Faith Marshall of Awakenings Hypnosis & Coaching talks about how to honor, celebrate and navigate the grief that arises when a loved one passes and how she can help families ground themselves during the process.
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The following answers for elder’s podcast features author, innovator, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Family Coach Faith Marshall. And Welcome back everyone to answers for elders radio. And we are here again with the wonderful faith marshal, who is an Alzheimer’s dementia expert and also the CEO of Awakenings, nosis and coaching and faith, you are such a wealth of information when it comes to our seniors and who have dementia and obviously this has been a really interesting time and we talked a little bit in our brief sentence about our two segments about, you know, meeting them where they are and communication and how to do that. Tell me a little bit about, you know, where we stand now as far as now that we’ve been through covid and and you know, there’s a lot of changes as to happen in this last year, haven’t there? Yes, yes, very much so. And every family has faith. I think every family I know has faced someone that had they be either lost or know of that has lost someone to covid. That is brings kind of that heaviness of your heart. Yeah, and obviously the heaviness of that heart just in the whole process. How does that affect someone with dimension? I don’t know if the person with dementia actually it depends on their stage as to whether they can understand what happened or where they went. My mom still thought her mother was alive and and so dealing with that with the actual patient is is a little bit of a challenge. My heart goes out to the families that have been have been aware of all the things that have happened and they might have a choice where they need to go to their loved one and tell them that someone in their family isn’t here anymore. And how do you handle that and how do you handle that grief? It’s I think we need to share it and say it and see how they respond. Their response might be sadness, their response might be even showing pictures of the person, depending on where they’re at. It can be heavy on your heart as the loved one, as the caregiver, as the daughter, as the spouse, to have that expectation of sadness and then maybe you get it and maybe you don’t. So it’s a it’s baby steps. All we can really do is take care of ourselves the best we can, like they say, put your oxygen mask on so that you can help up your loved one or your child. So I what helped me most with grief was journaling, and it let the tears flow. Don’t be afraid to cry. I cried a lot in the shower. So other people did. It necessarily have to have to see that with me, but it’s a way of clearing. It’s a way of helping yourself to step across that threshold into what is life like without someone you lost in the last year? Well, and I think even you know, you’re talking about grief. You’re talking about the grieving the person they used to be. Yes, if they have Alzheimer’s, dimension it’s like when when you have the title of your book, I miss you mom. Yes, you know the person that you’re talking to is probably in many ways your mom, but they’re not your mom anymore and having to adjust to that. There’s a grief process that we as family members go through and certainly also there’s a challenge that we have when it comes to, you know, trying to deal with our own guilt just because we haven’t been around our loved one for a year. And there’s a part of this that still feel this responsibility, this duty to a loved one. Would you kind of address kind of some of those feelings that people might be having? Well, I think self blame it. Doesn’t know, really serve us. We need to I think we need to acknowledge it, but at some point we need to realize what’s in our review mirror is in our review mirror and we’re and what we need to look at is how to move forward and how to progress and how to love the person that they are now. And and remember, you know, you’re you’re the heart that’s holding all those memories for them, and that’s a beautiful thing. But in some senses what has passed us in the past year is in the Review Mirror. Some of those things you’re happy to just kiss it goodbye and move forward. Yeah, and some things we just need to work through. You need to work through the grief and do the journaling and all of that. But look for the joy, look for what mom is happy about. Maybe it’s that, you know, chocolate pudding you just brought her, but yeah, it’s what I think. Another thing that you’re saying is it is a process, but it’s also, you know, something that it’s okay to feel grief over the things that we’ve missed out on this last year or the things that we’ve, you know, missed out with with birthdays and anniversaries or things like that with our loved ones. And you know, we’re all in the same boat together and it’s okay to feel those feelings and I think a lot of times, you know, we dismiss them. You know, and and certainly what you’re saying is is that’s okay to degree those things. Even to this day, you know, I have moments where my mother passed away ten years ago and I still have little moments of well, you know, I should have done this better or I should have done that better, and those are normal feelings absolutely through the through your life, you know. Yep, yeah, and so and we when we’re grieving for something that happened in this last year, it’s going to trigger previous grief. It always does. If we if we didn’t deal with the grief of like, in my example, my dad passing because we jumped into caring for mom so fast, the next person that I did grieve for triggered that grief from my dad passing that I had shut down on. So helping to deal with it is a really good, good way, but everybody’s different. Some of US were taught to not cry right, be big, don’t cry and and so that’s where journaling is helpful for people. And then just honoring it. Don’t bury it. It buried emotions can become illness, it can give you an ache in your stomach. It’s not healthy and it’s there are a lot of excellent grief counselors to help people too. But I think that the thing with the last year that is so unique is for those that did lose people, you also did not get to experience the closure that we typically do. We typically have a memorial. Some people had memorials on zoom, but some, I’ve got three people were still waiting to have the live memorial and they did not pass from covid but they’re still gone and I don’t have that sense of closure to say goodbye and to to meet with the family members and console them. So it is really a new normal and it is different and it is challenging and we have survived a lot and we know faith that that depression and loneliness certainly can escalate symptoms of Alzheimer’s. And yes, those types of feelings, you know, are certainly, you know, part of companion feelings. Of Yes, so it’s probably in my my ass assessment would be, you know, expecting if you’ve lost, you know, maybe one of your parents and the other one is starting to to fescalate symptoms of depression or set of Dominisia Alzheimer’s. That’s normal as well, is it not? And how can you deal with that in the best way? Well, I am not an expert in depression, but I do know that there are a lot of experts and paying attention to that and being aware of it is very important in getting them the help that they need. Even yourself get asking for help. A lot of US got were depressed in this past year with all the changes in the restrictions placed on us, and I think at just calling out for the help that you need, and I would encourage people to do things that make you happy. One of the things that help me with my depression is just going outside at one o’clock every day. For some reason it’s that. It’s where the sun is at, it’s the energy, it’s the refreshing, it’s the fresh air, and getting in a habit of doing that can help shift your mood and your energy a little bit and climbing routine. Like you said, routine is really important for those that have dimension Alzheimer’s. Yeah, and if you’re noticing that, if your loved one is in a care facility, to our listeners, it’s very important to reach out to stuff. They’re dealing with a lot of different taking care of people, but if you notice a little bit more of a behavior change with your loved one that is in a facility or something like that, those are the times to have care conferences and certainly reach out to the stuff. Those are your entitlement to do so. Is a family and they should be more than happy to sit down with you and talk about an action plan and I’m sure that you get you specifically fake can be part of that as well. Is that correct? Yes, I think just coming up with the step by step and what is next, what is now and what is next, is sometimes all we can do is look at what is now and what is next. I and navigate that that journey step by step, and the staff at the homes are amazing and what resources they can offer you. For those of you that aren’t in a home and don’t have those resources, then I’m happy to help connect you with the people that you that can support you, and that’s basically what you do. Correct exactly families and what is the process? Just really briefly, how do they work with you? Well, we used to meet in person. Okay, you could do dude. Yes, yes, getting the whole family and getting their perspective, and it is also helpful for them to talk, but also for me to hear each individuals part in this loved one’s journey, because we all deal with things differently. Some are a take charge, some are let’s let’s just kind of hold back and see where I’m needed. Some are busy. I you know, I had kids in school and I had a brother that was retired, so he kind of did a little bit more. So each family is very unique in how they how I can help them, but the first step is just having those conversations and listening and seeing what’s what’s going on. Is it all falling on one person shoulders? Can we offer that one person some support? Awesome. And how do we reach you? Awakenings, hypnosis and coachingcom is a way to schedule an appointment for a call or attend one of the group sessions. That we do the first week of every month, and also my web my author’s website is faith Marshallcom and that’s how you can find the book her fect. Well, faith, it’s awesome that you’re with us and everyone faith will be with us for one more segment for to close owner hour and we’ll be right back right after this. We would like to thank you for joining us in this podcast. Faith is here to support you and your family on this journey. She will help you to come together in harmony, creating the best team in advocating for your loved one’s care. So call faith at eighth and fifty five, three hundred and sixty three, two four and eighty four to receive a two hundred dollar gift card just by mentioning that you’ve heard these podcasts again. That number is eight hundred fifty five, three hundred and sixty three, two four eight four. And guess what that’s spells faith eight fifty five three FAI TA
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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.