort. I did not agree willingly at first. I don’t like cold water. I grew up in northern Massachusetts not far from the Atlantic ocean beaches. That is “cold” water.…

My thoughts and a knee jerk reaction

I had a thought provoking discussion this morning. We were discussing our thoughts and how they create our feelings. I had missed a meeting and my knee jerk thought was “I screwed up” and that thought caused me to feel disorganized. The thought did not go away and I started to feel anxious. The more…

I found a “silver lining” to our shelter at home for Covid-19

I am counting my blessings no matter how I find them. I am my loved one with dementia’s guardian and health care advocate. I attend all medical appointments and her care is coordinated with me. There are several health issues that have been monitored by blood tests; glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol etc. Her doctors expressed concern…

Independence Day has new meaning for me

It is July 4th and in the US we celebrate our declaration of “independence” from England. For those history buffs: Americans celebrate independence on July 4th, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2nd, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress. But…

Sunburned? Maybe tea will help……

It is amazing how the brain manages memories. My loved one with dementia is impacted with very poor short term memory. Some parts of a new event, a thought, a discussion etc. may be stored. Sometimes not at all. Often times missing parts are confabulated and they are very real to her. Her long term…

It’s summer and I am remembering from childhood…

Our summer has just started officially. It is a little past 5:43pm Eastern Standard time which is the summer solstice on June 20, 2020. I decided to make this year’s event memorable even if I celebrate quietly. I can’t remember the last time I paid to attention to the actual time of the summer solstice.…

A few observations watching a sparrow family from my window

I have several birdhouses in my backyard. One of them I can view from my kitchen window over my sink. Given I seem to always be doing dishes, I thought it was a great spot for the birdhouse. Every year sparrows will use the birdhouse. Every year I watch the dating between males and females.…

My favorite quote; Life should not be a journey to the grave…

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”Hunter S. Thompson I have this posted on my wall.…

“Deck visits”

I am caregiving for a loved one in an assisted living facility that is six miles away. Despite the nearness, the Covid19 protocol for long term facilities has excluded visits. I have not seen her face to face since late February. That was until today. I was able to spend 20 minutes with her outside.…

Hurry up and wait….

My loved one living at an assisted living had to be tested for the Covid19 virus. Testing was arranged, I hurried to get all the needed permissions for the Primary Care office and then we waited. We waited 5 days to hear results. The test was negative. Years ago I had a biopsy. A routine…

Mask (recipe) swap????

I will be brief this week….have to share this…. If you have not been making masks you probably know someone who has been sewing and/or you’ve been given perhaps even purchased a hand-made mask. A mask so you can protect others from the Covid-19 virus when in public. I have sewn several masks but had…

Alone in a room full of people

Have you ever felt alone despite being in a room full of people? Although I have not recently experienced that, I have in my past. As we enter our sixth week of “stay at home” protocol, I am finding the Covid-19 virus has entered my circle of family and friends. It does not surprise me…

A new normal

A quick search on “new normal” and you will find numerous discussions. I think it is best described as “a previously unusual occurrence that has become commonplace”. In my lifetime the phrase has been used: after 9/11 to describe the security changes exemplified with travel restrictions; loss of job security as manufacturing moved to low…

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