About

&

  Bio's

Why I Am Here

I’ve had more nights than I care to count where I have not slept well, if at all, and then awakened with anxiety and paralyzing fear knowing the day ahead will be volatile and unpredictable.  It feels like I am in rough seas, in a very small rowboat, with no oars.

 

Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, or any form of dementia, takes character, an unshakeable one.  It requires us to live and think in different ways, to be flexible where we may not have been in the past.

The ideas and insights I have acquired were born from my own personal foibles and successes, or borrowed from the more wise and well-educated on this disease.  Caregiving, for me, is as much about my own personal growth and personal development as it is about the demanding, and relentless, nuts and bolts of caring for someone with dementia. That said, there can be a silver lining.

WE ADDRESS:

 

Self-Doubt

A New Normal

Exhaustion

  Anxiety

Discomfort

Acceptance

The Guilts

Role Reversal

Worry

 

What is the difference between "Dementia" and "Alzheimer's"?

 

ANSWER:  "Dementia" is an umbrella term. The most common form of Dementia is Alzheimer's. 

Other forms of Dementia are Huntington's Disease, Parkinson's, Lewy Bodie's, and Vascular Dementia, to name a few. "Cancer" is another umbrella term for over one hundred types; skin, brain, lung, and breast. 

 

Go to Resource Page, "Things To Know," and find the listed

 articles, "9 Types of Dementia," and "Dementia, What You Should Know."

 

 

 

Seeing the Signs

Vulnerability

Legal Preparedness

Denial

Overwhelm

boundaries

Contentious Siblings

Know-it -All's

Patience

 Resilience

Chaos

Unpredictability

What are the Do's & Dont's with Dementia?

*Don't argue.  Don't argue.  Don't argue

*Be kind.  Even when they are incapable of kindness themselves

*Don't dismiss them as human beings.  Always show respect even when they are poops

*Protect their credit score, assets, property and investments

*Keep them safe, calm and happy - in that order

*Do not speak or act as if they are not in the room

 

Go to Resource Page, "Things To Know," and find the listed article,

Tips on How To Communicate With Your Loved One with Dementia."

 

Personal Hygiene

"False Memories"

Lonliness

Perseverance

Keeping Strict Accounts

Hope

One New Idea

Accountability

Growth

Humility

Change

"Effective Communication"

How to Prioritize

Confidence

Death

Finding Meaning

Flexibility

 

What is the difference between normal forgetfulness and dementia?

Part 1  Normal Forgetfulness:

*Finding the car keys, remembering a word and the ability to retrace steps

*Having the ability to work a TV remote, microwave and cell phone

*Recalling the day and date, knowing the season and year

*Making occasional bookkeeping mistakes, knowing how to correct them

*Visual changes due to cataracts, not brain atrophy and plaque

 

Go to Resources, "Things To Know," and find the listed

 article, "10 Eearly Signs: Normal Aging vs. Dementia"

 

Gratitude

Integrity

Balance

Simplicity

Tough Love

Grief

Healing

Responsibility

Empathy

Letting Go

Listening

Discipline

Rest

 

Part 2  (Normal Aging vs)

Dementia :

*Memory loss that disrupts daily life

*Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure

*Inability to retain or re-explained instruction

*Letting bills slide.  Giving up doing bookwork altogether

*Losing car keys and never finding them

Go to Resource Page, "Things To Know," and find the listed

 article, "10 Eearly Signs: Normal Aging vs. Dementia"

 

"Compassionate Misinformation"

Trusting Our Gut

Character

Humor

Empathy vs Sympathy

Forgiving Ourselves

Forgiving Others

Powerlessness

Finding Joy Again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How It Began

In July 2011, Mom tripped over an area rug, hurling her head first into an antique cast iron stove. 

The subsequent MRI, PET and CT Scans disclosed brain atrophy and plaque validating my 18-month suspicion that something more was going on other than grief from Dad’s passing and usual forgetfulness. 

 

“Vic, your mother appears to have Alzheimer’s…” said the doctor.  And so began Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Mom's Story

Why I Am Here

My Story

Mom was brilliant in covering up her declining behaviors long before her diagnosis.  This caused friends and family to question my opinion about her mental health.  Granted, they didn't spend enough time with her beyond a phone call, a short visit, or a lunch date to notice the repeated slip-ups.  Nevertheless, I wound up doubting my own judgment.  I felt very isolated and alone.

 

My name is Vic.  For the first 5 years of caring for Mom, I faced the same surreal, chaotic, demanding day as you.  I quickly learned if I was to survive caregiving, literally survive it, I needed to learn, live, and think differently. 

 

My intention in creating this website is to offer you a way around the same stumbling blocks I fell over.  To put in your heart what is now in mine.  To pay it forward to the caregiver who chooses to stay and care for their loved one who needs their help with accountability, honesty, love, and dedication.

A person of your character is why  I created Forgive & Forget.

MY FAMILY

Susie, Mom, Vic

1964

Dad and good friend

Ted Von Reitzenstein, 1996

 
 
 

There is no normal life that is free of pain.  Wrestling with our troubles can be impetus for our growth

Fred Rogers

forgive & forget

A CAREGIVER'S RESOURCE

FOR DEMENTIA

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