Faith Marshall of Awakenings Hypnosis & Coaching shares her story. She journaled her ten years of caregiving during her mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s and published it as a helpful guide in “I Miss You Mom, A Daughter’s Journey into Dementia Land.”
View Episode Transcript
*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider part on the answers for elders radio show. Welcome back everyone to answers her elders radio on this Saturday May Day and we have been spending an hour with faith Marshall, and faith, you have given us a lot of insight about meeting people where they are with dementia and certainly as we’re starting to come out of being all locked down and in our cocoons and, you know, starting to experience the world again, we have so many of our listeners have loved ones who have different degrees of dementia and you know, I’m just curious. I know you wrote a book and we just mentioned at the beginning, but to close out the show I’d love to learn a little bit about your journey with your mom. Thank you, Suzanne. My mom will anyone’s mom is a special person to their heart, but my mom would never stop. She just always was going, going, going. She worked retail at La Mont’s and then she retired and she got bored so she went to work at Nordstrom’s and what was funny for me was as her journey through dementia progressed, she went back to those favorite times in her mind and in her heart where she was constantly socializing with people. And so when she was in the memory care facility, she was never in her room. You couldn’t get her to stay in her room. She was always out roaming the halls and visiting and in her mind she was going to work h so she never sat still and purpose. She had purpose and she danced and she loved music. And so what I learned was to to share her past and learn from her past. And I took her to a doctor’s appointment once and it was just hilarious. She just is in the waiting room with all these people. She meet somebody from West Seattle High School and they both start singing their high school alma water and I’m looking at her like, mom, you’re supposed to have dementia. How do you remember Your High School Alma Mater when I can’t even remember mine from Nathan Hale and the it’s just all those things combined in my heart. I thought I had I need to share these yeah, I need to share the funny stories and help other people through their journey of meeting mom where she was right, whether she was back in high school and needed my help filling out a job application. It was there was always something thing, it was always a new day and I was blessed that she still managed to keep her sense of humor. So I brought that into the book. You. My Book will make you cry, it’ll make you laugh and it will help you feel your way through your journey with a different with a different mindset. Well, and you know, what you’re saying is so true, because I think a lot of times, especially when I loved one is is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s an overwhelming feeling on the shoulders all the family members. Yeah, and and it’s probably harder on family members than it is on the actual patient themselves because certainly they’re not even aware that they’re losing it right and and they have their own little world and they, you know, they certainly will will, you know, live out whatever time they have left in their own reality. And a lot of it has not, is not consumed with grief or or, you know, it’s just their perspective. But there’s amazing insights and certainly to have those memory times like what you write about, I think is really important for families to come together and and experience those memories and talk about the good things and also to laugh together, because I know that so often we can be so weighted down by Alzheimer’s, Sun Dimension, yeah, and feeling like, you know, how are we going to move forward? You know, together. And I think one of the things that faith your story. Just like so many as, we have our own stories of our loved ones, and certainly my mom, you know, she had her sense of purpose was she was always a caregiver. She likes to take care of people and when I had her in assisted living, she was the low man on the totem pole as far as her abilities. The minute she moved into more of a skilled and, you know, twenty four hour care type environment, she felt like she could have purpose again, because there were people that were less had less capability than what she did right. And I think, you know, one of the things that you’re talking about your mom and I’m talking about my mom, it’s that sense of purpose. It’s giving them an opportunity to say, what is it that you want to do? And I know that Kelly Smith from care partners is talked a lot about this. Of You know, in their concept they do, you know, help with the dishes, yeah, helpfuld the laundry. Oh, they love folding laundry. Yeah, this is powerful because again, it you know, we forget about the things now. Those things are really why we live, is for a sense of purpose. And you know, you’ve obviously spoken for your memory care centers and things like that. What are you finding her? The most common questions of families have. I think what the families are asking is how they can navigate what to expect next. What is this road map look like? Hmm, what is this journey look like? And how long do I have? And and ten years is a long time and that’s how long my mom’s journey is an unfortunately, that’s pretty common and not knowing. You’re making adjustments in your own life to accommodate this. But what are you accommodate? It’s like going on a road trip without a map, really right, and not knowing where you’re going to wind up and when you’re going to get there. So just helping. Like I said before in a previous episode, was just what’s now, what’s next? And sometimes that’s all we can handle is what’s now, what’s next? Maybe look at the long term financial so that you have some sense of peace of mind and confidence in how this is going to be paid for. That’s a very common fear and just I think what I missed most that I’m trying to help families get is that sense of community, because dementia was something that no one was comfortable talking about. I didn’t want to go to work and and feel like, you know, Debbie Downer telling everybody what was going on. So I love the fact of having groups come together, like the Alzheimer’s cafes. That kind of had to be paused. So doing that in a group zoom. I’d love to have everyone who would like to join us on the week of May first in some group sessions just to, you know, meet your neighbors. We can talk about what’s been going on, talk about how to get through it and and just have that sense of community. I do that the first week of every month and then some people choose to work with me and some people just want to come back for the next the next month and and touch base with with people that are really doing what they’re doing and dealing with the emotions that they’re dealing with. When is the right time to start seeking out resources? A lot of times it. Maybe you know some early, early stages. Sometimes me is I mean, I know I don’t even have but there’s times it’s like, Oh my God, I completely space this situation. What’s happening? I’m too busy Er and like that. We we always kid around and call it part timers. You know. Yeah, I guess my question is, when is the time right to start making those plants? Well, first of all, I believe early diagnosis is very important and too many times family members, Co workers even, will dismiss something that they see as a reoccurring pattern. I have a friend that I just had to reach out to his nephew to say I think it’s time for us to have a conversation. I’ve been noticing these reoccurring emails that I’m getting that are asking the same question all within one week, and it’s really hard and and just speaking up, talking to the GP, if you can get them into to just have an early assessment. We had mom’s early assessment before she was actually diagnosed and then that was used as a baseline. So it’s uncomfortable it, but I can tell you that it’s even more uncomfortable if they’ve if they’ve heard themselves, because they’ve they’re wandering or they’re confused and they go take up, take the dog for a walk and can’t find their way home. So when it comes to the point of being a safety and security thing, I just don’t want you to regret that. You thought it but you dismissed it, because we go through our own self denial and fear, and I had those conversations with mom that it’s not thirty at night, it’s a thirty in the morning, you know, and then just did it really, you know, didn’t really add everything up. So siblings need to communicate with each other and you need, you need to address it. It’s best to address it early and then figure out what the game plan is from there. And it could be a couple years before anything gets serious, but at least you know. Sure, yeah, you’re absolutely and in a game plan takes off stress with everybody exactly family and certainly doing that. And so you have a call coming up this next week. Tell us about the call and how people can get involved. So on my website, Awakenings, hypnosis and coaching, you’ll see a couple different group calls and you can choose whichever time fits you and just you’ll put in your email and you’ll get a zoom link and we’ll all hop on the call together and you’ll ask questions that I can answer about how coaching can help you. We can talk about your family and share with other families some of the funny stories and things that are happening, and just just navigate that and choose the time that works for you and and meet meet some other people, like I said before, like that Alzheimer’s cafe where you used to be able to go and sit down and even bring your loved one with you. So I hope to return to that that community, find a community through all of this. Everyone is so important and to reach out to people that can can relate to what you’re dealing with and also to have a conversation that’s based in respect. I think a lot of times families they get in their own way because they don’t know how to communicate and they have sometimes issues between them, especially if the matriarch or patriarch of the family maybe, you know, at the center of everything, because everybody has a different dynamic with them and certainly we’re all trying to do our best and we’re all scared and we’re all in an emotional state. So having this type of the community that faith is offering and everyone, before we close out faith, how do we get in touch with you again? So www awakenings hypnosis and coachingcom and there’s a scheduling link on that page, as well as email and phone number. And then if you want to reach out and read my book, it’s wwwffaith Marshallcom and you can find that link to go to Amazon or you can go to Amazon directly. And my biggest heartfelt message is and remember when you feel the beat, dance. I love that. Thank you so much for being on the show today. Thank you, Susanne, and to all of you listeners, I’m so honored that you’ve been with us for this hour and as we enter the month of May, today is May Day. That’s what I said at the beginning of the show. Make sure that you find a senior today, if it’s picking up a little bouquet of wildflowers or something, what would it mean to them to just leave a little small bouquet of flowers with their doors them? I know that everyone here is looking forward to a wonderful springtime and we’re very glad you joined us this hour. Thanks again, everyone, and so until next week, be good to each other. Answers for elders radio show with Suzanne Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, legal, health and wellness and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive our monthly newsletter, receive promotional discounts and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders RADIOCOM. Now there is one place to find the answers for elders
Listen to More Answers for Elders with Suzanne Newman
Keep an eye out for future Answers for Elders podcasts on the Senior Resource Podcast Network! Thanks for listening, and be sure to keep scrolling for more articles by Suzanne. For more AFE podcasts, visit AnswersforElders.com and subscribe on your favorite platform!
Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.