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Make Dementia Your B*tch!

I help caregivers confidently manage difficult dementia behaviours so that they and their loved ones experience happier relationships.

The Blog

Announcement & Favor

Hello, awesome reader! I am in the final stages of updating my Competent and Confident Dementia Caregiving Program. Stay tuned! Meanwhile, I want to make sure that this program serves YOU. Could you do me a favor? Please take this short (just 2 questions!!) survey. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help.

Wandering & Dementia

Wandering is a common issue in people living with dementia, affecting 20% of people living with dementia out in the community and 60% of those in long-term care settings. There are 3 types of wandering behavior. The first is elopement, where a person is trying to escape from an unfamiliar environment—you may see this in…

Challenges Facing Employed Care Partners in a Post-Covid World

One of the upsides of the Covid-19 pandemic was that many family caregivers could work from home and better balance caregiving responsibilities. As adult day care centers and respite centers shut down, family caregivers became even more important to people living with dementia. It was not easy balancing caregiving responsibilities with work expectations, but it…

Dealing with “Stubborn and Mean” Dementia Behaviors: Tips and Approaches

Does this feel familiar: “I quit my job to care for him, but he never appreciates anything I do.” Do you find yourself thinking, “Why is she so mean to me? Can’t she see I’m trying to help her?” Are you asking yourself, “How do I handle the stubbornness? It feels like I’m fighting all…

Capgras Syndrome and Dementia

For today’s blog, I want to dive deeper into Capgras syndrome: why we think it happens and what to do about it. Some people living with dementia develop Capgras syndrome–which is a fixed, false belief that family members are being replaced by look-alikes…by imposters.

Delusions in Dementia (Part 2): Strategies and Approaches

In last week’s blog, I described three common types of delusions that you may encounter when caring for a person living with dementia: persecutory delusions, jealousy delusions, and scarcity delusions.  There are other types of delusions, but these are the ones that tend to show up most often in people living with dementia. In this…

Delusions in Dementia, Part 1

Delusions are defined as false beliefs. These delusions can occur anytime in the dementia journey and they usually run their course then fade away. For this blog, I’m going to write about the three of the most common types of delusions that are encountered when caring for a person living with dementia: persecutory, jealousy, and…

Deciding to Place a Loved One with Dementia is Not Surrendering

I want family caregivers to know that placement does not mean you failed. It does not mean you are a rotten son, daughter, partner, spouse, sibling or friend. It means that you are continuing to care for the person with dementia. You are looking for the best option for ALL concerned.

Dementia and Driving: How to Take Away the Keys

Taking away the car keys from a person living with dementia is difficult, because driving is important for independence. Before I dive into the “how to” part of this blog, I want to talk about emotions and beliefs around driving. Knowing this information can help you strategize.

Releasing Caregiver Guilt, Anxiety, & Fear

Do you find yourself thinking the following thoughts? “Am I doing this right?” “Did I do everything I could to make her feel safe and happy? And did I do enough?” “I want some time for myself, but I feel guilty leaving him alone.”

What is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a type of neurodegenerative disease that includes ongoing and worsening problems with memory. CTE has been depicted in movies and television episodes–but not accurately. 

Youths Caring for Parents with Dementia

Over 5 million young people aged 8-18 provide care to a disabled family member…and a good chunk of these youths are caring for a parent with dementia–which is much more difficult than helping to care for a grandparent with dementia.

Dementia and Medications: Mood Stabilizers, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics

Antidepressant medication makes sense when you think about what is going on in the brain of a person living with dementia. In fact, some of the studies I referenced found that antidepressants alone, and antidepressants combined with meds like donepezil, were more effective than antipsychotics in controlling difficult behaviors like agitation. On the other hand,…

Valentine Post for Dementia Caregivers: 2022

Valentine’s Day is traditionally about romance. It celebrates the fun side of love. For many carers and care partners of persons living with dementia, love is demonstrated daily through multiple acts of kindness and dignity. Here is my Valentine’s message to these heroes. Send a care partner that you know something special this Valentine’s Day.

Sun Downing: Distress Message from People Living with Dementia

Sun downing–a period of seemingly increased confusion and agitation that may occur in the afternoon/evening but can occur at any time–is a behavioral symptom of distress. Sun downing, like many dementia-related behaviors, is treated like “just one of those things.” Like an inevitable behavior that caregivers just have to put up with. I call bullshit.…

Safety Issues Across Types and Stages of Dementia

People living with dementia have different safety needs, depending on the type of dementia they have and their current stage. In the video, I talk about what safety issues caregivers need to be prepared for, and what approaches they can take for those safety issues. Registration for The Dementia Behaviors Master Class will remain open…

Dementia Behavior Master Class Almost Here!

Here is what you will get: Week 1: Overview of the different types of dementiasHow to avoid argumentsDealing with over-and-over again questionsDealing with irritabilityGroup coaching–live questions and answers Week 2 What to do when people with dementia refuse help and careGeneral approachesBathingDressingMedicationsAgitation/aggression as fear responsesGroup coaching–live questions and answers Week 3 Safety issuesDrivingWandering and leaving…

Helping People Living with Dementia Who Refuse Care, Part 1

Hello, everyone! Care refusals are so frustrating! In this video, I talk about the brain changes that contribute to care refusals. I did a good amount of research on this topic (click here and here for 2 publications). I hope this video is helpful. Please leave me comments below!

How Do I Know if My Family Member Living with Dementia Can Safely Make Decisions?

The holidays are a time of family togetherness. Unfortunately, the holidays are also a time when families may start to notice that grandmother is having memory problems and now feel a sense of urgency to “do something.” Or, now that everyone knows that dad has been diagnosed with dementia, the siblings take advantage of everyone…

How Do I Handle Hallucinations?

Hallucinations refer to sights, sounds, feelings, and smells that come from inside the brain. Hallucinations are common with Lewy Body Dementia but can happen with any dementia. Learn how to handle hallucinations when they happen to people living with dementia.

Making Holidays and Traditions Dementia-Friendly

Holidays can be wonderful, exhausting, amazing, and problematic all at the same time. Add being a dementia caregiver, and things get complicated! This year may be worse, because many families could not spend time together thanks to last winter’s coronavirus surge! In this blog, I offer simple tips to make any holiday–especially this Thanksgiving, Hanukah,…

2021 Crash Course in Dementia-Centric Communication

Dementia-centric communication is the ability to interact with people who have dementia in a respectful and meaningful way. I hear, over and over again, “I don’t know what to say to a person with dementia.” “What if I do something wrong?” Fear not, I am here to help by providing some key points to guide…

Reversible Causes of Memory Problems

Dementia cannot be cured, yet there are stories all over the internet about a drug or supplement or program that cured dementia. A reversible problem causing memory problems was probably the culprit!

Dementia & Poop: How to Avoid Accidents and Stop Smearing

Warning: This is a graphic topic. Learning and Procedural Memory Today, I received a call from a good friend who was very upset. She is caring for her father and he is smearing his poop all over the bathroom. Towels, walls, any surface within reach. He is leaving the bathroom with feces all over his…

Dementia Best Care Practices

(formerly the 10 Commandments of Dementia Care) I am currently writing a book, “Make Dementia Your B*tch.” This book contains many of the blogs but have been updated and organized into a very reader-friendly text. It will be available by mid-November in print, e-book, kindle, and other formats. I am so super excited!!! I will…

How Do I Know if Someone With Dementia Should Still Be Driving?

Driving & Dementia Driving involves several types of brain activities. These activities have to work together. A problem in one area can jeopardize the whole process. Driving definitely relies on procedural memory. Procedural memory is the memorization of all of the steps to do something. We create procedural memory by doing a specific task daily…

How to Get a Person with Dementia to Drink More Water

It’s summer, it’s hot outside, and dehydration can sneak up on a person with dementia. Even “mild” dehydration can cause confusion. And urinary tract infections (NO!!!!!!!!) How do you get a person with dementia to drink more water? Check out these ideas. Offer Small Sips How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a…

Stages of Dementia

I am often asked, “What stage of dementia is my family member in?” I explain the stages here!

Dementia & Returning to Summer Fun

After being on lockdown, everyone wants to get out, visit family, and enjoy summer events. Social interaction is healthy for both caregivers (who often feel isolated) and for persons living with dementia. Here are some tips for making these events enjoyable for persons with dementia and their carers!

Good Enough Caregiving (Avoiding Perfectacrastination)

Some caregivers of persons living with dementia get into the “perfectacrastination” trap. They are waiting until the “perfect time” before taking action. Maybe it is time to take away the car keys. Or it is time to move mom out of her house into an assisted living apartment. Or time to get the power of…

What Does Advance Care Planning Mean for People with Dementia?

Advance care planning is important for everyone, especially for those living with dementia.  Advance care planning is more than end-of-life care decisions. As people travel on their dementia journey, there are multiple crossroads that involve decisions. Should a person with moderate to severe dementia continue to have colonoscopies and mammograms? The answer depends on what…

Dementia and One Year of Covid

I cannot believe that this time one year ago I was seeing patients in my dementia clinic, completely unaware of the changes about to happen because of Covid-19.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2021

Valentine’s Day is traditionally about romance. It celebrates the fun side of love. For many carers and care partners of persons living with dementia, love is demonstrated daily through multiple acts of kindness and dignity. Here is my Valentine’s message to these heroes. Send a care partner that you know something special this Valentine’s Day.

Twelve Weeks and Counting: Dementia Caregiving in the Coronavirus Climate

It’s been twelve weeks since my last post about dementia caregiving and coronavirus issues. I apologize for my lack of posts. Like many of you, I’ve had to quickly adapt to the “new normal.”  Here are some of the ways the pandemic has affected my work….and lessons learned that I’d like to share.

COVID-19 and Dementia Caregiving Tips

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alzheimer’s Association have excellent general resources for dementia caregivers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please refer to those sites first; I am not going to repeat their advice on this blog. Instead, I provide some additional and practical COVID-19 and dementia caregiving tips…

Guns and Dementia: No Brainer?

It may seem like common sense to remove firearms from the house of a person with dementia. Especially if you have observed prior instances of unsafe behavior. But what happens when the person with dementia reports the guns as stolen? Read more for pre-emptive strategies and approaches for both family members and law enforcement.

Decisional Capacity or Competence?

Financial exploitation is a real problem that impacts persons living with dementia and their families. Decisional capacity is the ability to make a decision. Decisional capacity does not mean everyone agrees with the person’s final decision; I can have the ability to make a decision, but may still make a poor one because I allowed…

The PANDA Project: New Resources for Dementia Caregivers in Alabama

Drowning in Dementia in Alabama According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 304,000 people in Alabama are family caregivers for 92,000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This number only includes people who are 65 years old or older. It does not capture the 13% of people aged 45 or older who have some type of cognitive impairment,…

Newly Updated Index Page!

Hello, awesome readers! A reader alerted me about broken links on the Looking for Something Specific page. I was absolutely horrified to discover that nearly all of my links had been broken! WordPress assigns a new URL every time a blog is updated. So, I had to go through each topic and update the link.…


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My book, “Make Dementia Your B*tch!” is now available on Amazon!

What is in the book?

The ground breaking book on dementia for anyone living with dementia or who cares for a loved one with dementia

  • Learn about the different types of dementia: Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body, Frontotemporal, and Vascular
  • Be prepared for different challenges throughout the dementia journey, from a correct diagnosis to palliative care
  • Prevent and manage many challenging behaviors, especially care refusals and “denials”
  • Develop your own strategies by following the concrete guidance in this book
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