Win a FREE trip to the National Caregiving Conference in Chicago

holding hands
The Imperfect Caregiver is honored to be among those who will be presenting at the Third Annual Caregiving Conference in Chicago, November 9th and 10th.  For a sneak preview of the presenters Caregiving.com is having a virtual summit May 14 – May 24.

Virtual Caregiving Summit

Our virtual summit, featuring conversations with our National Caregiving Conference presenters, begins May 14 and ends May 24.

Check back to watch our video chats about how we found our best selves during caregiving. This year’s conference theme, Our Best Selves, encourages us to look at how we do our best during an experience that feels like the worst.

When you watch our videos and share a comment, you’ll be entered into a chance to win a trip to Chicago to attend our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference (NCC18). In your comment, please tell us why you’d like to join us in Chicago for NCC18.

View the National Caregiving Summit online and meet the presenters that will be speaking at the National Caregiving Conference in Chicago this coming November.

When you watch the videos and share a comment, you’ll be entered into a chance to win

I hope one of my followers is among the winners!

 

 

 

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She Doesn’t Remember Me

via She Doesn’t Remember Me

FREE Caregiver Conference April 18, 2018

 

HaChaterfield VA Keynote Flyer April 2018

Have you attended a caregiver conference? If so, what topics drew you to the event? What would you like to see addressed at future events? If you have not attended a caregiver conference would you attend if there was respite care provided at the event?

The Need to Educate Employers on How to Support Working Caregivers

Click on the link below to hear my presentation to members of the Loudoun Senior Interest Network at Ashleigh Retirement Village in Lansdowne, VA on March 7, 2018.

This group of senior professionals in the caregiving industry are wonderful to work with.

http://bit.ly/2G1gjXX

Use the comment form below to share your thoughts on this issue and/or to arrange a presentation at your workplace, care facility, church, or civic organization.

 

 

Caregivers Need A Team of Helpers

This is part one of a presentation I did recently.  Follow the imperfect caregiver on YouTube for more videos like this.

I always appreciate hearing from followers. Please post your comments in the form below:

 

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

broken heart

When it comes to care giving, sometimes love doesn’t enter the picture at all. People with dementia behave in ways that try us to our very limits. Waking each morning wondering what new hell this day will bring causes anxiety, resentment, grief, and anger.

You may have loved your parent, your spouse, your sibling, or your grandparent for many years, but when dementia takes over and the person you knew is gone, replaced by a stranger trying to escape from you, refusing to bathe, and accusing you of all kinds of terrible things, love can be forgotten. Sometimes it’s gone for only a moment or a day or two. Sometimes it dies leaving duty in its place and we grieve while they still live. Sometimes we pray for the end to come and are overwhelmed with guilt for even thinking such a thing.

However, it’s not death we wish for, we don’t really want that.  We wish for the pain to end.  Theirs and ours.

It is because we care that we started this journey.  It is because we care we carry on when we think it’s no longer possible, even when we wake up each morning wondering what new hell this day will bring.  For deep inside they remain who they once were and so do we. We rise and enter their world ready to keep them safe another day.  And that’s what love’s got to do with it.

Please share your thoughts in the form provided

Christmas Past May Be the Best Present

“Christmas will be just another day in our house. Mom doesn’t know what day it is anyway.”

And that’s true. She doesn’t know it is  Christmas present but she may remember Christmas past and that may be the way to connect with her and bring a little happiness to your day.

Most of us save ornaments from year to year and some of them become family favorites that become little treasures of happy times. Forget about putting up a tree and having to deal with all that entails.  If you can do it without too much trouble, bring out one or two of the ornaments that adorned the trees in your home when you were growing up.

I remember making red and green chains out of construction paper as a child. Mom saved them until the glue dried out and they fell apart. Seeing even a picture of one makes me smile. I made some with my kids when they were little. Perhaps your family made them too. Even if they are long gone a picture of one may do the same in your home.

When my kids were little we had a large Styrofoam Santa head smiling at us from over the mantle each year. Now all my children have one to hang in their home. I won’t need a tree or lots of fuss to evoke Christmas when I am old. Seeing that Santa head will always connect us and bring back memories.

Hearing traditional Christmas carols may inspire an unexpected sing-along. And if your family is anything like ours you may want to include some of the less traditional ones like, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, or Santa Baby to mix things up.

If friends or family members ask what you want for Christmas tell them to forget about certificates for spa days you will never use. Tell them to stop by and bring a vintage Christmas card for your loved one and spend some time with them to give you a break. That’s what you really need and want any time of the year.  The gift of time is priceless.

Do you have a favorite ornament or Christmas song that evokes Christmas memories that connect you and you loved with Christmas past? If you do, feel free to share them here.

 

 

Respite Care – A Necessity for Caregivers

I am always seeking information about respite care and I am pleased to have received permission to post a link to a piece originally posted on Caring.com.

Respite Care: 8 Ways to Get a Break from Caregiving

What they are and how to find them
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If you have a tips or resources for finding respite care please share them by commenting on the form below.

Dementia and SEX – Let’s Be Honest It Happens

Source: Dementia and SEX – Let’s Be Honest It Happens

Dementia and SEX – Let’s Be Honest It Happens

Dad’s behavior is becoming more erratic as his dementia advances. His former mild manner is long gone replaced by outbursts and suspicion that come with sundowning each day.

The man you have known all of your life, the man who would never think of stepping out of line or behaving in an inappropriate manner with women, has suddenly started exposing himself to you and every other female he comes in contact with. He may express his desires in the crudest terms there are.

Shocked and horrified you may wonder, “Is this a side of him he kept hidden all these years? If so, I have no idea who my father really is.”

Or: You enter your mother’s room to say goodnight. She has thrown off her blanket and removed her underwear. Her back is to you. It takes a few seconds for you to understand what she is doing.

Your reaction may be, “Oh my god, Mom would never do that!”

Or: You arrive to spend time with a spouse in a memory care facility and walk in on him or her in a passionate embrace with one of the other residents. You are hurt and angry. Feelings of betrayal and jealousy take your breath away.

How could the one who promised to faithful until death do us part betray you when you are sacrificing so much to make sure they get the best possible care?

What is going on? How can you ever face this person? Do you even want to? What can you do about it?

Dementia is a devastating brain disease. If the part of the brain where inhibitions are stored is affected acting out sexually may happen. The libido remains strong throughout life, for women and men with dementia included. The difference now is that their brain is damaged. They don’t understand that their behavior is not appropriate.

So what are you, the caregiver, to do?

First and foremost, protect yourself. If there is any hint of danger go to a place of safety. Lock yourself in the bathroom, run to a neighbor, call 911 if necessary. Make sure you tell the dispatcher that the person acting out has dementia so officers understand what is happening and why.

If there is no danger to you or others, simply close the door and walk away allowing him or her the privacy they deserve and you the time to work thorough your feelings.

Understand that people with dementia often forget their actions as soon as they occur. It would be helpful if you could find a way to do the same. If you can’t, feel free to vent here. You are not alone. The Imperfect Caregiver has lived it and is here to help. 

For more information on sex and dementia go here: http://bit.ly/2wBy3Dp

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