Welcome friends to Consider Yourself Hugged Episode 44. Today’s Hug: Maintaining Mental Health When Diagnosed or Dealing with Dementia with Lori La Bey (Click here or pic to listen).
I’m Dr. Tami West, here every week to bring you tips on living a life that brings you mental and emotional wellbeing.
I met Lori several months ago when she interviewed me on her radio show, Alzheimer's Speaks. Since we both cared for our mothers with dementia, we immediately connected and I knew I had to have her on our show. She is passionate about dementia awareness and views it differently than some, so let me read her bio and then we'll jump in so you can learn from her.
Lori La Bey cared for her mother with dementia for 30 years. She gave up her career to shift the needle in dementia awareness, care and education; stating she would not work in a broken system.
Through her passion and dedication, Lori launched Alzheimer’s Speaks an advocacy and media outlet providing multiple platforms shifting perceptions of dementia at home and in healthcare; while creating and exposing new care strategies and resources.
Lori has been Recognized by Oprah as a “Health Hero” and AARP MN as an “Inspiring Leader and Disruptor” in 2018, by Maria Shriver as an “Architect of Change” in 2016, and by Dr. Oz and Sharecare as the “#1 Influencer Online for Alzheimer’s” in 2012.
There can be joy with dementia!
Everyone’s mental health is challenged when there is a dementia diagnosis
For those diagnosed: Have a conversation with your Care Partner about quality of life and how you want to live it, not just thoughts on life support, but daily tasks like driving, etc.
Work with Care Partner to plan for unexpected events (links to download documents later in show notes)
Care Partner or Care Companion vs Care Giver indicates you’re working together J
For Care Partner, instead of always focusing on to-do list, ask yourself 3 simple questions: Is she/he safe, is she/he happy, is she/he pain free?
Care Partners have to continue to live life!
We cannot care for someone else if we’re not full, at least not the best we can be.
What a long-distance family member sees in a half-hour visit every few months is very different from a 24/7 perspective.
Letting go of trying to fix those that aren’t directly involved in care will give Care Partners more peace dealing with their loved one.
Warning signs things may not be going well - Ask yourself some questions:
Have your routines changed and why?
Is your mood different?
What’s your self talk?
Have your reactions to events changed?
Resources for Download
3. Health Record – Emergency Travel Medical Info – good to have with you, in your car on your fridge
4. Trifold for communication tips – works for most anyone – I didn’t mention this one on the show
Lori's Contact Information
Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio https://www.blogtalkradio.com/alzheimersspeaks
Memory Café https://alzheimersspeaks.com/memory-cafes (This is one the Lori mentioned when she used the phrase, Learning to live graciously with dementia.)
Dementia Chats https://alzheimersspeaks.com/dementia-chats-webinar
Basic contact info
And that’s our time for today. The effects of dementia on mental health can be devastating, so I hope this helped you and/or someone you love! Please pass the show link along to a friend or two and subscribe, download, and review wherever you are listening. And head over to tamiwest.com to get info if you’d like me to speak at your next event and also you’ll find the promised links and contact info for Lori. And I’d love for you to follow me on Facebook, my primary social media home at facebook.com/tamiwestseminars.
Thank you so much for listening and growing our special community!
Finally, remembering our mental & emotional wellbeing goal, I hope that you will renew your thoughts daily, adopt empowering language that prevents verbal harm to yourself and others, and make positive mental and emotional choices on a daily basis.
And until next time, Consider Yourself Hugged 😘🤗