Imagine a World

Imagine a world where savory memories had no place to be shared. At the ripe age of 53, in the middle of the night—half awake. half asleep my mind meanders through memories. Random sensory moments. I try to envision walking the beach with a gentle tide lapping at my feet—I’m alone or walking quietly with another. I can only envision this because I pleasantly remember many times doing this. I drift a bit. Then somehow I wake, connect to the present, it’s too late to talk to my partner. But I am assured that I will be able to sometime….

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I want to go home. Who can help me get home? I need to get home . . . These are common refrains heard from folks with dementia. As family we take the request at face value, and yet how many of us have heard this refrain from within the loved one’s home? It’s a sobering moment when you accommodate them and yet the refrain remains. You have the realization that “home” stands for something else, perhaps something unattainable. After years of hearing this refrain and attempting to accommodate as a recreation leader or as a family member, I’ve come…

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Behavior is the Result of Unmet Need

The inability to communicate results in an acting out, a behavior.

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The Only Game in Town

In-hospital deaths and low hospice utilization were more likely in rural and small town nursing homes.

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Presents and Presence

“I need my pack to have a purpose. Without a purpose, I don’t need to be here.”

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Home-Like Environment

Note the present joy to be used to diminish future sadness.

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Red Cliffs, seasonal crescendo, riot of Spring

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Death Dowry

This may be a mis-nomer—but it comes from the reality that there are things we relish and deny ourselves throughout life. Perhaps it’s legitimate to purchase, embrace, plan some of these things for our final days. This came to me while at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. I relished the bathrobe provided in the room, I was so sad that it wasn’t until the second night that I realized it was for me to use. As I reached  to untie the sash, the texture was sooo rich. Like my mom’s meringue, only fluffier. I priced a carbon copy in the…

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Prevenient Grace

Her name was Catherine and she was full of grace.  She danced when no one else would.  She’d kiss your hand, and pat your cheek at every introduction.  You were a most welcome friend to her regardless of whether she remembered your name, the day of the week, or the occasion of your “visit.”  She lived the smell of roses.  Her southern hospitality was the welcome of a rose-lined path.  As time went on, the confusion worsened, each fall took its toll in memory loss.  She’d set her jaw in a look of confusion as she sat alone.  But as…

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