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Operation Varsity Blues: Why The College Admissions Scandal Still Doesn’t Give Us Permission To Bash The Younger Generations – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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This week’s story about celebrities and uber-wealthy parents is reinforcing the stereotype that our younger generations are so much more entitled than everyone else who was born during “a different time.” 

It still boggles my mind how openly so many people bash our younger generations.  People who wouldn’t dare utter a racist, homophobic or other politically incorrect comment often feel quite comfortable talking about “those lazy Millennials” or “kids who expect everything handed to them.”  If you feel that way about Millennials and Generation Z, remember they didn’t raise themselves.  If this story upsets you, remember that it is primarily Generation X and Baby Boomer parents who engaged in the alleged criminal behaviors.

Really, the college scam story is one about socioeconomic advantage rather than generational expectations.  As long as college has existed, rich families have employed both obvious and covert strategies to boost their children’s applications to elite educational institutions.  Don’t think for a moment that members of older generations–including Baby Boomer and Traditionalists–haven’t also benefited from such methods unavailable to most people.

Operations Varsity Blues is not a story about generational issues. It’s a story about economic disparity.  And it’s not a new one.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Who’s The Captain? Why Reason & Logic Fail With Little Kids…And Dementia Patients – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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“I’m the Captain,” declared my 3-year old nephew Enzo as soon as he boarded our boat on a warm autumn day last fall.  Wearing the captain’s hat his mother had purchased for him on Amazon.com, he purposefully strode to the captain’s seat.  When he noticed our family’s amusement at his audacity, he looked directly at us and repeated, “I’m the Captain.  I am.” 

Obviously when my husband was ready to launch the boat we needed Enzo to move.  But did we sit him down and logically explain to him that he was not the Captain?  No.  We told Enzo that it was Uncle Sean’s turn to drive the boat and that he could have a turn later.  Enzo considered the statement, resisted briefly and then reluctantly moved to sit with his parents and cousins.

Could we have attempted to reason with Enzo?  Sure.  Would it have done any good?  Probably not.  I can only imagine how explaining to a 3-year old that he did not have the credentials to launch a 34-foot cruiser.  It probably would have gone over as well as trying to reason with someone who has advanced dementia.

People who suffer with advanced dementia are adults.  They are grown-ups who have lived full lives and are most certainly not children.  But as Alzheimer’s disease (or any other dementia) progresses, their ability to reason is comparable to a small child’s.

Nobody tried to reason with Enzo because we understood that he didn’t have the capacity to understand he lacked the skills to captain a boat.  But why is it that the same people who wouldn’t attempt to reason with a child try to do so with someone with dementia?

Countless times I have witnessed well-meaning, intelligent people try to “remind” their loved one with dementia that she is no longer allowed to drive.  Or that he has already eaten dinner.  Or that it is winter when their loved one is convinced that it’s summer.  And I can see why.  Dementia is tricky. 

There might be a moment in the day that Mom will remember that she is not supposed to drive.  But as the disease progresses, no amount of arguing, rationalizing, reasoning or logic will convince Mom that her doctor told her to stop driving.

Tell Mom you feel like driving today rather than reminding her that she is unsafe behind the wheel.   Just as it wouldn’t have been productive to tell Enzo he’s not qualified to be a boat captain, it wouldn’t be productive to tell Mom the whole family is afraid of her driving.

Treat your older loved one who has dementia with dignity because he’s an adult.  But remember that his capacity to understand logic and reason is often child-like.   

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Legal But Inappropriate Financial Products – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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Like many investors, my Grandmom lost a lot of money in the late 2000s.  It caused her a great deal of stress…and anger.  After losing so much money, she was told by a representative at her bank that if she wanted to earn some of that money back there was a way. 

Click here for a video of the story:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWBSab0djvM

There was nothing inherently wrong with the product.  But it wasn’t a suitable one for my Grandmom for a variety of reasons.  Maybe it was ignorance on the part of the financial professional.  Or perhaps the financial professional just cared more about making a commission on the sale of the product than serving his client.  While most financial professionals are ethical and knowledgeable, it is critical for older investors and their loved ones to keep their eyes open.  And this is why I recommend the 24 Hour Rule to most older adults.

The 24 Hour Rule means that most older adults should take a day to consider any new “opportunity” to part with their money, particularly when this “opportunity” is presented by someone they don’t know very well.  This includes a new financial product that’s being recommended by a new person.  Or a charity request.  Or lending money to somebody they don’t know very well.   Or buying property… or a vehicle. 

Take 24 hours to talk it over with people you trust.  Sleep on it.  Do some research about what you’re getting into.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Working With Difficult Colleagues: The 4 R’s And Other Resources – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Last week I had the pleasure of presenting Complicated Colleagues and Maddening Managers: How to Cope and Collaborate with Provocative People at the Virginia Assisted Living Association’s Annual Conference. Working with persons who possess strong personality disorder traits is challenging but there are ways to get along with them while providing great service to your customers. You just have to apply the 4 R’s T that we discussed: Recognize, Restrict, Reduce & Release!

Many attendees from the conference–senior living executive directors and regional/corporate staff from senior living organizations–requested a reading list. All of these books offer insight on how to better collaborate with provocative colleagues in your workplace!

I hope you enjoy these resources. And if you think a presentation on Complicated Colleagues and Maddening Managers: How to Cope and Collaborate with Provocative People would help your workplace, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Jenerations Health Education!

Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified (Friedel)
Borderline Personality Disorder: New Reasons For Hope (Mondimore)
Disarming The Narcissist (Behary)
DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association)
Splitting (Kreger & Eddy)
The Gift of Fear (De Becker)
The Mirror Effect (Pinsky)
The Narcissist Next Door (Kluger)
The No Asshole Rule (Sutton)
The Wisdom of Psychopaths (Dutton)
5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life (Eddy)

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

The Power Of Partnership To Help Family Caregivers – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Last week I had the honor to present continuing education classes for health and mental health professionals at Massachusetts Brightview Senior Living communities. On Friday morning, as I was preparing for the event at the Brightview Senior Living community, a lovely woman approached me holding a copy of Cruising through Caregiving.

This woman, Mary Todd, introduced herself & shared that she and her husband had recently moved into Brighview North Andover. She mentioned that she’d gotten her copy of Cruising Through Caregiving when she and her husband participated in Lori La Bey Alzheimer’s Speaks Dementia Caregiver Cruise back in November 2017. Brightview Senior Living had been generous enough to sponsor copies of Cruising Through Caregiving for every passenger on the cruise.

In addition to receiving the book and information about Brightview, Mrs. Todd told me that she after the cruise she had the opportunity to hear Patrick Doyle (Corporate Director of Dementia Care at Brightview) on Lori’s podcast. When Mrs. Todd decided that she and her husband were ready to move, Brighview was top of mind. It was a pleasure to partner with Brightview Senior Living Lori La Bey and Alzheimer’s Speaks. And Mary Todd thanks for introducing yourself and giving permission for us to share your story!

 

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.