Career, Identify & Dementia Caregiving with AARP – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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For many people, career is a big part of their identity.  During this episode of the Virtual Book Club for dementia caregivers, sponsored by Hilarity For Charity and Oasis Senior Advisors, we welcome Amy Goyer, caregiving expert from AARP.  Here Amy’s thoughts on how to keep doing a great job at work while caring for someone you love who has dementia:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIPn02Aj-xM&feature=youtu.be

 

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.

Is Moving In A Good Idea? – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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Caregivers often believe they must move Mom into their home in order to be a “good caregiver.” This especially is true when Mom has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.

During Session 5 of our Virtual Book Club for Dementia Caregivers co-sponsored by Hilarity For Charity and Oasis Senior Advisors, we discuss this theory. Check out the replay below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3_QhKu-UJM

 

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 Person With Dementia Is Not The Only Person In The Family! – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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If your mom, dad, grandparent or spouse have dementia, they are important. Of course they are. But if they are constantly the only priority in the family, it’s not good for them or anyone else. Check out Session 4 of the Virtual Book Club for Dementia Caregivers for a frank discussion on how to handle the impulse to over-prioritize your loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia:

 

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.

Virtual Book Club For Dementia Caregivers Launches!

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In partnership with Hilarity For Charity and Oasis Senior Advisors, Cruising Through Caregiving’s Virtual Book Club session for dementia caregivers is below.  During this first episode we talk about the Chapter One of Cruising Through Caregiving called “Caregiving 101.”

What’s a primary caregiver and how is that person like the captain of a ship?  How can secondary and tertiary caregivers lighten the load of the primary caregiver?  What do you do when you make a “mistake” as a caregiver?  We cover that and more on this session!  Click here for the replay:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLg3pcgWyEPY9VdBxI16KjcfRw32F0ZfTx

To sign up for the next 14 sessions click here:  www.cruisingthroughcaregiving.com!

 

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.