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Similes Replacing Smiles…for Now

Similes Replacing Smiles…for Now

Dementia is like a thief, Victims are robbed, that is true Like a ship that strikes the reef, And steals captain and the crew. You may not remember me, but I still remember you! Dementia is like a thorn, Florists know its painful stab While a rose stem leaves me torn,...

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Standing at the door to my bedroom, my father stood in his dark blue suit tapping his foot while staring at his sixteen-year-old daughter. “Jackie, hurry up. We’re going to be late,” he ordered. In the Madden family, punctuality was right up there with perfect manners...

Planning for a Disaster Doesn’t Have to Be One

Planning for a Disaster Doesn’t Have to Be One

It’s a scary world sometimes. We’re always hearing about disasters in the news. Tornadoes, hurricanes and wildfires can displace thousands of people from their homes and cause millions of dollars in property damage.  These events are difficult under the best of...

When is it OK to “narc” on your Mom?

When is it OK to “narc” on your Mom?

A "narc" is someone who informs on another person to the authorities, and you may feel like a "narc" when you report your aging parent's difficulties to a doctor or other health care provider. Sometimes it is important for you to share this information, though, and we...

Thankful Grateful

Thankful Grateful

On a gray, rainy Monday afternoon, as I sat with my mom in a consultation appointment with her new surgeon, the definitions of two words came to life for me in a new way, offering a glimmer of hope during a cloudy season.  When I heard my mom, who has been my...

Death by Dementia

Death by Dementia

Some deaths Are like the slamming of a door. Sudden. Complete. You are either On one side of the door, Or the other, With no contact between. But dementia isn’t like that. It is simultaneously more gentle, And more cruel. Not one, complete, total, goodbye. Instead...

Ambiguous Loss and Paradox

Ambiguous Loss and Paradox

Guilt. Stress. Exhaustion. Anger. Sadness. We read these cries for help - these pleas for release - in blogs for caregivers whose spouses have incurable illnesses. We hear these cries loud and clear in our face-to-face support groups as we commiserate, sooth and...

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