My Demented Mom

5 million Americans suffer from Dementia. My mom is one of them. A site for young adult caregivers struggling and coping with "the long goodbye."

When it comes to parenthood, there are moments that stick out. Moments where you think, “OK, I need to mentally bookmark this blip in time because it’s special.” I have those moments from time to time with my daughter. I also have other moments … moments where I think, “Huh, I’ve done this before.” Like the time […]

Dealing with my mom was especially difficult, mostly because of the lack of help. Unfortunately, due to of her type of dementia — frontotemporal dementia — it was almost impossible to ask for help because of her behaviors. In hindsight, I suppose, there were small things that could have been done to help lighten the load. The thing […]

Family Caregiver Award Winner – Kathy Ritchie (Primary Caregiver for her mother, a resident of Beatitudes Campus, Phoenix, AZ)The Exceptional Friend or Family Caregiver Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding compassion and abilities in one-on-one caregiving for a friend or family member living with dementia. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the event in […]

The other day, my friend Gary posted an NPR “All Things Considered” interview with a woman named Deirdre Sullivan to his Facebook wall. The gist of the interview was the importance of going to the funeral — a lesson that was imparted to Sullivan by her father. Sullivan says this: I believe in always going to the funeral. My father […]

My interview with Max Wallack, founder of Puzzles To Remember, an organization that provides puzzles to nursing homes that care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, proves that no matter how old you are, you can make a huge difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and dementias. Wallack first witnessed the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease when […]

I have a message for my mother’s friends, family and acquaintances: She’s still alive. My mother’s heart still beats. Though she might not be able to talk to you, walk with you, or share a laugh with you, she’s still here. She’s still alive. If you spend any amount of time with her, you’ll quickly […]

My brother has been caring for her but I think it’s now my turn By Cary Tennis Dear Cary, When my mom first was showing signs of dementia I was adamant that “something must be done” as I got married, started a new career, and quickly had two small children. Naturally, what I did was […]

A MUST, MUST, MUST read that appeared in New York Magazine by Michael Wolff On the way to visit my mother one recent rainy afternoon, I stopped in, after quite some constant prodding, to see my insurance salesman. He was pressing his efforts to sell me a long-term-care policy with a pitch about how much […]

The running joke about me is that I see the glass as half empty………… The reason I choose to view most every situation from this angle is to avoid disappointment. It’s a method that’s served me well………….. especially when it comes to my family. Of course, I would never describe myself as a pessimist. That’s […]

A huge thank you to Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks for having me on the show last Friday along with Lisa Genova, author of The New York Times best-selling book, Still Alice. This was my first radio interview and I was absolutely thrilled to share airtime with Lori and Lisa. You can check out the […]

I’ve been hearing a lot of adult diaper jokes lately………………… I don’t know if that’s just how the universe works because the universe, in all of its infinite wisdom, is actually a really big dick……………………………. or I just happen to be more in tune with adult diapers since I buy them often. I don’t find […]

My grandpa passed away over a week ago. This, following everything with my mom…………………….. he was 94. We knew his life was coming to an end, but to have it happen so soon after we placed my mom, and in a way lost my mom…………………. I know my mom is in a much better environment, […]

I do not look like my mother. But ask anyone else and they would disagree with me. Oh my God! You look exactly like her, they say…. I’ve tried, but I have never seen my mother in the mirror……………….. And I have many mirrors. Truthfully, I’ve always fancied myself my father’s daughter……………… both in appearance and […]

I’m feeling lonely again. I hate this feeling. It’s a feeling usually mixed with sadness and hurt. Potent combo. Can leave you in a funk for days…. A little context………………… my dad and I are once again talking about nursing homes…. mom is just getting to that point where caregiving is difficult. She’s having more […]

I started this blog to chronicle and share my experience with my mom and her disease… but the more I wrote, the more it forced me to examine my own relationship with my mom (and myself)—before she became my demented mom. It’s easy to lose sight of the “before” when the present is always is […]

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