This episode of Safe Space Radio features multiple stories of dementia from you, our listeners. This collection of ten stories reflects the wide range of experiences and emotions that result from having a loved one with dementia—including frustration and poignant loss, but also warmth, connection, and surprising moments of sweetness. You can watch Scott Kirschenbaum’s …read more »
Bill Verrill, a former banker, now suffers from early Alzheimer’s disease. Bill describes his deep trust in his wife Shirley’s ability to take care of him—and his deepest fears about the toll his illness will take on her life. He remembers letting go of his driver’s license and learning to be more dependent while striving …read more »
An interview with elder-caregiving expert Carol Bradley Bursack about sibling conflict in the care of a parent with Dementia. Carol reports that most adult children caregivers are still women, and that typically the responsibilities of caregiving fall mostly to one child within a family. This creates the conditions for old resentments, jealousies, and conflicts to …read more »
This episode features Melynda, whose husband has frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Unlike Alzheimer’s, FTD is not first characterized by problems with memory, but by poor judgment and inappropriate behavior. Melynda’s husband, a doctor, began to make errors in judgment by over-prescribing pain medications to his patients, and was incarcerated for these mistakes. After his incarceration, the …read more »
In this episode of Safe Space Radio our host Anne Hallward talks to her mother, Clare Hallward, about her husband John’s diagnosis with dementia, which lasted for 16 years before his death. Anne and Clare remember some of the exasperating and even downright terrifying challenges of caring for John as his illness progressed. They discuss …read more »
In this episode of Safe Space Radio, neuropsychologist Steven Sabat discusses how he’s been able to find ways of communicating with people with advanced dementia by recognizing and honoring their enduring personhood. He talks about the failure of standard tests of mental ability to register the social awareness of people diagnosed with dementia, and the …read more »
Therapist Nancy Sowell remembers the family secrets that came out as she was caring for her grandmother with dementia, and how the curious distance and even hostility she had always felt from this side of the family began to make sense as her grandmother opened up for the first time. She discusses how dementia can …read more »
Julia Jarvis remembers how her relationship with her difficult father has evolved both before and after he got dementia. Julia talks about her struggles to make peace with him, and about the challenges now faced by the caregivers in her father’s life.
Psychotherapist Marushka Glissen talks about her mother, a survivor of Auschwitz who now has dementia. Marushka describes how her mother’s experiences complicated her relationships with her own children and husband, and raises the possibility that for some who are haunted by painful memories, dementia may actually provide a bittersweet respite.
Dr. Pauline Boss discusses the experience of ambiguous loss. Dementia often creates a situation in which a person’s body is present, but the mind is absent. For caregivers, this can generate feelings of ambivalence toward the person with dementia, including wishing for this person’s death as a way to resolve the ambiguity. Dr. Boss says that …read more »