The Perfect Thing on Patreon

Dear friends, I have some exciting news. I’m establishing a presence on Patreon.

This is my way of making sure that The Perfect Thing blog will always be a free and open resource for everyone.

You see, the web hosting and data plan behind The Perfect Thing have been self-funded for four years now.  It’s time to take it to the next level. I hope and expect that a presence on Patreon will sustain this blog, ensuring it offers free content forever, for everyone who loves someone with Alzheimer’s.

More Than Funding

This is not just about funding The Perfect Thing blog—though it is that. It’s also about the assurance that my work has a community around it.

Patrons (a lot like the ones back in the Renaissance) give creators and educators a pathway to financial stability for their work, providing for supplies and resources, and enabling the mobility that serious outreach takes.

Today’s patrons, like the “angel investors” of tech startups, see something has potential to grow and something people need. But in this case, patrons really are angelic—their rewards involve not a monetary payback, but the sense of contributing to a social good. Contributing to something that makes the world a better place.

How It Works

You may have heard of the Kickstarter portal, where people collectively fund one-time projects.  Patreon makes it possible for people to collectively support creativity and outreach over time (different from one effort).

Jack Conte founded Patreon in 2013—in part, to help fund his own music. So Patreon itself is a labor of love. Today, Patreon has more than a million patrons who contribute an average of $12 monthly to the artists, writers, and educators of their choice.

Patrons become members of a creator’s support system. There they inspire and shape what’s produced.

If you want to see my work flourish and you’d like to become part of my support system, please join my community on Patreon. And let others know about it. You’ll be enriching the variety of resources available to a growing number of people who love someone with Alzheimer’s.

Thank you for reading, and for your vote of confidence.

Your Friend on the Journey,

Barbara

Success Measures for Alzheimer’s Caregiving

ALZHEIMER’S, YOUR PARENTS, and YOUR SUPPORT

 “The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity.”
– Dorothy Parker

If you’ve ever measured your success by the size of your boat, the initials after your name or the RPMs on your sportscar, you probably understand the link between success measures and motivation.

If you’ve ever spent even one day as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, you probably realize how tricky choosing an Alzheimer’s caregiving success measure can be. If we measure Alzheimer’s caregiving success by the improvements we see in our Loved Ones’ behaviors, we set ourselves up for failure. Alzheimer’s behaviors always grow more complex over time. Measuring success by capping the number of prescriptions our Loved One takes highlights little more than the minimal effectiveness of available treatments on the market.

What do we do? Give up?  Stop trying?

My caregiving story is that my Mom had Alzheimer’s for fifteen years. My father was Mom’s primary caregiver. I experimented with dozens of roles I could fill to contribute to my parent’s well-being from ninety miles away.  Finally, I stumbled on the role of ‘caregiver-to-the-Caregiver’.  I chose to support my Dad’s well-being, so he could be his very best self in caring for Mom.

Determined to find a way to maintain my positive motivation in this modern and under-recognized caregiving role, I experimented with handfuls of success measures to see what sustained my motivation best. The bonus benefit was that what motivated me best also gave me a fresh perspective on caregiving.

What worked for me was to give myself credit each time I got curious or learned something new. I made it into a game.

Give it a try and see if it gives you a fresh perspective on caregiving.


RULES OF THE GAME

  1. GET CURIOUS

In this game you get credit for doing a good job every time you get curious.

To start, challenge yourself to see things differently. Start by asking interesting questions about everything involved in your caregiving. (Interesting questions often begin with: who, what where or when).  In my case my questions were about my Mom, my Dad, their home, their interactions with me, their decisions, their medical team – everything.

For example,

  • Who is doing all the chores that Mom used to do?
  • Does Dad know how to do laundry?
  • What reasons might Dad have to kick me out of the house at 4 pm?

At this point, give yourself credit for doing a good job because…

  • You’ve followed the rules, or…
  • You’ve avoided extra work by asking questions rather than rolling up your sleeves, or…
  • You’ve put your parent’s needs first, or…
  • You’ve asked important questions that lead you to the truth.
  1. CURIOSITY = GOOD JOB

If your Dad does something as unexpected as to kick you out of the house, you can either give up out of frustration, or consider that there’s likely something more to it.

That’s why the next step in the game is to get curious about what happened. And about the events surrounding it.

For me this lead to more questions…

  • Maybe Dad is stressed about cooking dinner?
  • Maybe there is only enough food for two?
  • Maybe something happens this time of day that I am yet to understand?

Again, at this point in the game, to get credit for doing a good job all you need to do it exercise your curiosity.

  1. LEARNING = GOOD JOB

As you get curious, curiosity opens the door to learning.  Pour your curiosity into an A3 or a pair of Current State / Ideal Future State sketches.  What you create will help you see many things clearly for the first time:

  • Perhaps something does happen around 4 pm.
  • I seem to recall Dr. Noel teaching us about something called sundowning. It happens to people with Alzheimer’s at dusk.  They become agitated. Sometimes they wander.
  • Does Mom wander the house while Dad cooks dinner? Wow – that would stress him out for sure. Is Mom sundowning?
  • Maybe Dad needs ideas for simpler meals to make this time of day easier.
  • It’s been a while since I visited my folks overnight. I’ll ask Dad if I can spend the night. I should bring dinner. I’ll observe.
  • I’ll call Dad today and ask if I can come next week.

Here I learned that:

  • I need more information,
  • It’s time for an overnight visit with Mom and Dad, and…
  • I should bring dinner

Again, in this game, you get credit for doing a good job whenever you learn. For example, when…

  • You’ve created an action-plan that promises to lead to more learning, or…
  • You’ve discovered the right and only course of action through your intense research and questioning, or…
  • You’re being a good daughter/son by prioritizing your parents needs over your own, or…
  • You’ve chosen your own path forward.
  1. GET CURIOUS AGAIN

With an idea to visit Mom and Dad in mind, I now have the chance to get curious again.

  • How stressed is Dad in the morning? Afternoon? Evening?
  • How does Dad’s stress impact the way he cares for Mom?
  • What can I contribute that might make life more peaceful for Mom and Dad?

Give yourself credit for doing a good job whenever you engage your curiosity.

SCORING

Add up your credits.  These credits serve as evidence that whatever direction the health of your Loved One takes, you are in fact doing a good job caregiving. Use these credits to motivate and reward yourself.


SUMMARY

  • The opportunity to care for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s IS A GIFT.
  • IT IS NORMAL to need a fresh perspective during the darkest days of caregiving.
  • The next time you are longing for a fresh perspective, ask yourself what evidence can I use to measure the impact of my caregiving.
  • Give this a game a try. Consider that:
    • Curiosity and learning are skills we have been using since we were born.
    • Curiosity and learning fit into every schedule since they happen while we do other things.
    • Curiosity and learning fit in every budget since they are free.
    • Curiosity and learning can become good habits during and after caregiving.

Curiosity and learning became ways to reward myself with positive affirmation.   After all, usually the only one there to recognize and reward yourself for your caregiving is you. Once I believed I was doing a good job, it gave me more peace, patience and joy with Mom and Dad as I cared for them.  That’s all the evidence I need to use this approach again the next time I need a fresh perspective on caregiving.

Your friend on the journey,

Barbara


Learn more:

Want to ask better questions?  Research based recommendations are found in this Harvard Business Reviews Ideacast  https://hbr.org/ideacast/2018/05/ask-better-questions.html

Want to form a habit?  Download this free .pdf from Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit  https://charlesduhigg.com/want-to-make-a-habit/

Phone support for an Alzheimer’s caregiver parent (Plus/Delta Review)

ALZHEIMER’S, YOU AND YOUR SUPPORT

IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITY: BUILDING TRUST

My Dad considered Mom’s Alzheimer’s care to be his duty. To Dad’s credit, he took full command of Mom’s care and served her with honor.

I knew Dad would eventually need to trust others to help him. One countermeasure I tested to build this trust was to encourage Dad to call me for help.

HOW IT WORKED

Back then, Dad was yet to own a smartphone or a computer.  He also had yet to understand how these tools could make his life easier. I invited Dad to call me to ask for help getting things he needed.  He could call when he needed the phone number of the local shop that sharpened lawn mower blades. He could call when he was yet to have the time to go from store to store to shop for replacement vacuum cleaner bags only Mom knew where to find. I’d do the research and call Dad back, always careful to swap the information he requested for updates on Mom, her behaviors and her well-being.

As the strain of caregiving increased, and Dad’s trust that I was there for him grew, he began to call me for other kinds of support.  Dad’s calls took on a new tone. Mom had misplaced her engagement ring that morning and Dad had spent three hours on the hunt.  Mom had wandered away in the middle of cleaning the bathroom sink and now Dad had to finish his chores and hers as well. Dad was exasperated and needed a friendly ear.

As Mom’s Alzheimer’s progressed, and Dad’s trust in me to support him grew, so grew the complexity of the support issues.  How can Mom get an accurate eyeglass prescription when she always tells the Optometrist her vision is fine? Is cataract surgery a good idea for Mom considering that she has Alzheimer’s?

WHAT WENT WELL (Plus)

  • Phone support kept parent/adult-child lines of communication open.
  • Frequent calls kept me in the loop on daily events in my parent’s lives.
  • Gathered valuable intelligence during daily chats that would have been missed with a once-a-week call.
  • Built Dad’s trust that help could be found to meet his caregiving needs.
  • Built Dad’s trust that I could help from 2 hours away.
  • Became an ear-witness (we had yet to have video chat) to Dad’s need for more sleep.
  • Became an ear-witness to Dad’s need for more private time.
  • Kept up-to-date on new evidence that the Alzheimer’s was progressing.

WHAT I’D CHANGE IF I COULD DO IT OVER (Delta)

  • I’d set firm boundaries around the days and times that I could welcome Dad’s calls.
  • I’d provide Dad an emergency plan to follow when he needed support on my off hours. (For example, the phone numbers for The Alzheimer’s Association’s National 24 x 7 hotline (1-800-273-3900); Dad’s local Area Agency on Aging; Dad’s local Department of Social Services.)
  • I’d keep a log of call date / time / topic.
    • Use to identify our knowledge gaps
    • Use to spot trends in calls
    • Use to identify when to bring in outside expertise
  • I’d care for my own emotional and physical health by involving others sooner.

Your friend on the journey,

Barbara

What 24 hours in your parents’ home can teach you

THE ALZHEIMER’S GEMBA IS YOUR PARENTS’ HOME

“Go see, ask why, show respect”

— Fujio Cho

Can Alzheimer’s really be as big a deal as people say?

After all, my parents and I talk on the phone every week, and Mom seems fine.  Sure, the last few weeks she handed the phone to Dad and walked away. But Mom’s always had her moods.  And sure, Dad does interrupt our conversations to tell Mom to put down the banana.  But I probably should have called at a better time of day.

When a Loved One is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s life changes for every person in the family.

Acceptance comes in waves, with the hush of denial in between.

Let’s say you are a family member who wants to support your Loved One and Caregiver through Alzheimer’s.  There is a technique you can use to speed up your acceptance.  The same technique helps you clearly see the new lives that your Loved One and Caregiver now live.

Here it is: Spend twenty-four hours in your parent’s home.

 Photo by Henri Picot via Unsplash

While you’re there, pay attention to the items listed below. Can you see differences between your parents ten years ago, and your parents today?  Notice each of your parents in the morning, afternoon, and evening.  Remember: this is a fact-finding mission.  The temptation is to jump into immediate improvement mode. Do your best to simply observe. Only when the visit is complete, and you review what you learned, are you ready to identify possibilities that may improve each of your parent’s new realities.

The good news is that even though there is yet to be a cure for Alzheimer’s, there are many ways to improve life for your Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s and your Caregivers. What’s important is that improvement possibilities address what is needed today, and when possible anticipate what may be needed in the next six to twelve months. This requires effort.  Observe the following.

                   Household Safety Checklist by Professor Robyn Gerson, UCSF                   Household Safety Checklist by Professor Robyn Gerson, UCSF

Twenty-four hours at your parent’s home will give you a fresh perspective on how Alzheimer’s has already changed their lives.  It will speed up your acceptance of the new realities of their lives and yours. And, twenty-four hours will help you identify things in your parent’s lives that you can explore with them as things they may consider improving.

Given all that you learn, this exercise may be the best return you will ever get on an investment of twenty-four-hours.  Plan now for a return visit in six to twelve months to see what has changed and what that can teach you.

Your friend on the journey,

Barbara

RELATED ARTICLES FOR ALZHEIMER’S KIDS

WHO’S DOSING WHO? – Alzheimer’s, your parents and their medicine  Read

LUNCH WITH JACK & MRS. SPRATT –  Alzheimer’s, your parents and their diet Read

INDEPENDENT LIVING AND YOUR LOVED ONE – When is it time for a change?  Alzheimer’s, your parents and their safety  Read

An Alzheimer’s Love Letter I wish I had sent to my Dad

If I’d have known then what I know now, I’d have sent this Alzheimer’s Love Letter to my Dad.

 

Dear Dad,

Thank you for sharing the news that Mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This means that today Mom is the best she will ever be. We should enjoy every moment we have together.
We also need to prepare for what is ahead.

While Alzheimer’s is different in each person, there are common patterns that families with a Loved One with Alzheimer’s share.

Since we would all like Mom to live at home as long as possible, it means that every member of the family will need to lend a hand in Mom’s care. And we will need a lot of outside help too.

The scariest thing I’ve heard is that Alzheimer’s Caregivers usually pass before their Loved One with the disease. The strain of caregiving coupled with normal aging is significant. Given your excellent health today, I agree this sounds unlikely to happen to us.  Yet I’ve heard from adult children who’ve seen their parents go through it. They say that Alzheimer’s care-needs are like an avalanche leaving the Caregiver buried at the bottom.

Research shows that whatever the caregiver’s plan is at the beginning, at some point during Alzheimer’s, an adult daughter or daughter-in-law shoulders some caregiving duties. I know you plan to care for Mom to the end by yourself.  What I’m saying is that since adult children often end up providing care, I want you to keep me in the loop from the start.

Please share Mom’s behaviors as they change.  Keep me in the loop as you take on new chores.  Different from hearing it as complaining, I promise to hear it as an honest barometer of the progress of Mom’s Alzheimer’s.

Let’s start with little steps.  I need to have complete medical histories for you and Mom, and the names and addresses of your doctors.  I need you to sign HIPPA releases allowing me access to your medical records.

Something else I’ve learned.  This is a biggie.  I’ve been advised that since I live two-hours from you, it’s going to be easy for me to be in denial about Mom’s condition. Apparently, the less I see Mom, the less in-tune I’ll be with the progression of her disease.  It will be very easy for me to imagine that the disease is yet to progress.  Especially if I hear very little from you.
Help me make career and life choices for the next decade with complete and current information about you and Mom.

This carries a real risk. If I’m in denial, I may do something counterproductive.  I may take on a work role that requires more time in the office, or more travel time away from you.  I may say yes to an overseas assignment. Each and every one of these times, I need to remember that in the decade to come, I’ll appreciate every aspect of my life that makes me available to you. My flexible schedule. Money in the bank. My work benefits.

Consider the alternative. I could wait for a crisis, then jump in with both feet.  At that point my learning curve will be so steep it will be like the anvil that falls on Wyle E. Coyote’s head in the old Road Runner cartoons.  I’ll be laying on the ground, with stars and bird spinning over my head just when you are most ready to accept my help.

There is one goal we can both aim for.  If you and I do this right, you can survive Mom’s Alzheimer’s.   That’s what I want. I hope it’s what you want too.

Can you support me in these?

Other big picture things we need to address:

  • Updating your wills
  • Putting a Health-care Power of Attorney in place for you both
  • Reviewing your Long-Term-Care Insurance coverage

Next week, we can start talking about you two living closer to me.

I love you Dad,

Barbara

The Perfect Thing Blog

I never cared for my mother during her Alzheimer’s. 

My Dad considered Mom’s care to be his duty as her husband. To Dad’s credit, he took full command of Mom’s care and served her with honor. 

Still, from the start, I knew there were ways I could contribute.  My challenge was to figure out how to do so, from where I lived ninety-miles away. Having had remarkable results using Lean in my consulting practice, I wondered how I could apply those principles to this situation.
In Lean, processes can be improved when defects and other kinds of excess are identified. I set my mind to contributing in different ways and learning from the resultsSA.

Defects in the contributions I made were easy for my Dad to spot and point out. I overstayed my welcome several afternoons, unaware that Dad was clearing the decks before Mom began sundowning and Dad exploded in anger. I pushed Dad to consider care options that he had yet to believe would benefit Mom and Dad pushed back.

Each time, I improved on the defects that Dad identified, and tried again. Each time, the lessons I learned by identifying and addressing the defects were treasures. I learned that at times my father knew best. I learned that at times I knew best. I learned that Dad needed more patience, more compassion, more forgiveness, and more love during caregiving than I ever imagined. And I learned that at times I needed the same from my husband as he supported me in my unique brand of Caregiving.

The Perfect Thing Blog is for you if you are in a similar place in your life.  If you have a parent diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and a parent who is their Caregiver.  In the blog, I share true stories of my family events during my Mom’s Alzheimer’s. I share my defects and what I learned by identifying and improving on them. I offer questions you can ask yourself to challenge your assumptions.  I share things that improved my family’s journey, or that would have had they been available back then.

In addition to the blog, I also create resources for Alzheimer’s Kids. In my first title, Patterns in Time, you can find answers to questions that come up when a family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s: What can I expect?  What might happen next? How can I find help?  What should I look out for? What do terms like respite and sundowning mean in the context of Alzheimer’s?

In my second title, Patterns at Hand, an overview of Alzheimer’s is shared with a spoonful of sugar to help it go down.  In this case, the sweetener is colorful photographs of the granny squares my Mom crocheted during her years with Alzheimer’s. My family’s story threads through it and is gently told in verse. The combination of the two is impactful and I hope memorable.

When Alzheimer’s took my Mom, my life was spared.  Every day I marvel at God’s grace and mercy. Every day I am truly thankful.  I believe that the resources I share in The Perfect Thing blog are Alzheimer’s life-preservers. I believe they might actually help save your life during your Alzheimer’s journey. 

Your Friend on the Journey,

Barbara

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What your caregiver really wants from you

ALZHEIMERS, YOUR PARENTS AND THEIR WISH-LIST


Dad has learned to cook. He’s learned to charm Mom into clean clothes. He’s learned to do laundry. Here are 11 budget-friendly gifts for your Alzheimer’s Caregiver Dad that will wrap him in love every day. After all, who deserves your love more?

“…a generous serving of love makes every gift better.” – Barbara Ivey

Brighten His Day

Life as a Caregiver means that your Dad is caring for your Alzheimer’s Loved one around the clock.  Along with preparing food and providing a safe home, Dad is the household source of love, laughter and joy. That means that Dad needs to be filled with joy enough for two. Here are some reasonably priced gift ideas that Dad and Mom can both enjoy together.

1.       A card – sweet, funny, or musical

2.       Recent photos, printed and mailed

3.       Old photos, printed and mailed

4.       A spare phone charger

Make Every Day Easier

Caregivers are on-the-job twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They take on household duties more and more as the Alzheimer’s Loved One becomes less able to remember the sequence of steps.  So a gift that makes a Caregiver’s day easier is always a great idea.

5.       Pre-prepared meals

6.       Sign Dad up for online grocery ordering, so he can pick up at the drive-through. 

7.       Clean laundry / laundry service

8.       A simplified wardrobe for Mom.   Having only this season’s clothes in the closet, helps her dress appropriately for the season.

9.       A clean, orderly living space that is safe for Mom

Visit

Before you visit, talk with your Dad to identify a convenient time to arrive. Your Alzheimer’s Loved One has good times of day, and better times of day. Remember that your Caregiver Dad needs a hug and a friendly face as much (or more) than your Alzheimer’s Loved One

10.   Try 2 by 2 visits.  Visit in pairs. This way, one visitor can talk, listen and laugh with the Caregiver while the other does the same with the Alzheimer’s Loved One.

When did your Caregiver last have a few minutes on their own?   The answer may surprise you. Getting a haircut used to be simple, fun errand.  So was getting the oil changed. Now, your Mom may come along on these errands (and others) because it is safer for her than staying home alone. Give your Caregiver Dad the gift of a free hour, an afternoon, or longer by caring for your Loved One yourself. Plus, you will learn a lot by walking in his shoes.

     11. Take a turn caring for your Mom

Whether you live near or far, whatever your budget, there are many priceless gift options you can give to your Caregiver Father that really will make life easier for him as he cares for your Mom.  And remember – a generous serving of love makes every gift better!

Finding your best during Caregiving

I found Denise Brown and her Caregiving.com community in the fall of 2017.  It was more than three years since my Mom had passed from Alzheimer’s. Sometimes I still needed reassurance that the ways my life had changed were normal. I had read a bit about the National Caregiving Conference and decided to tune in to the Livestream to see what value it might have for us Alzheimer’s Kids. 

The presenters and panelists I saw were all positive survivors. They made me feel accepted. They made me feel normal. I realized I had found my tribe.

This year I’m thrilled to be a presenter myself at that same event.

Recently, NCC18 host Denise Brown led a Virtual Caregiving Summit to give Caregivers a taste of what they can expect at the conference. Denise invited Stephanie Antoine, Karen Laing and me for a late-afternoon virtual cup-of-tea and a chat about finding our best during Caregiving.  Here it is for you to enjoy.

If this was helpful, I invite you to watch the other 2018 Virtual Caregiving Conference videos. All of the interviews are with real Caregivers like you.  Their varied perspectives are likely to resonate with you, and may even spark some fresh ways of thinking.  Watch all the 2018 Virtual Caregiving Conference videos here. 

Mark your calendar for November 9-10, 2018. The Third Annual National Caregiving Conference (NCC18) will be held on those days at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare in Chicago Illinois.  Family caregivers and former family caregivers will share their experiences, insights and solutions. The great news is that the conference is available to both those who can travel to Chicago and those who benefit from attending via Livestream.  The preliminary agenda for the Third Annual National Caregiving Conference can be found here.

 I’ll be presenting Curiosity and Learning: Evidence you are doing a good job caregiving.  Often, Caregiving is a life-long vocation. I’ll be encouraging healthy Caregivers to measure success by what they learn.  I’ll introduce proven Lean Process Improvement principles and tools to make this a simple and rewarding practice. Join me on the COPING track on Saturday, November 10, 2018

I encourage you to check out Caregiving.com. I love the fresh perspectives of those caring for Loved Ones in varying conditions; and the reminder that Caregiver needs are the same even when our Loved One’s diagnosis is different. Caregiving.com was founded by Denise Brown in 1996 to help and support family caregivers.  Caregiving.com is a community of supportive individuals caring for a family member or friend. This community cares for parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents and anyone we consider family. Caregiving.com cares for you before, during and after caregiving.  http://www.caregiving.com

Your Friend on the Journey,

Barbara

 

Barbara Ivey to present at Third Annual National Caregiving Conference

Curiosity and Learning: Evidence you are doing a good job caregiving

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fort Mill, SC

 

The Third Annual National Caregiving Conference (NCC18) takes place on November 9-10, 2018 in Chicago Illinois.  The agenda features family caregivers and former family caregivers sharing their experiences, insights and solutions.

The conference is available to those available to travel to Chicago as well as those who benefit from attending via Livestream.  Pre-conference training programs and workshops will be held Thursday, November 8th, and a day of service will be held on Sunday November 11th.

Barbara Ivey will present Curiosity and Learning: Evidence you are doing a good job caregiving.  Often, Caregiving is a life-long vocation. Barbara encourages healthy Caregivers to measure success by what they learn.  In this session, Barbara introduces proven Lean Process Improvement principles and tools to make this a simple and rewarding practice. Ivey’s presentation is part of the Coping track on Saturday, November 10, 2018

The preliminary agenda for the Third Annual National Caregiving Conference can be found at https://www.caregiving.com/ncc18/agenda/

Caregiving.com was founded by Denise Brown in 1996 to help and support family caregivers.  Caregiving.com is a community of supportive individuals caring for a family member or friend. We care for parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents and anyone we consider family. We care for you before, during and after caregiving.  http://www.caregiving.com

Barbara Ivey (@alzbarbie) writes THE PERFECT THING blog for people with a parent diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and a parent who is their Caregiver.  Barbara’s belief is that Caregivers-to-Caregivers experience Alzheimer’s differently from their Caregiver.  This means they need different resources during and following their journey.  Barbara is dedicated to sharing those resources – those Alzheimer’s life-preservers – because she believes they might actually help save the lives of Alzheimer’s Kids. Based in Fort Mill, SC, Barbara Ivey is the author of Patterns in Time® and Patterns at Hand, which were both published in 2017.

Contact Author

Barbara Ivey

The Perfect Thing LLC

+1 704-877-9283

 

 

Alzheimer’s, family relationships and Caregiver survival

ALZHEIMER’S, YOU AND YOUR FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS


By the time you’ve found this post, you’ve probably learned a thing or two about Alzheimer’s. You probably know that today – in March 2018 – there is no way to stop, slow or reverse this disease. Perhaps you’ve read a few terrifying statistics.  You’ve probably already seen enough photos of frail, gray-haired people to last a lifetime. If your heart is pounding and your palms are sweating, you are in good company.

Alzheimer’s is a tough diagnosis to hear.  It requires effort to accept. While Alzheimer’s is busy degenerating the brain of one family member, caring for that person chips away at the physical and mental well-being of other family members. 

I had a Mom with Alzheimer’s and a Dad who was her Caregiver. Through our fifteen-year journey, I learned first-hand that we children will be involved in our parent’s Alzheimer’s.  Our choice is whether to raise our hands to volunteer or wait to be conscripted.

I’m here to prepare (adult) children for family-life with a parent with Alzheimer’s. What good is preparing?  Preparation gets you ready to respond to the daily surprises that come with Alzheimer’s.

What kind of surprises are on the way?  Here’s one that flipped my thinking around for good.  I realized that my Mom’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis actually meant that two (2) family members needed extra care:  my Mom AND my Dad (Mom’s Caregiver). 

How serious is the Caregiver’s need for care?  Research shows that the Caregiver usually dies before the person with Alzheimer’s. So, pretty serious.

If you’d like to give your Caregiver a chance to survive Alzheimer’s, you’ve come to right place. I’m sharing what I’ve learned from fifteen years of trial-and-error. How about we move forward together?

If you’re curious about what Alzheimer’s might bring in the next decade of your life, watch this short (less-than-6-minute) interview. Guess which of us is more nervous talking about Alzheimer’s. Maybe we have something in common with you?

Your Friend on the Journey,

Barbara



PATTERNS IN TIME Order today

  • 10 year timeline
  • Changes in caregiving
  • Resources that helped
  • How out-of-town children can help

 

Next for you

Adult children need support through Alzheimer’s too


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