Care Partner

Resources and Encouragement


A note about resources suggested within this page to help care partners serve loved ones facing dementia: Many of these resources are provided free on this web site. We also reference other helpful resources that are available for purchase only from outside vendors. For clarification purposes, those resources will be preceded in this Action Plan by a dollar sign ($). Our Ministry receives no benefits from such sales.

External Resources

Alzheimer's Association - Alz.org

  • I Have Alzheimer’s Website — an online resource created with input from individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias that offers information and strategies to help those living in the early stage of the disease lead their best life for as long as possible.
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center — a resource for caregivers, family and friends that provides reliable information and access to helpful online tools, including:
  • Green-Field Library — the nation’s largest library dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease with material accessible virtually.

Reflections

Suzy's Journal

Awakened this morning to the living reality of the paradigm shift in life with my Bill. Everything has changed since I heard the doctor say, "You failed the test, you have dementia", as we sat silently absorbing those words in that pristine little room...

Click Here to Read Suzy's Journal

Shana's Mission

The end goal of this journey is to be able to look back and say with confidence throughout the time we wrestled with this illness Doug felt reasonably happy and well cared for and that he was able to experience as many of life’s “Wow” moments as possible.

There is no room for self-pity, frustration or anger as none of these things contribute anything positive to the experience. What is important for me is to take time for self-care and prayer one day at a time.

This is not my battle to fight so I will never have a remote chance of winning.

This is something I cannot fix no matter how much I yearn to do so.

I cannot make anyone understand the feelings I have or the struggles watching this unfold, but instead need to lean into God every moment for strength.

So that I remember what I cannot control here is a reminder list of symptoms:

Symptoms of this disease

  • Inappropriate actions at times
  • Apathy (appears to not care when he says he does)
  • Loss of empathy and other interpersonal skills (does not carry on a conversation)
  • Lack of judgment and inhibition
  • Repetitive compulsive behavior
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Changes in eating habits, predominantly overeating
  • Lack of awareness of thinking or behavioral changes

Movement Disorders

  • Tremor
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Rigidity
  • Poor coordination

Vacationing With Dementia

I just returned from a week at the beach with my loved one who lives with dementia. I learned a few things on the journey and wanted to take this opportunity to share some tips and tricks I learned that may save you some headaches along the way.

While we may decide to take a vacation with our loved one, the one thing we need to be mindful of is that dementia comes right along with us. It doesn’t even need its own suitcase!!! It is ever-present in our lives regardless of our location.

Here are some suggestions to make your experience more enjoyable:

  • Try to keep some type of routine – when physical surroundings change it may cause anxiety – keeping a routine similar to that at home helps reduce the stress of adapting to new surroundings.
  • Keep regular bed times and meal times.
  • While it’s tempting to eat all the rich foods on vacation, be mindful to include fresh vegetables and fruit to avoid issues with constipation.
  • Pack an object that is familiar to your loved one such as a favorite blanket or picture to put by the bedside. If possible take your loved ones pillow along.
  • Remember all medications.
  • Buy bottled water to avoid any reaction to local water sources.
  • Be flexible – the dinner reservations can be cancelled if it is turning out to be an off day.
  • Before booking any type of group tours, be sure your loved one is “on board” with the idea and embracing the prospect of a new adventure. Talk about crowds and how that may affect your experience.
  • Don’t plan every minute. Take time to enjoy just being with your loved one without all of the other responsibilities you left behind at home.
  • Be prepared for accidents. Keep towels, wipes, and a spare change of clothing in the car if you are driving. Nothing is worse than riding in soiled clothing in the middle of nowhere due to an unexpected bowel incident.
  • Engage your loved one in planning the trip, making sure to talk about things to do, places to see and restaurants to visit. Encourage your loved one to be a part of the decisions. People who invest their time planning typically have a better experience.
  • Make certain the things your loved one enjoys are handy – in my case that’s bags of ice!
  • Take along activities for rainy days – puzzles, games, anything your loved one might enjoy doing indoors.
  • Pack a flashlight – you never know when you’ll need it.
  • Keep a simple first aid kit on hand. Minor accidents happen and an emergency trip to the pharmacy for supplies or the hospital could result in heightened anxiety.
  • Learn where the closest emergency room is. It will save time and stress if needed.
  • If possible purchase travel insurance to cover any unexpected illnesses that would prevent you from traveling.
  • Sounds silly but make sure you have your phone charger and numbers of folks you may need to keep in touch with.
  • Pack a sweater and long pants – even if you go to the tropics. Body temperatures can change in new environments – better to be safe than sorry.

Meaningful Engagement

Southern Cook

Working a Puzzle

Mail for Shut-Ins


Doing What She Loves

Sharing Devotions

  • Advent to Epiphany
  • The Psalms
  • Love...1 Corinthians 13
  • The Fruit of the Spirit
  • People in the Old Testament and those Jesus Encounted
  • Lent to Pentecost

All ordered by email-robin.dill@comcast.net and seen on Robin Dill’s blog.