Greatest Love Stories

Three Intro quotes

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

Fair warning to all readers and my Followers who might get uncomfortable or nauseated when a man gets sappy, romantic, and emotional. I am about to bear my heart and soul as if this were my private journal. BEWARE you anti-romantics, you cold-hearted corpses and anti-passionates to uncontrollable love! I am getting this off my chest, out of my heart and head… and out there for the world to read. I don’t care one way or the other what comes of it because THIS is therapy for me!

My Ridiculous Obsession with Fiery Passion

Beginning in 2002 those were three principles (at the top) I began living by no matter what. I have tried to maintain the courage they require every day and every night. To mean it and live it in their purest and most honest form. They are sometimes intense, and they are frank (perhaps blunt? overwhelming?) emotions from a man and his lifestyle that can make some uncomfortable and others liberated. In some cases reborn and other cases scared shitless. Either way I live my life deeply, sucking out as much marrow as possible as Henry David Thoreau wrote. For me, it is the best way to live and only way to live fully. This is one of those times.

The last two or three weeks I have suffered once again the crushing abandonment of a remarkably special heart, mind, and soul. Unfortunately, she became overwhelmed by the purest, rawest, most honest, wide open, liberating energy she had ever experienced. Her words. After three years she freaked out, unable to reconcile me with her previous life and so slowly withdrew in utter fear.

Safe mediocrity is a powerful, hypnotizing, binding influence on some, especially if children are involved. However, there is a side to rare, atypical passion and love that is not shown, hidden from children, to their (lifetime?) detriment. It’s terribly sad. How else will they recognize atomic, re-energizing love, passion, and commitment if their own parents don’t live it and model it in pure raw honesty? I am baffled by this. Timidness puzzles me when it comes to life’s beautiful experiences. It is one of humanity’s most enduring connections. Why be so scared to let it happen and let it fill you!?

Alright, alright, you may be asking what am I really talking about? I’ll tell you. Some people and friends can’t fathom what I am describing here. They might be too afraid that a human connection can feel like a hypnotic drug. But that isn’t all of it. For me, when intense soul-mate/twin-flame chemistry is choked, drowned, repressed, or removed it feels like the most insurmountable betrayal and ripping-out of life’s marrow one can ever hope to experience. It’s a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. But I know freak-outs, for whatever reason, are always based in fear. Fear that is fabricated like the Great Wizard of Oz behind his green curtain. Ironically, everyone survives in the end and life goes on.

Because I have less and less fear, and more and more courage to travel this crazy, rocky love-road of a minefield and have done it a number of times, each time gaining more wisdom and more boldness, more confidence, I can keep being exactly, unabashedly who I am! It gets easier each time. When things take an unexpected leap off the cliff, it’s okay. I’ll be fine. Why? Lord Tennyson answers with profound perfection:

“‘Tis better to have loved [fully] and lost
than never to have loved [fully] at all.”

Lord alfred tennyson

Truer words have never been uttered or written. As we’d sometimes repeat in the world of athletic competition, you can’t become a world-class footballer (soccer) while sitting on the bench or spectating in the stands. You must get in the game! You’ll win some and you will lose some, but you will improve every time. Maybe, just maybe you’ll become world-class if you are a Starter each game, every season, and not quit, and keep learning, keep improving. That’s the only way you become world-class—without fear or self-doubt.

When I first “fell in love” 1980 Halloween night, I was 17-yrs old and felt like the world was my oyster and I had found my precious pearl. Yes, seventeen years very young and so very inexperienced.

Pepe Le Pew Credit: Warner Bros.

Wow, did I have a boat-load to learn!

There is a large difference between self-confidence bordering on audacious, and refined wisdom and eloquent technique gained through honest hard lessons and precision refinement, let me tell you. At seventeen—well hell, even 18 through 30 years of age—I was about as smooth, refined, and romantic as Pepé Le Pew the deluded eccentric skunk of Warner Brothers cartoon fame.

Now over 40-yrs later I have actually come a very, very long way to exquisite refinement in matters of amore, if I can say so myself and generally have all my Ladies, past and present, also chime in. With no doubt, in the Game of Amore, I am certainly not “on the bench!”

Those three above initial quotes at the very top are the only way one has a chance of finding their true, natural soul mate(s), in my opinion and experience. It is not reckless. It is not insanity. It is simply honest and raw. It is about accepting the fact that people YOU LOVE fully without fear will hurt you, intentionally and unintentionally. That’s life. That’s human nature. The real question is how will you learn from it, how to keep living, keep loving fully better, learning to fail better at times, and keep moving forward with courage, staying true to yourself without flinching… every single time. That’s how you live Tennyson’s words and those above quotes.

But enough about my abilities, understanding matters of the heart and libido, and vast experience gained. Let’s get to the Greatest Love Stories, shall we? Or at least those stories on cinematic celluloid.

Here are my Top Four Love Stories on film:

#4 — Silver Linings Playbook (2012):

#3 — Her (2013):

#2 — Out of Africa (1985), sorry, ignore the subtitles:

#1 — About Time (2013):

There are several other scenes I absolutely adore and crack-up about in this exceptional love movie and seizing the moment, seizing the present invitations for the fullest life led and sucking its marrow out completely. But I reluctantly and happily chose the single above scene. There’s at least 4-5 more great, profound scenes. But oh well.

What are your four all-time favorite, Greatest Love Stories… on film or in literature? Share them below.

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always

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Oncoming High-Beams

As many of you with at least high school diplomas, obtained by satisfactory-to-exceptional test scores and grades in biology class, and as those of you with under-grad degrees who perhaps had college-level biology, cytology, epidemiology, or virology as part of your coursework know… we are once again being forced urged by our health professionals—as a communal courtesy—to return to necessary public health & safety measures and mandates because of sharply rising new COVID-19 cases. I am more than happy to do this and whatever it takes as my civic part to stem and eradicate this pandemic. But why yet again, are we having to do this with seemingly MORE vocalized defiance and hecklers screaming of their Constitutional individual liberties being violated?

The Great Seal of the United States

It’s quite simple. Four major reasons: 1) our public health systems are going through yet another mass surge in new COVID-19 cases with the Delta and now Omicron variants causing the spike because of 2) a dismal public percentage rate of fully vaccinated teenagers and adults across the nation, and this is caused by 3) a large percentage of defiant anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who do not know or understand the reliable, proven medical science behind all these public safety measures. And as a secondary consequence of those three reasons, 4) the latter naïve-defiant percentage continue to spread erroneous information and logic upon more naïve people.

The other day I serendipitously stumbled into a 10-15 minute conversation, if it could be called that, going on with our property manager and two other residents. We three residents had been to our mailboxes about the same time; they are near the management office inside the main building. When I walked up the conversation was about the return of mask mandates (indoors) at places of business “open to the public,” etc. This would naturally effect our property seeing that its corporate HQ was out of state. I was not going to miss out on the viewpoints or explanations these three ladies voiced, including the property manager’s personal opinions on the subject of public health & safety, COVID, and the fact that all of us were going into our THIRD YEAR (2022) of losing this biological war which has now claimed 842,465+ Americans dead and still counting.

You ask, What does this have to do with “Oncoming High-Beams” on night time streets and highways?

More misinformation, ignorance, and faulty logic being spread

It has to do with one of the opinions and justifications given by one of the residents and vigorously supported by the property manager. What was said and justified? One elderly resident complained that she had every Constitutional right to wear on her body (face) whatever she wished, or not wished to, and whether or not she wished to be vaccinated was “her personal choice as well.” This was what was proclaimed, then strenuously reaffirmed by the Pro-Trumpeter property manager.

Since the conversation was in an open forum, or not being privately held in a closed-door office, I felt it was perfectly within my capacity to also share my thoughts of masking back up, getting vaccinated and boostered, and being a civic team-player, not a lone prima-donna. I was happy to be equally candid too. Once an opportunity to interject was afforded, I took my chance with gusto!

Oncoming super high-beam headlights

I interrupted and asked:

“Mrs. So-n-So and Ms. Misty Property Manager, do you enjoy driving at night on highways or streets and oncoming cars or the typical Texas monster-hunting trucks have lit not only their high-beam lights blinding you, but also have on their fog-lamps or hunting spotlights shining directly into your face making it impossible to see the road ahead, much less anything in or crossing the road or highway? Is that safe?”

Usually I get a paused silence when I ask angry anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers this question. I wait for either A) the intelligent, thought-out answer, or B) the pure asinine (selfish?) answer. Don’t ask me how many times I get the B-answer. I live in the Hill Country of central Texas! By the way, I was the only one there wearing a mask and intentionally staying 5-6 feet from everyone present. Also, myself, Mom, and sister are all fully vaccinated as well as boostered, by my persistent prodding I might add. We happily did our necessary civil parts (as team players) and as quickly as was possible, especially with the boosters.

After everyone silently stared at each other for 10-20 seconds, I asked my second question to Ms. Misty Property Manager…

“Misty, you have three kids. Your youngest is 12 or 13-yrs old, yes?” She acknowledges me. “How would you feel if I told you that I could CARELESS if I drove through her school zone at 70 MPH every day or through your residential neighborhood or your nearby park playground every day because that’s my individual liberty and right to do so? Would you applaud me for it?

More blank stares and silence.

I grinned at all three ladies and as I turned to go out the building’s doors I politely told them, THAT is public health and safety working correctly for ALL caring, law-abiding Americans. THAT is why ‘E Pluribus Unum’ is engraved on the Great Seal of the United States.”

I bid them all a very good, safe holidays and exited.

If a person has even half an ounce of compassion, decency, and care for other’s welfare, then there is not one single good reason or any justification a sane, intelligent person with a heart can give to be a loud-mouthed anti-masker or anti-vaxxer. None. Period.

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always – Be A TeamPlayer

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On the Great Turtle: Mackinac Island 2021

While I have a couple of hours respite and sister spends the day and afternoon with Mom, I thought I’d quickly throw together—ladies and gentlemen, I do mean in reckless haste—many of our best images with a sampling of cell-phone videos I managed during our Family Getaway this past June to Mackinac Island, Michigan. A teaser, if you will.

As you read on, please play this musical accompaniment to better set-the-ambiance of this magnificent island stuck in a most charming bygone time…

Why did I wait six-months to share these pictures and videos? It wasn’t intentional, I assure you. There are some days and nights on Mackinac which in my amateur production expertise (which is none) deserve a brief backstory and context. Along with my perfectionistic cinematic ideas, I have wanted to make this feature presentation as delightful, humorous, eye-popping, and as memorable, for Mom especially, as was possible and even accompanied by Victorian-Edwardian time-period music in the background. It deserves in my mind nothing less. Furthermore, since my high school days I have dreamt onto my Bucket List a trip to the Grand Hotel ever since one of my favorite 1980 romantic films, Somewhere In Time was released. I am and always have been a huge sucker for time-travel stories!

Obviously, six-months later this dramatic award-winning aspiration has proven more problematic for me than I first thought. I imagined I’d have significantly more free-time upon our return to create this Oscar- and Emmy-nominated short motion picture. It hasn’t happened. Grrrrrr, Murphy’s Law-firm: 6, Dwain: fat donut-hole. 😒

Without further ado, here is a quick Teaser of what I hope will arrive here sooner rather than much later…

Day 1 — on the grand veranda at The Grand Hotel after finally checking-in about 3:00am in the morning due to my brain-fart at the Detroit Metropolitan International Airport. More on that in the final production.

Day 3a — exploring the island after relocating to our second accommodations at Harbor View Inn. Our two nights at the Grand Hotel when all said and done ran a measly $1,799.82. Harbor View Inn was a welcomed relief on the pocket-book, hah!

Day 3b — horse-carriage ride into town to Main Street to grab a visitors map, then Astor St. for lunch at the Yankee Rebel Tavern. I had a remarkably good Summer Orchard Salad with Bell’s Amber Ale on draft, a combination I couldn’t get enough of over our stay, followed by a walk on Market St.’s shops and parlors.

Click on image for expansive 2-page map

More themed music for your reading, listening enjoyment…

Day 5 — the family splits up! What? Say it isn’t so Nellie! I want to visit the military fort and museum, Fort Mackinac, and for some unfathomable reason, the ladies had no desire whatsoever to steeply climb the walkway up to the harbor-side gate, watch a celebratory 6-pounder cannon fire over the town, and witness a 19th-century soldier reenactment firing his M1873 .45-70 Springfield rifle. Seriously? What could possibly be more fun than hearing a barrage of Springfield rifles firing in unison? Here is what they did, pffft…

Here’s what I did, furthering my vast historical, military, and cultural knowledge of northern Michigan and the old U.S. frontier:

Please excuse my labored breathing in these two videos

I promised a few of you birding, butterfly, and insect enthusiasts a video of Mackinac Island’s Butterfly House & Insect World and I am delivering! Now, granted I am not a professional videographer, not even with my own Motorola moto e5 Go. In fact, I was sternly criticized by a dear female friend for two production-and-editing screwups: 1) what’s my malfunction with recording horses-asses all the time, and 2)hold the damn phone sideways Steven Spielberg wannabe!” Case and point:

I will have to stop here. I know, I know… many of you are crushed by this. My sincere apologies, but I have run out of free-time. Sister has returned with Mom and she must dart off to her mandatory house-meeting before the Xmas weekend and holidays officially start tomorrow. Until next time when I finagle a bit of solo time, I will endeavor to work hard on the entire final, award-winning feature with full Victorian-Edwardian music accompaniment. It should be something Mom will cherish—at least that’s my hope.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Stage 5 Dementia

As some of you know, since at least the Spring and Summer of 2018 my sister and I have been trying to manage from near and afar our Mom’s progressing Dementia. Sister and I both agreed then, since then, and especially last Aug. to the present that Mom’s cognitive capacities have noticeably declined, apparently significantly into Stage 5… and approaching Stage 6, if she isn’t already there.

What are the stages of Dementia? It seems the general consensus is as follows:

Stage 1: No Cognitive Decline/Normal Behavior

Parents in this stage show no obvious signs (yet) and appear to function daily with no issues.

Stage 2: Very Mild Decline/Forgetfulness

During this stage of dementia, your parent might innocently forget things such as names of others, of places, and events. Things are more frequently misplaced around the house, familiar objects such as keys and phones. But, not to the point where you can’t tell normal age-related memory loss from serious memory deterioration. These symptoms are not noticeable to other people.

Stage 3: Mild Decline

At this stage family members begin to notice subtle changes and signs that “something is off and not right.” Parents in this stage tend to be more regularly forgetful than ever. Your parent might begin missing several doctor’s appointments or social meetings. These tend to happen more frequently. They also have difficulty finding the right words to say if you’re talking to them. If dementia patients still work or do home chores, you’ll notice a decrease in work performance and they usually find it hard to focus or concentrate. This stage can manifest from 2 years and can last up to 7 years.

Stage 4: Moderate Decline

In this stage of dementia, the signs and symptoms become visible to everyone. A parent suffering from this stage struggles to count their money right or manage their finances like how to pay bills. This stage happened acutely to my mother this past June thru August. Not fun at all. Also, your mom may have a hard time recalling what she had for breakfast, any recent or other past events. Dementia may prevent a patient at this stage from traveling alone to new places. Otherwise, they will easily get lost. This is now real for sister and I and has sadly happened to me with her this past October. Completing tasks is also a struggle as they cannot focus their attention.

Now for my Mom’s Stage(s)…

Stage 5: Moderately Severe Decline

People affected in this later stage may need more help in their daily living activities like taking a bath or using the toilet or dressing appropriately. Mom isn’t at this full stage for the moment, only about half or more of the symptoms/behavior are present. But parents in Stage 5 forget facts about themselves, such as their address or phone number, possibly even their own name (not Mom). They are also unable to know what time or date it is and cannot tell where they are—definitely where Mom is at now. But, they can still recognize close family and friends or recall childhood memories. This stage lasts around 1.5 years. Mom then, would be nearing the end of these 18-months.

Stage 6: Severe Decline (Late Dementia)

During these later stages, parents suffering from this illness need frequent-to-constant supervision at home. Mom is essentially at the start of this stage. Your parent might need help with day-to-day living activities like washing, eating, or dressing up. It’s also worthy to note that dementia patients may now suffer from incontinence at this stage—fortunately right now, Mom does not. They frequently forget the names of family members, recent and major events in the past. She is not to this point.

Your parent may start to lose language already, trying to find the right words to say. Mom struggles with this every day now. Also, people under this stage suffer from personality and emotional changes, delusions, compulsions, and anxiety. Mom has a few of these manifestations. They may become violent and aggressive which can be upsetting and difficult to cope up with if you are caring for them—fortunately Mom is not at all acting out. Although they might be very confused, they can still recognize the people closest to them like family, friends, or relatives. This stage can last for about 2.5 years.

This is the stage my sister and I dread most…

Stage 7: Very Severe Decline (Late Dementia)

At this final stage, many parents need 24/7 care and support from professional caregivers to help them in their daily living conditions. This scares the ba-JEBUS out of me, if I’m honest. I don’t completely trust strangers with my Mom in this stage.

Seniors living in nursing homes may already experience severe loss of motor skills like walking, and caregivers are the ones feeding them. A parent in this late stage cannot clearly speak anymore or words become unintelligible. So hand or body gestures may be their only way of communicating or none at all. More often than not, many patients die before they even reach this final stage due to other health complications or conditions. This stage can last from 1.5 to 2.5 years. This MUST be the most devastating stage for children to witness and endure. I am not the least bit interested in coping through this phase… so I’m preparing now.

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“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is Nature’s inexorable imperative.”

H.G. Wells

After much research, reading, and consulting with professionals and children with the same parental disease, I’ve learned that Mom shows most of the signs of “Mixed dementia” coupled with Vascular and Lewy-Body dementia. The hardest things I’ve struggled with these last 4-months living with Mom as her full-time caregiver are:

  • Patience — this is by far the hardest adjustment I’ve had to make with Mom. She used to be quite sharp, witty, usually on her toes, if you will, expressing herself well, even vividly when she felt the need to. Now it seems it is the opposite. I must remind her several times a day what’s going on, who that person is (their name) outside walking the Senior Community complex for exercise—something I really struggle motivating her to do as well.
  • Misplaced or Lost Items — this is a daily mystery and scavenger hunt. In trying to start routines, always having needed daily house items in the exact same place every single day, this turns out to be one of the most frustrating exercises we go through. Some days it is maddening and I feel as if I’m about to lose my mind… and patience. Ugh. And perhaps the HARDEST of these now:
  • The Right Words and Phrasing for Her — I am having to drastically change my communication style (in the normal younger world) to what Mom requires. I have always been direct, candid, very honest, unusually concise with my thoughts, feelings, intentions, etc., because my last 30-35 years in relationships—particularly with women, family, many friends of both genders—has painfully and in folly taught me how astoundingly critical good-to-excellent communication is and not a hit-n-miss ordeal. On the contrary, it is vital in avoiding undue harm, confusion, and further exacerbated problems from poor/short and vague communication. Some of you in our WordPress circle know or can imagine how incredibly challenging this is for me. HAH!

I have had to overhaul these personal habits, formed over some three decades, into another personality I am quite alien to and doing it like a bumbling idiot. Yes, more frustration, but it is internalized frustration! I cannot ever intentionally, in stubbornness make my Mom’s final years a frequent battle where I am her combatant. I’d never be able to live with myself if that happened. Hence, my own personal issues, lifestyles, social desires, and mid-term/long-term plans MUST be shelved indefinitely, as Mom’s condition worsens to a point when I have no choice but to adapt again… or perish, as H.G. Wells appropriately puts it.

Below are ten important tips to talking (and not talking) with your parent suffering from progressive dementia. I’ve managed to find these pointers from Wingate Healthcare, a Senior Health and Residence provider specializing in geriatric diseases and assistance. I’m happy I did. They drive home how little I knew about living with severe dementia. I’m humbled and have much work ahead.

Living with and learning intimately Mom’s new intensive needs these last four months, I’ve come to a stark realization of just how much I must change and remove, reform, and greatly refine my care for her. If this wasn’t a serious challenge already, at the moment I will not be getting any significant assistance with her. With our Texas courts reopened this past September after an entire year of COVID-19 shutdowns, my sister’s late 2019 felony drug-possession hearing was finally finished by the Kerr County judge. The timing is not ideal in the least. He has made her 3-year probation hectic with multiple regular “societal paybacks,” random urine tests, and P.O. visits biweekly she must by law fulfill or else return to prison. Sister is also a Halfway House Mother with 7-8 ladies (outpatients) in residence arriving from inpatient A&D rehabs. This encouraged the judge to reduce her probation down to three years instead of five. Therefore, despite her sincere Springtime hope earlier this year to help take care of Mom, at least part-time with me if not more, now it is made impossible. She can barely come to see Mom and help more than twice a week for only 2-3 hours or less.

It all once again, falls completely to me. These various events have been overwhelming. I am being forced to overhaul adapt to these new life-altering care lessons for Mom’s Stage 5 Dementia. Eye-opening is probably an understatement. Soon to be 59-yrs old, several of these ten tips for me have been very challenging habits to tweak or stop all together.

How to Talk to Your Parent with Severe Dementia

  1. Don’t ask your loved one with dementia, ‘Remember when…? This can be a frustrating and painful experience when you ask your loved one and he or she struggles to jog his or her memory. It’s better to lead the conversation with “I remember when…” instead. Wouldn’t it be great if he or she can search their memory calmly without feeling embarrassed? Don’t force it if the person starts to get confused. Just change the topic if they feel agitated.
  2. Don’t say ‘I’ve just told you that’ or ‘You’ve asked me that already Saying these phrases only reminds the person of their condition. Don’t think that words aren’t hurting them inside. Besides, there’s no sense passing your frustration over repetitive answers or questions to somebody with dementia. Try to be polite or respectful and patient when you talk to your loved one who has dementia. It’s crucial that they feel understood and listened to.
  3. Don’t remind your mom or dad of the death of someone or a pet. If your parent says they just talked to Aunt Jane, whom you know died some 15 years ago, don’t convince them this wasn’t possible. Go with it, just don’t argue anymore. It’s advisable to avoid disagreeing with trivial things. Why? Because you may remind them to relive the grief or pain of losing someone again.

    When your parent asks for somebody who passed away, it’s better to come up with another reason behind their absence. Remember, always be sensitive enough to gently remind them depending on their condition. It’s so much better to address the emotion behind this, maybe the person is feeling worried and needs to feel reassured. You can say, ‘Tell me about your sister Jane’ is a good alternative response. Don’t disagree or agree, just let it be. This reduces distress and also treats the person with respect by acknowledging their beliefs and feelings.
  4. Don’t tell them ‘You’re wrong’ or ‘That’s not right’. We can’t stress this enough but you should not disagree or argue with a person suffering from dementia. Admiral Nurse Emily Oliver of Dementia UK’s consultant, explains that this technique is called ‘validation therapy‘. It helps people talk to persons with dementia with more empathy and understanding by emphasizing emotions instead of facts. It’s important to remember that what they are feeling, experiencing, or saying is validated – even if it’s not the reality.
  5. Don’t use long and complex sentences. It’s best to use short and simple sentences as much as possible. Long and complicated ones can be hard for them to understand. It confuses them even more. Their cognitive abilities slow down and it’s difficult for them to process several ideas all at once. Moreover, avoid speaking fast and in loud environments, it’s good to wait until you have the person’s full attention before you start conversing with them.
  6. Don’t ask ‘What did you do this morning or ‘How was your day? Don’t pepper open-ended questions like this to people with dementia . It can be stressful for them if they can’t seem to find the answer. So it’s best to avoid asking them. Questions that are answerable by yes or no or with more defined options are way better. Instead of asking ‘what would you like to have for breakfast’, you could suggest, ‘Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?’. Try asking ‘Do you want to wear this white dress or this blue one? You’ll be amazed at how easy they’ll be able to answer compared to hanging questions.
  7. Don’t call them ‘dear, honey, love’ or anything other than their name. Dementia patients are still human and they are emotional beings, though sometimes trapped in a vegetative state or seem to be robots. Calling them by their own name keeps their dignity intact. It shows that you respect them despite their condition and it helps in their concentration and memory as well. So skip using words like ‘love’, ‘honey’ and ‘dear’ that patronizes people living with dementia. Don’t talk to them using ‘elderspeak’ which can cause seniors to feel uncomfortable, infantilized, and pitied. These words may sound condescending rather than a term for endearment.
  8. Don’t ask your parent, ‘Do you recognize me? While it can be frustrating when your parent with dementia doesn’t recognize you…just imagine how stressful it is for them. When you ask the person that question, it can make them feel guilty if they can’t remember, or offended if they do. You may want to avoid sudden bursts of emotions that might get them upset over something they forgot. It may help if you try to say your name and hug them instead. It’s also worth taking note to make sure you have eye-to-eye contact whenever you talk to your parent, as this establishes sincerity and trust.
  9. Practice “Listening,” a long time if necessary! Let your loved one express his or her thoughts and feelings, don’t interrupt them at the spur of the moment or while they talk. Just let them take their time and listen to them intently. Find out the emotions behind his or her agitation. Dig deeper into why he or she is upset, and do calm them by redirecting their attention to other things. But don’t force it, take a break and then try again after a good 10-15 minutes to take their mind off of the previous subject matter.

    Listen more than you talk. A good idea in almost any situation and particularly useful when with your parents. How will you know what is bothering them (and making them stubborn) if you don’t listen, no matter how trivial the conversation? They may be trying to tell you something without telling you. Sometimes you’ll have to read between the lines.”—Trick and Tips For Dealing with Stubbornness In Seniors, Assisted Senior Living.
  10. Smile often at people and parents with dementia.The smile! Without a single spoken word, smiling speaks volumes. Our facial expressions convey emotions and feelings that transcend language. Regardless of where you’re from or what language you speak, a smile is universally understood.”—Elaine C. Pereira, MA OTR/L CDP CDC – author, speaker, certified dementia practitioner, and caregiver.

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Not all ten tips are easy to implement in a night, are they? During these last two years and more so last 4-months, I’ve learned I am by no means alone with this sort of parental dynamic. In fact, the U.S. has one of the largest geriatric populations in the world by comparison. The support networks are available. One is right here in Kerrville. I am utilizing them for sure. I must in order to maintain a stable demeanor and sanity. Hahaha. 😉

I hope some of this post, information, tips, encouragement, do’s and don’ts, may help others out there to cope as best as family members can with this/these diseases: Dementia and Alzheimer’s. That’s my hope anyway, not just to vent or whine. Let me know if you can relate, or might be in a similar situation with your parent(s). Maybe we could swap ideas and tips, yes?

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://professortaboo.com/contact-me/.

More Thanks, Despite It All

Today me and my family have much to be grateful for in spite of so many recent events in our lives and country. Hence, on this day we enjoy the company of loved ones, laughing together, remembering all the good shared, missing those who in leaving this life took a part of our hearts with them. Together in gratitude we listen to music (two songs) befitting our mood and fortunes.

And…

Happy Thanksgiving to you all with warmest wishes from the Miller-Strange family.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always