Minding Our Elders®

Writer on Caregiver and Elder Support

Presentation Topics

All subjects contain personal stories about Carol's experiences with one or more of her seven elders for whom she cared. Any topic will likely include mention of hospice care, dementia, dignity of the care receiver, caring for the caregiver and the importance of health directives. Time frames are adjustable. 

Is She Dead Yet? Attended Deaths: How to Help a Loved One Through the End-of-life Process and Survive the Experience With Grace:
Carol speaks about deaths she's attended. Some contain spiritual revelations, and some contain hilarious moments. The tone of the speech is positive, highlighting lessons learned, as well as ways of bringing hospice care into the picture, and the importance of health directives.  

Perspective from The Other Side; Dementia Boot Camp Part 1:
Perspective from The Other Side; Dementia Boot Camp Part 2: 

Carol's story of her personal descent into helplessness as she went through sensitivity training to better understand what it's like to be at the mercy of caregivers - even loving, well meaning caregivers. She tells of her dad's brain surgery, and subsequent dementia, as well as other dramatic stories that show her personal investment in her subject matter. Carol stresses the importance of dignity for the health receiver and health directives in her talks. 

Getting Inside Their Head: How to Validate the Elder with Dementia:
Carol tells about her experience with validating her father during his dementia, long before it was considered correct therapy. She did it out of instinct and love. 

Why "Parenting Your Parents" and 'Role Reversal' are Misleading Terms:
Carol speaks of her passion to retain the dignity of elders' legacy of having live a long life. She understands the convenience of the phrase and even why people feel they are reversing roles. In some ways they are. But she feels if the terms find a home in the caregiver's brain, the caregiver is at risk of infantilizing the elder. 

Getting Through the Holidays:
Holidays can be difficult for caregivers. They often have many generations to consider. Guilt builds. Carol talks about dropping the guilt and knowing that your best must be "good enough."  

Early Grief: How to Recognize and Cope With Your Own Grief:
Carol discusses the grief caregivers feel as they cope with the slow declines of once vital loved ones. This is different than "anticipatory grief," where a caregiver grieves the eventual loss of a loved one. Early grief is ongoing as we grieve the loss of what once was.