[0:00] Welcome to Artful aging with your host Amy are you a senior or a caregiver of a
looking for support and Direction best-selling author educator and expert in Senior Living Amy Friesen is here with the help you need while providing you with an important and valuable support.
So now please welcome the host of Artful aging Amy Friesen.
[0:30] Morning everyone I'm Amy Friesen and this is Artful aging with Amy we're alive here from Bold Brave TV and Today's Show
is all about holiday planning but not your average holiday planning.
[0:44] It's for Holiday planning with someone who has dementia so it's within for folks that have dementia and your family.
[0:51] Throat my almost two decades in the senior living industry I've worked with many many families who have a loved one with some form of dementia and the I like to call it on the Journey of dementia.
[1:03] I would say that families often react one of two ways either
there they completely accept the diagnosis and are proactive and they work together with their family member to make the changes necessary to support them.
Or they're in complete denial about what's actually happening
they have relatively large blinders on their often waiting for a crisis to do anything else
and go above and beyond for help and this is mostly for the reason that they're trying to keep their loved ones at home as long as possible and they're not registering the amount of burnout that they may actually have as caregivers
and so if you're a caregiver to a loved one who has dementia not to worry you don't have to take this journey alone.
There are organizations throughout Canada and the US.
Who specialize in dementia and Alzheimer's and my guest today is joining me from our local dementia Society.
[2:00] As a dementia coach Misha works with families daily to help them better understand their diagnosis and a system through transitions.
Misha has a background in Social Services and and is passionate about working with people living with dementia
Misha has been recently
provide as a dementia bility educator I kind of find that a bit of a tongue twister and is excited to be facilitating a new series
helping caregivers identify and enhance the ability of the person they are supporting who is living with dementia
a big welcome to Misha McCallum thanks so much Misha for joining me today thanks for having me a me.
[2:43] Misha could we please tell our viewers and our listeners what dementia is and let's just start there so everybody's on the same page is.
What it is and is it the same as all the cell's a now that's a great question Amy so dementia it
it's a term to describe a group of symptoms so some people call that an umbrella term so
symptoms like affecting memory thinking and social abilities but they have to affect you enough
to interfere in your daily life so whatever the person was like their Baseline so how they interacted in the routine day-to-day how they interacted with other people these changes need to be enough that it
basically disturbs the way that that they've always interacted and
so the difference between Alzheimer's and Dementia is that dementia is
an umbrella term and Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia so there are many many other types of dementia
types like Lewy Body frontotemporal vascular dementia.
[3:51] And they all vary in their symptoms and what's important to know is that because.
There's many other things that can mimic dementia it's really important to to see a medical specialist whether it's a doctor or someone who specializes in dementia
to do some screeners and do an assessment to make sure that you are living with Dementia or that you are not so that they can properly support you
another thing that's really important to know is that many people can live independently for years with dementia some need more support early on but it really does vary,
from person to person for sure and from my own research I found that that there are both Progressive dementia as well as.
Other disorders that are linked to dementia is there is one more common than the other is there one that specifically comes out more often.
[4:43] Yeah so it's definitely important to treat underlying conditions that are risk factors for developing dementia so some of these conditions might include chronic illnesses like diabetes.
Or heart disease because they affect the the blood supply to the brain and whether or not they get enough oxygen
there's other things like medication complications that can affect developing dementia sensory conditions like hearing loss depression is another one as well
so and it's also important to protect your head so anything that can change the brain cells in your brain that
we really want to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves through our health and then also protecting our head so that's.
Wearing helmets whenever we're doing exercise or trying to prevent Falls to because they can be pretty detrimental as well.
[5:38] It's especially with our senior population Falls is a huge risk factor
as I said at the top of the show we kind of work with a lot of people that wait for crisis but what they don't understand is that crisis can be a lot of different things and usually it's not the crisis that your
not planning for I guess right so a lot of the lot of Falls happen and people don't realize what the Ricochet effect is from that.
Are there any other risk factors that people specifically could look out for.
[6:11] So as far as risk factors it's important just to stay on top of your health
to note any changes with your doctor because the earlier you intervene the quicker that you can actually find a solution to that there's certainly.
Warning signs that
that you can look out for and there's actually 10 warning signs so a lot of people think that memory loss is the only thing that accompanies dementia but really there are ten other things so
one one thing could be challenges performing everyday tasks so the way that the person,
Cooks in their kitchen or you know putting the milk back away in the cupboard instead of in the refrigerator someone having
challenges with abstract thought so being able to do their taxes or being able to budget so their finances are suddenly starting to change changes to personality
that's a big one too so whatever what I had mentioned earlier about your Baseline whenever someone has.
[7:15] Significant changes so whether they are starting to get more short tempered or they're actually becoming more relaxed so that's that's sometimes a misconception that someone is going to be more short tempered rather than the other way around it's just any changes to what you,
you originally were like.
Another thing could be language skills so trying to find that word in a sentence or understanding what what someone's saying so
a lot of the times it could be one or both of those as placing objects I know that I.
Place my keys and my phone all the time and it doesn't necessarily mean that I have dementia it just means that they that's my Baseline but
when things start to go missing and they're put in very odd places that's something certainly to to be concerned about.
[8:06] And there's many other warning signs that you need to look out for so it's really good to go on our website or to call a dementia care coach to learn more about that.
[8:15] I find that usually just before the show on Wednesdays I were dealing with a client that has.
Something that about to talk about and one of the clients called me yesterday and what's really disturbing for family members.
Is the change in Attitude what you what you touched on somebody goes from Super mild manner to a really aggressive right so
it's been interesting we can definitely see it in different family members and how people react but let's continue this conversation in a minute we're going to take a break at right now and after we come back.
We're going to dive in a little bit more about what the dementia Society does so grab a cup of tea meet us back here in a couple of minutes this is Artful aging with Amy will be right back.
[9:06] Welcome back before the break be show is educating us on risk factors and signs of dementia.
As I mentioned at the top of the show and Misha works as a dementia coach at the dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County.
Misha can you tell everyone what an organization like the dementia Society does and how it how it can help families.
[9:29] Yeah so at the dementia Society we help.
People living with dementia and their family so a lot of times in organizations the patient the person that that has a condition is the client but we look at the whole family everyone that.
Involved in supporting them as our clients so we can support.
[9:52] With direction as to what to do next provide education to family members and friends and
we have a whole lot of other programs and services but my role as a dementia care coach is to really guide families as best as I can so we Taylor
the support depending on the person's individual education so some
people really need some emotional support and all of the emotions that they're feeling
in accepting the diagnosis some people really need direction of what to do in the community where to go how to access it so we make sure to have those connections built into our support so that the person doesn't have to question that anymore
and then we can offer other things like recommendations specific situations we have a lot of people that will bring up.
What's what should I do with the person I'm supporting you know what types of.
[10:50] How should I respond to the person when they do this or are these symptoms a concern.
So sometimes people will call in and they'll ask about delirium or urinary tract infections and you know just general changes that the persons experiencing so we can really give them a lot of insight into what to do next
And as a dementia coach so if I was to call into the dementia Society because I wasn't sure where to start essentially that's kind of how we direct people to that don't know where to start we always connect them with the dementia Society.
[11:28] If I was calling in does someone as a whole at the dementia Society helped me through or they assigned a dementia coach like what does that process look like.
Yeah so they're assigned a dementia care coach because as you mentioned it's a whole journey and you want to be able to know who to go to so everyone gets their their own dementia coach so so we do,
we support them and gathering information and then that dementia care coach follows them through their Journey so we call
people at least once a year and reach out to them but they're able to call us whenever they have any questions things are changing or they just need to talk one day
so we can really be part of that support network is not everybody has founding out of everybody has
someone in their life that they can connect with so we really try to be that that extended peace in their life.
[12:18] Yeah it's dead it's difficult to and you were saying about the Motions to which I think is a really key point because a lot of a lot of the people that I talk with don't realize
how much emotion is in it really like it how much it does change and a lot of the family members that were working with are actually grieving.
What was of their you know parent or loved one and what their life was like then and what their life is like now grieving for their loved one and grieving for themself do you find that
happens a lot oh yeah absolutely it's called ambiguous loss so when when someone is.
I'm grieving who the person used to be and but they're still here so it's really difficult because there's other emotions.
[13:04] Guilt and anger and frustration that come up and it's a roller coaster it's a wave and it's
it comes and goes and some people are really good at expressing their emotions some people have a really good way of coping and others really need that support.
To to figure out what that looks like for their individual situation so those are definitely some other things that we help them through.
And when the family members connect with you because most often I'm guessing it would be a family member or a loved one of the person who has dementia you're giving services to that
loved one are you also able to then Reach Out.
In some form or connect with or meet with the person who has dementia to I'm thinking of my role right so kind of Coach them through because sometimes when people come to us that are looking for retirement living.
I go in and I speak with the person who has dementia and and we kind of work through it right and so is that something that you also can do.
Yeah yeah so not everyone loving with dementia has insight into their diagnosis and some don't want to talk about it and that's that's okay that's that's part of the condition and some some that's just not part of their personality either but we do have sessions that we invite them to where they can meet others
slipping with a diagnosis and talked about the changes and continue to be supported on going other social programs that we invite them to so that.
[14:30] Stimulation and social involvement is really important so of course during the pandemic a lot of this stuff is online but we've had things go in and out in person as
safely allowed but we also have many clients on my caseload who are living with dementia that I've supported in helping figure out how to
live better in their their daily routines so whether that's developing a schedule or figuring out
how they themselves can get connected to to something that's important to them or bring something back into their life that they've always loved.
So it really depends on on every situation and sometimes it's a really short period of time that we're connected with the person with dementia and.
I have other clients that I've been connected to four years and so the support is changed as time has gone on but it's still meaningful and and I think that's that's an important thing to notice.
Abdication is figuring out where the person is in their dementia journey and setting them up for success.
[15:31] For sure I speak with a lot of families also you would mention delirium and UTIs and I speak with a lot of families whose loved one has a sudden change.
And from my own reading you can let me know for sure but you know usually dimensions a little bit more slow moving as my understanding and so they have this Sudden Change in so my goodness is this what's happening.
And and they don't know for sure what to do and they don't know who to ask so.
How would family members tell if their loved one maybe has dementia versus having a delirium or a UTI.
[16:07] So I think what's important to know is that dementia is slow progressing some a little bit quicker than others but.
Delirium is fast onset it's a real Sudden Change in.
And whether they are connected to people if they're fearful of things if they
are starting to have delusions or a little bit restless so it's when you see those sudden changes it's so important to to speak with the doctor because that can be reversed if early intervention is off.
[16:38] Okay perfect well thank you for that we're going to continue this conversation after the break I'm glad that we were able to tell you a little bit more about what dementia is.
When we come back we're going to be discussing holiday planning for someone who has dementia you don't want to miss it.
Please stay tuned this is Artful aging with Amy will see you in a minute.
[17:03] Welcome back you're watching Artful aging with Amy we're live on Bold Brave TV and today we're talking about dementia and holiday planning for loved ones who have dementia.
The holidays are within reach at this point and you may be heading home to see a senior loved one who has dementia.
[17:22] I'm sure that the holidays feel different now with unexpected changes happening in yours and your loved ones lives.
Many families are at a loss as to what to do with and for their loved one who has dementia.
[17:36] The dementia Society has come up with a beautiful two-page document outline how to care for a loved one over the holidays.
The links are available at artfully aging with a me.com for you to have as a reference
perhaps maybe we'll start this part of the conversation with this question for Misha what can families do now to prep for the upcoming holidays with their loved ones.
[18:02] So I think like everything it's important to to plan ahead it's planning can help things go smoother so so keep it simple
you don't need to have a whole lot of activities going on or at least have have somewhere for the person with dementia to go.
Where it's quiet if needed so if there is a lot of hustle and bustle in the house you want to make sure that there's a place to retreat and that you you
can assign people to look out for those signs that the person might becoming overwhelmed or they need a break and go and and spend time with them
part of what you can do is make sure that the simple traditions are kept up so if the person really liked baking cookies or making some sort of dessert to modify that so that it sits.
[18:56] Set up for success for them so maybe it's just doing the the cookie cutting instead of making the whole recipe
or printing the recipe out in a different way with with Boulder simpler font that's a little bit bigger that's easier to read if the person really wants to be more independent
music is a great 12 so you want to make sure that whatever music you've always listen to is part of
the overall ambience in the room so you just have to pay attention and make sure it's not overwhelming so it's a really delicate balance between
doing one thing at a time so if you're listening to music.
[19:37] Do a sing-along try to be involved with it but maybe not have it on really loud when you're trying to have a conversation because that can be really distracting so.
And another thing is
you can try to make sure that when when there is a quiet space that there's things to do in that quiet space with the person whether it's looking through books or maybe it is listening to music but it's with earphones in that quiet space so that it takes.
The overall background noise that can be
really challenging because what changes when someone has dementia is that filter so being able to take out that
the talking the noise the lights and all of the senses that we don't really notice day-to-day so we just want to make sure that that we're focused on that that one special thing every single moment.
[20:32] And I think that a lot of people generally if they're going back to a family's home they kind of plan there.
Trip they sort of plan what's going to happen although a lot of us have been ingrained that we just have these.
[20:47] Things that happen every year right and we just we cook the dinner we made the cookies we do whatever so just kind of taking an extra minute to consider,
what might be happening with your loved one I think as a part of your plan is a great option one other point that I found interesting when I was reading that document was to prepare your family can you tell us a little bit more about that Misha.
Yeah so it's important to to speak with the family and some some families find it really helpful to just send an email
and and communicate maybe some of the changes that they might recognize and see because
just like we had mentioned earlier grieving is it's hard and it's hard for everyone because the person has changed whether it's a little bit or a lot so to give them sort of heads up over whether or not they have trouble finding words so if they have a hard time getting through a sentence
inform the family so they can give them more time to get what they need to say because sometimes people want to jump in and they want to finish a sentence and that can be pretty frustrating when you are
you're close to getting out what you want to say but you can't quite get there it can be like I'd said earlier giving them jobs so
when you notice that that the person is sitting there alone or they're not engaging in the conversation why don't you get out this
this book of photos and go through it with the person and that can be your special moment together and I think it's really important to avoid using.
[22:15] The phrase remember when and introduce yourself and just say.
[22:22] Hey it's me Mischa before you you sit down because sometimes it can be embarrassing for the person with dementia if they forget that person's name especially if it's someone that they think they should know the name of another way is to play a fun game and to put
name tags on for the game but then just leave them on for the rest of the day so that nobody feels like they're they're being.
The light is shining on them especially if the person living with dementia.
[22:49] That's great advice I can some of the things that you're saying actually would work for me equally right I'd like I'm not terrific with names.
Those things would help if you're in a setting that you know maybe you don't know everybody maybe it is some sort of holiday party or what not.
Or even having a quiet space generally I think as like a host that would be a nice thing to have just generally speaking because we all have our own ups and downs.
And right now we've all been dealing with covid as well right not a lot of people are getting together at the moment but you know everybody's so used to being isolated to right and so then to be in an environment.
And also about sending the email to family because.
You know there's usually a main caregiver that's kind of around and there's a lot of people who live out of town and don't see perhaps our mom and dad.
Very often and so they don't really have a clue of actually the you know the hands on what's Happening day-to-day.
[23:43] What are the other points I found really interesting was adjusting meals can you give us a little bit more information about how to make the meal time a more positive experience.
Yeah so so sometimes as people progress through their Journey they may not recognize what to use.
Good tensile for or they might have a hard time getting food into into their mouths in a way that's dignified so sometimes just having a cocktail Style.
Meal is better so finger foods it keeps the appetite fresh and it can be more fun and there's not really.
Like they said that Spotlight on someone feeling embarrassed for how they're changing so that can be a really good way to modify that awesome.
For sure so it's that time again so hopefully these tips have been helpful after the break Misha and I will continue this conversation but here's a question for you to consider during the break.
Do you have a plan in place for the holiday season if you have a loved one who has dementia you've been watching our Earthly aging with Amy on Bold Brave TV we'll be right back.
[24:49] And learn how high again thanks for staying with us I've been speaking with Misha McCallum from the dimensions,
Society she's a dementia coach there and while we're still on the topic of holidays.
A specific note to say that these tips are helpful for all holidays not just the ones that come up in this time of year.
And so Misha can you maybe talk to us a little bit about the type of activities families can do with their loved ones yeah so I had
I had mentioned music before and music has such a wonderful way of connecting with the brain it can it can change moods and in good or bad ways so it's a really important to make sure that whatever music.
You're playing whatever it's specific to the person so a lot of the times we want to focus on on things that can act with early.
Adolescence to early adulthood those that's really the formative years.
At that are special to the person so of course that would include Christmas music or art holiday music in general that people would recognize so.
You just you want to make sure that you're the music played is getting the emotion from the person that you're hoping for
and so other things you can do activities with purpose so you want to make sure that it relates to who the person was before.
[26:13] And who they are now so as an example if if I was supporting someone who really liked being social
they really liked being with others you can you can work in writing letters so right now of course we can't be in big groups of people but you can
you can do video chat you can you can talk on the phone and that's wonderful but why not use letter writing as a way to develop.
Pen pal skills with that whether it's a grandchild or it's a sibling but then so it's the act of actually writing the letter down.
[26:53] And and then sending it and then reading the letter that comes back so you've
there's multiple steps in there and it's connecting someone to to someone that's important to them and they don't feel like they have to be put on the spot because as the letter comes in
the caregiver or family member can explain who that person is that they're writing to or from,
so some other things you can try are actually chores around the house because it everyone needs to feel like they can contribute to your everyday
so and and breaking down the tasks really simply
and in two steps so that it doesn't become overwhelming so maybe it's just weeping.
And you're just instructing someone to sweep into a pile and and you as the caregiver or the one that's taking that pile and put it into the garbage because those are two very very different steps that you want to look up.
I find it really helpful to fill out a form that's called all about me because you get to.
[27:55] Put down on paper who the person was what's important to them and then from there you're able to build in special meaningful activities that are personal to the person.
And then you're avoiding trying to make conversation and trying to get past that may be difficult word finding or get past that what do I even talk about
because you can use this book and the things that you've recorded as the family member or anybody else that might be coming into the home and helping support them.
[28:25] Find that a lot of our folks who make a move into retirement living but into a Memory Care Program perhaps
some of the things that they do a lot are like you said chores like full helping set the tables or folding
napkins and things like that and it's interesting to see how family members who may be touring with us in that environment feel like
you know that's not a bet that greatest activity right they think that people should be really
extra involved or doing some kind of you know amazing thing but really this is what.
Is for that person right this is what does it and there's also I've also seen the baby programs as well there's a lot of folks who
find comfort in having a dull with them and taking care of the doll as the their dementia progresses have you also seen that Misha.
Yeah so doll therapy is such a special thing it's really meaningful for people who need and want someone or something to care for so and you know I've seen families where there's there's mother's that had
12 children and they're done caring for the for any more children and they don't want to take care of the doll but most people will welcome at a certain stage
holding feeding dressing doing all sorts of like you said folding so you can when you actually.
[29:53] Make activities around a certain object like that that you can care for there's so many different facets that you can you can incorporate into that and it's just someone to love and as
visits have changed a lot that's that's introducing something safe back into the person's life so it doesn't have to be an actual.
Really expensive doll you can go to Walmart you can go on Amazon and you can order just a simple doll some some interact back with you,
which can be really helpful some make movement some feel more lifelike so it don't feel.
Uncomfortable about trying different things so if it doesn't work right away maybe it was a bad day.
Or maybe you need to look at getting a different doll like this one woman I worked with
she didn't like that the doll that I introduced the ice didn't close because the doll was never sleeping so something we can do in that respect just put a blindfold on the doll.
So that's their sleeping blindfold or looking at a doll that has the eyes that close as well so it's just trying to be a detective and figuring out what's not working in this situation how can I change it.
So that the person who you're introducing whatever this activity is I can feel better about that situation and then connect to it better.
[31:09] Super interesting for sure
yeah I love seeing the different stations set up on some of the memory care floors that we have here in retirement living let's Misha let's shift over just a little bit to Winter safety because we're in the winter it's coming on we're talking about holidays and whatnot
Winters super difficult.
For many people especially seniors it's hard to get out it's isolating again you've got covid on top which is extra isolating I know myself this time of year I require extra light.
And some extra breaks because I struggle with what's called seasonal affective disorder or sad as well as depression so we should do you have any cold water cold weather not water.
That you can share with our viewers.
[31:54] Yeah so in regards to going outside maybe we'll start outside of the home you want to make sure that you're reducing the risk of Falls so some families find it really helpful to get.
Boot grippers so that you can actually connect.
Well with the ground so that the reduces the slip factor you want to make sure you're shoveling off any areas that you are walking well
you're putting down salts and you're making sure that the outdoor safety is really really great but you also can get light bulbs inside to as far as keeping things bright and and also introducing your skin to that vitamin D that it needs as well.
[32:33] Awesome terrific well we're going to take another break up next on our full aging with Amy Misha and I are going to talk about prevention and how to care for oneself
during the holidays as a caregiver.
That's right caregivers we have tips for you two and your well-being is just as important so please join us back here in a couple of minutes and we'll see you then.
[32:58] Welcome back Today's show has been packed full of helpful tips and ways to support your loved one who is on their Journey with dementia let's take a minute to turn the mirror to all of our caregivers
many caregivers I work with are grieving like we talked about just a little while ago
they grieve the life that they had before their loved one was diagnosed as well as a relationship with their parent it's hard to have things turned upside down in a Split Second.
And although generally speaking dementia is slow-moving many people don't catch on until it's already in progress and therefore they feel like it's come out of nowhere.
[33:35] Misha how can caregivers protect themselves through the holiday season of perhaps doing too much or even burning out further.
[33:46] Yeah so
planning can definitely help with that so journaling is a really good way to recognize what is stressful in your life or talking to someone about that if that's how you get it out or calling your your dementia coach just to figure help you.
Organize some tips so acknowledging what your feelings are surrounding the holidays because some people it's a trigger
holidays X so what can you do during the holidays that might make you feel better or
how to find brakes because we know that there's a lack of respite generally during the holiday season but in general right now just because of the way our world is changing so trying to find those small windows that you can do for yourself so sometimes we hear that word self-care all the time and it's not about taking 30 minutes to go to the gym or you know taking a long drawn-out bubble bath for some people that's that's what they need and they can work that into this
their schedule and that's great but even five-minute breaks,
5-minute breathers that you can see I just need to go to the washroom and instead walk into the bedroom and read it maybe a chapter in the book or have a nice hot cup of coffee.
[35:01] I'm read the newspaper just one article it's just it's figuring out what's what that small thing is for you that can give you your meat I'm back.
But scheduling it into your day too so maybe maybe it is the five minutes after your loved one goes to sleep
or waking up an extra five minutes earlier so that you can have that new time or maybe it is sleep and sleeping in maybe that that extra little bit of sleep and.
You know you've set up your Amazon Echo to play a wonderful song for the person when they get up so it gives them that extra five-minute distractions so that you can sleep in a little bit more so it's just
figuring out through conversation journaling figuring out what,
you need to make yourself feel a little bit less stressed because there's going to be stress involved it's just taking that extra little bit of load off one of.
When the extra one of the extra items that when I was when I was talking to you early to is what I found interesting as well as the fact of just,
may be planning a shorter visit.
Or you know delegating specific tasks not you know not hoping a family member will step in but just saying I need you to do this yeah.
[36:12] Exactly and I always let caregivers know keeping that list by the phone so if they call or if they send an email having that list of things that you think,
might be helpful for them to do,
so maybe it's going and helping lift some boxes that that you needed to do that you haven't gotten around to or it's taking the person for a walk around the block or just when you recognize
this conversation happening.
Can you distract them with another meaningful activity so it's figuring out specifics that would help you and and instructing them on how to follow through with that because you're right not everyone is intuitive
not everyone has that.
Skill to to figure out what would work in the situation so if you do know what that thing looks like or I mean you do it every day in your life anyways as a primary caregiver give others that tip so that
you can feel better because it really is helping yourself.
[37:12] I think that also what you said about just having that five minutes I think is good for all caregivers regardless of who you're caring for we were talking on the break about having young children as well and just saying okay I got it mommy has to go 45 minutes.
I'll be back in just that breather so that you're not in the same space and you can just take care of yourself I think it's really important for all caregivers in my opinion.
I think that really generally speaking.
For me the more often I can do that throughout the day it doesn't have to be very long the better I am for my daughter what do you think about that Misha.
Yeah it's self care is so important you can only give what you have so I always describe it as,
a picture of water there's only so much you can pour into a cup if it's empty
so it's so even just filling it up little bits it's not like it always has to be full but you just have to keep giving back to that picture so that you can give to others.
Sure on the topic of support.
I believe the dementia Society has a few programs to help both folks with dementia as well as they care their caregivers.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the program's Misha.
[38:25] Yeah so one of the programs that's along the lines of respite is called make a connection take a break so it's something that.
Has been really successful for a lot of families so when when you request to be.
Connected with that program the the coordinator will match a volunteer.
With the person living with dementia so it can be it can be super safe even during covid so sometimes that's weekly calls with the person whether that's on the phone over video chat.
And as things are safer we have some volunteers that are willing and going in person to visit the person with dementia to so that can give those those five-minute breaks because sometimes we just start small and we,
the volunteer will call on a regular basis but have short conversations so that it's
it's a good positive emotional experience so even though they may not remember the volunteers name they remember that this volunteer made me happy they make me smile they made me laugh.
[39:29] And and then as they continue to be part of that person's life on a regular basis.
And offers maybe a little bit more time for that that respite piece for the caregiver built and so.
And just a reminder respite can really just me in a cup of coffee it could really just mean something short and we have other programs like support groups.
We have card making art programs we have exercise programs as well so a lot of social type programs that are really good for the brain and can also be attended with.
You as a caregiver because sometimes you're looking for a dementia inclusive activities to do and we certainly have those aplenty.
But outside of that the education programs we have a really great the workshops are tailored to specific needs.
And questions that the person might have so we as coaches try to recommend you what fits best with your individual situation.
[40:27] I think that's great because not everything is a one size fits all right so on that note I'd like to thank Misha so much.
For all of the information that you shared today I found it super helpful as a professional but I hope that our viewers have also found it.
[40:45] So thanks Misha for coming on very much thanks for having me I really appreciate it.
[40:50] For more information on Misha and the dementia Society head over to Artful aging with a me.com for micha's bio as well as helpful links.
[41:00] After the break we're going to go over our top tips and discuss kind of everything and a nutshell for those folks who enjoy a Coles notes version.
You've been watching Artful aging with Amy live on Bold Brave TV we'll see you in a couple of minutes welcome back.
To Artful aging with Amy we're live on Bold Brave TV thanks so much for joining us today I really hope that you found Misha and all of her information about dementia and the dementia Society helpful.
Again have a look over on our website for additional links to get some extra information
let's go over what I think our top tips are of today so of course number one is make a plan I'm sure you're not surprised if you've been with me for a couple of episodes at this point like anything else
we discuss here is to make a plan.
And it planning is really really key to pretty much everything in life we finding anyway do yourself a favor and consider what is currently happening
and what might happen during the added Buzz of the holidays.
[42:05] Do your best to make a strategy so that you can have a peaceful holiday as well you were just as important as the loved one that you're carrying with caring for with dementia and so do your best to make that plan I'm sure it will work out much much smoother
tip 2 is ask for help.
Sometimes that means not asking to sometimes many many families need a lot of Direction and just being direct and telling a sibling what you need
for example you might ask them you know X needs to be done can you do this so not everybody's intuitive
just lay out what you need and as long as you're polite I'm sure that everybody is willing to pitch in and help even sometimes a lot of siblings don't get along but
if you're working towards the greater good of the loved one that has dementia I'm sure people be willing to pitch in.
[42:59] And the number three is take activities down a notch not everything needs to be grandiose and involved like Misha was saying simple things like
listening to music
flipping through a family album can be just as enjoyable maybe even more with the loved one that's on the Journey of dementia you know just keeping it calm
and interactive but on a level that that person's at of course dementia is Progressive so someone who is an early dementia may be different activities that someone's in late stages so
you know kind of try to gauge as best as you can
if you need some support reach out to the dementia Society or an Alzheimer's Society in your area again they're all across Canada and the US.
[43:44] And they're willing to help and they can get you through this
and there you have it we are at the end of this year shows we will be returning on January fifth with a guest Michelle would Bray
who is a co-owner of Two Sisters Michelle and I will be discussing all things seeing your living you don't want to miss it that's my bread and butter if you've enjoyed Today's Show
please make an effort to like us on the podcast or
on the YouTube that you're watching that helps other families find us a lot easier
thanks again for joining us on Earthly aging with Amy I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season for me to all of you have a wonderful one.
[44:30] You've been listening to Artful aging with host Amy,
many folks just like you feel they're alone in their journey and helping a loved one or.
So tune in each week and let a me show you that help is around the corner and it's just one conversation away here on Artful Aging with Amy.