Joy Johnston

Joy Johnston is an Atlanta-based digital journalist who began The Memories Project blog in 2012 after her father died of Alzheimer’s. Her essays have appeared in best-selling anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias.
The heat is on, so check on your elders

The heat is on, so check on your elders

This summer has already been a scorcher, and sadly, deadly for the most vulnerable populations, including our elders. Arizona's record-breaking heat wave has already claimed lives, and the rise in heat-related deaths, especially among the older population, is expected...

Should we buck the bucket list trend?

Should we buck the bucket list trend?

  A new year means a new emphasis on resolutions, life goals, and marking things off that bucket list. As caregivers, we may find ourselves abandoning our own dreams to help an ill relative tackle their own bucket list. Is there a better way to achieve...

Mind that Mouth

Mind that Mouth

A visit to the dentist is sometimes met with dread, but our mouths tell us more about our health than we may realize. I gained insight into the importance of oral health in my years as a caregiver for my parents. Our family always had lousy teeth; some of my earliest...

What I learned about aging in place

What I learned about aging in place

  Making modifications to the home can help your loved ones age in place, a goal of an increasing amount of families. There are plenty of resources online that offer checklists and other pieces of advice that cover the most common modifications. With hindsight...

Caregivers’ dirty little secrets

Caregivers’ dirty little secrets

As I share my experiences of being a caregiver for my parents, I find myself constantly questioning how many personal details I should be revealing about my parents' medical conditions. While common decency frowns upon TMI (Too Much Information), in the caregiving...

Caregivers deserve support, not debt

Caregivers deserve support, not debt

  Finally, I can see the light. I'm slowly but steadily climbing my way out of a mountain of debt that I accrued as a caregiver. The financial burden of being a caregiver can be devastating, but it is often overlooked. We don't like to talk about caregiving in...

Caregiving is not a contest

Caregiving is not a contest

Caregiving is an emotional endeavor by its very nature. When people discuss their own caregiving experiences, or write about them, raw emotions are often shared. We want someone else to understand what we are going through, as caregiving can be such a lonely and...

The final mystery: Death without diagnosis

The final mystery: Death without diagnosis

  When I asked the funeral home director about obtaining an autopsy for my mother, I was met with a long, uncomfortable silence, as if I had asked about arranging a cannibal feast with my mom’s corpse as the main course. “Do you really want to do that,” he asked,...

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