In this episode of the Caring for Aging Parents Show, I interview Lauren Dykovitz, author of Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s about:
- Her journey as a caregiver over the past 10 years
- The challenges of being 25 when her mom was diagnosed with dementia
- Tips for young caregivers
- What she’s learned about her mom and herself since her mom has been diagnosed with dementia
- Ways to find gratitude in the midst of loss.
Watch this episode, now!
Lauren Dykovitz is a blogger and author. She lives with her husband and two black labs. Her mom, Jerie, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 at age 62. Lauren was only 25 years old at the time. Jerie is still living with late-stage Alzheimer’s. Lauren writes about her experience on her blog, Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s. She has also been a contributing writer for several other Alzheimer’s blogs and websites. Lauren self-published her first book, Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s. She is also a member of AlzAuthors, a group of authors who have written books about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Please visit lifeloveandalzheimers.
Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn from my interview with Lauren:
- [04:06] Lauren talks about her mom, Jerie, being diagnosed with dementia when she was only 62 years old, and Lauren just 25.
- [04:30] Lauren opens up about her mom’s dementia diagnosis process
- [05:25] Lauren describes the signs that she was noticing in her mom that made her concerned about dementia
- [07:05] The most surprising dementia symptom is revealed by Lauren.
- [08:40] Lauren shares what it was that convinced her parents to have her mom evaluated for dementia and the challenges of being misdiagnosed in the beginning.
- [10:10] There are so many uncomfortable moments in dementia. One of them for Lauren was the experience of feeling like she was “telling on my mom” when describing Jerie’s symptoms to the Neurologist.
- [11:53] Lauren describes the challenges of balancing starting her life in her first full-time job as a police officer and coming to terms with her mom having a new dementia diagnosis.
- [13:58] Being a 25 year old with a parent with dementia is was lonely and isolating for Lauren; she bravely shares her difficulty talking about dementia with her peers.
- [18:00] Lauren opens up about how she came to terms with her mom’s diagnosis of dementia and began talking about it.
- [23:30] Lauren talks about her journey as a caregiver over the past 10 years.
- [26:30] Lauren has taken on many caregiving roles, including as a hands-on caregiver, and as a long-distance caregiver, and she describes them here.
- [32:30] Jerie is going through some changes and Lauren talks about what her mom is like now.
- [35:00] Lauren believes that in her soul, “my mom knows me”
- [42:15] Lauren describes what her mom was like growing up.
- [44:40] I ask Lauren what she’s learned about her mom since she was diagnosed with dementia. And, Lauren also answers the question: “what have you learned about yourself?”
- [47:15] Lauren gives a message to younger caregivers.
- [52:43] Lauren talks about “loving the stranger my mom has become”
Want to learn more about dementia?
I wanted to share with you an important freebie, that’s something free, I made for this episode. It’s called, Dementia 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Dementia Disorders. In it, I describe what dementia is and isn’t. I describe the phases of dementia and what to do if you’re worried that your aging parent may have dementia. So, take a moment to download it. It answers some of the most frequently asked questions I get about dementia!
Finally, please share this video with your friends who are caring for their aging parents because nobody should have to do this caregiving thing-alone.
Bye for now,
Dr. Regina Koepp
PS: Here’s where you can buy Lauren’s book and follow her on social media! (And, I hope you do! She and her mom, Jerie, will continue to warm your heart.
- Buy Lauren’s book here: Learning to Weather the Storm: A Story of Life, Love, and Alzheimer’s
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lifeloveandalzheimers/
- Instagram: @lifeloveandalzheimers
- Blog: https://lifeloveandalzheimers.com/