Dementia Training Should be a Requirement in School

As many of you know, I am a clinical psychologist. I'm also a certified dementia practitioner and an Alzheimer's disease and dementia care trainer. I have been treating those with dementia for about 12 years now. In that time, I created and practiced my own dementia care model and even wrote a book on it, being published by Johns Hopkins in October. I've trained and educated thousands of individuals. I've done podcasts, interviews, and more regarding the field. Some would say I am one of the experts in dementia care. 

However, would you believe that I did not have one course on dementia in undergraduate or my graduate years? I remember in a course or two, perhaps a chapter included on cognitive disorders, however, it was never a focus or requirement to understand cognitive disorders. Most everything I learned about the disease of dementia came from my own doing.

Up until 12 years ago, my education and experience was mainly working with those with mental health disorders. When I...

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Self-Care = Prevention

Let me put a thought in your mind...

"Self-care is a preventative approach."

Typically self-care is in reference to managing stress, dealing with depression and anxiety, lowering agitation, etc. Often it's used when someone is at their wits end, when they are burnt out and looking for a miracle relief, or they are in the throws of mental anguish and looking for relief.

Self-care should not be used when it's too late, when your 'cup is empty'. It should be used on a regular basis with the purpose to prevent such reactions from happening. Therefore, we recommend scheduling your self-care 'sessions' into your daily calendar. Is that 30 minutes when you get up, 15 minutes before you go to bed, or an hour at lunch - we recommend starting with 15 minutes at a time and working your way up to an hour a day. 

You may be saying to yourself, "Girl, you are crazy! I have so much going in my life - work, e-learning with my kids, a husband/wife, a dog, cooking, cleaning - I don't have time...

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Social Media and the Impact on Our Mood

I have a friend who came to me recently. She is a reputable professional, seemingly having it all together via social media. I sometimes will see posts of her always ready for a picture with her children, perfect meal and table settings, her hair and makeup are always on point, and she has an extremely successful business career. To say the least, it makes me feel less than a lot of the time. I am lucky, some days, if I remember to brush my teeth before I stand outside with my kids for the bus talking to another mom. Social media can make us envy other's situations, feel unworthy, or that we simply are not up to par on everyday routines. And then, she stopped by the house to chat.

 
Guess what? That picture perfect social media posting is not showing you anything outside of the pic. She told me that she doesn't know how I do it?!?! I was shocked to say the least. "Me? You think I have it all together? Not a CHANCE!" Throughout our conversation, I was humbled to...
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You Are Not Alone

With times being what they are, I have had some time to reflect on how life has changed. It can be difficult to deal with everyday life. When so many changes come at one time, it can be challenging to keep our spirits up. Some of us will seek out help, some of us will not. You are not alone. You are not without tools. There are many non-pharmacy approaches to mood management. I use essential oils. 

 
Because essential oils affect our limbic systems, they can be an extremely safe and effective tool to helping us get through the day. Citrus oils are clinically trialed to elevate the mood. Lemon, Lime, Wild Orange, Bergamot, and other citrus oils have the ability to boost your emotions naturally and effectively. I am always excited to read about clinical trials and studies done on different disruptions in the body helped by essential oils. 
 
Diffusers are a non-intimidating way to disperse essential oils in a room and have almost an immediate effect on your body....
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Clean Faster

What if we told you that you can treat clean faster? This means that non-pharmacological tools can work faster than most as needed, oral medications used to treat anxiety, excessive agitation, and more. 

In long-term care, and most other treating entities, CMS requires that healthcare providers attempt to use non-pharmacological interventions first before giving medications to treat symptoms of dementia and mental health concerns - anxiety, depression, agitation, wandering, repetitive behaviors, hoarding, aggression, and so on. Treating clean in this fashion is a Win, Win! Your organization is in compliance, it helps your 5-star rating and increases your reimbursement, while the resident or patient is not dealing with the negative side effects of these medications, like falls, confusion, irritability, and upset stomach. 

The other advantage is that you can treat clean faster. Did you know that it can take minimally 30 minutes for as needed medications to start working, and...

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