During this new normal, we’ve become more sensitive to personal space. Faith Marshall of Awakenings Hypnosis & Coaching talks about the hope that we reunite with our loved ones. Faith provides some advice for how to manage your expectations, by getting a feeling for how they’re reacting to the new normal: seeing people on the streets wearing masks, people in lines at the store six feet apart, and so forth.
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*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 answers for elder’s podcast features author, innovator, Alzheimer’s and Dementia Family Coach Faith Marshall. And welcome everyone back to answers for elder’s radio and I am here again with faith Marshall, who is a dementia and Alzheimer’s expert who is also doing some advanced study on hypnosis and how that’s helping us. And one of the things we talked about just a generic thing of what is it and how are we getting back to normal and all of these things. But you used to term faith that I’m kind of interested in hearing and it’s very true. Now that we’ve been pooped up for a year. There is like a new normal out there, isn’t there? Yes, there is a little bit about what you mean by that? Well, we we have all learned to wash our hands, not touch our face, put on a mask. We’re now programmed to be distant. Yeah, now, thinking people right, and and that that. That’s it. It’s uncomfortable for some people. I’m a Hugger, so I just want to run in and hug my friends. So you have that. You it’s like you have this barrier right, and we need to learn what that means to us and you don’t want to make someone feel uncomfortable, even if you’re back scinated. You don’t want to make someone feel comfortable by getting in their space. So now we have this new normal of respecting a space that we maybe didn’t respect before and just interpreting how someone feels. So we’re really doing the whole body language check to right absolutely with her. I think another thing that you’re saying, which I think is really accurate, is that when you it’s like now that everybody, like I have a two of my closest friends or three of my closest friends. We’re all completely vaccinated now, but the question is, do we still wet? I mean there were trying to figure out do we if it’s just us and we’re both vaccinated, do we still need to wear masks? Well, we probably don’t if we’re outside, but we still kind of do, but then again we don’t really need to. There’s all these there’s all these questioning of what’s appropriate and what isn’t, and I think a lot of people are trying to figure that out. Yeah, yeah, very true. So you obviously talked about new normal and and you know, as we’re coming the term. I’m just going to use the word out of hiding. You know, what is it for those that have dimension Alzheimer’s? A lot of times they don’t even really understood what was going on. Right they may not have understood what was going on and they may not have really recognized that there was a big that it was a whole year. HMM. They they adapted to what they were conditioned to do, wherever they were in a home or in their own home, and the memory is is so tricky and that you don’t know what they’re going to remember. My mom would always go back to her high school years and sing her high school Alma Mater, and I just have thought about if she was still alive now and I was dealing with that, I would choose to go back to where she is, find out where she is, what She’s remembering, how she’s feeling, and you really have to meet them where they are. Yeah, can’t try to convince them that it’s two thousand and twenty one even, or that we just survived a whole year of not seeing each other, because there might be a blessing in that that they don’t realize. It’s been a year since they saw you well in something that I’m sure, like you said, if you even though you may have talked to a parent that has dementia Alzheimer’s during that time on the phone or something like that, I would only assumed that there would be different priorities in their life after a year. Yeah, tell me how that affects fells with the mensia. I think that every patient is different, so it’s hard to answer that question in a broad perspective. I think our hope is that we reunite with them, that they recognize our face, they recognize our voice, they recognize our fragrance and we reunite and, you know, maybe take them for a car ride as a baby step for their first adventure out of the home, if it is their first venture out, get a feeling for how they’re reacting. They’re going to see things that they didn’t see before. They’re going to see people on the street all wearing masks, they’re going to their going to see people in line outside of Costco, you know, six feet apart, still right. So there’s so many things that are different that they may or may not even notice or recognize. But there might be questions. My mom had a habit of really paying attention when we were driving and she’d be reading street signs and she’d be watching people and she’d be seeing what color truck was in front of us, and it just always amazed me that she was focusing on that level of detail. So I can only imagine that each each experience is going to be different for every family member. It’s just like, you know, a two year old that you’re taking to the store. You don’t quite know what’s going to happen. I know. So. So if somebody has getting ready now, obviously to see their loved one, and of course certainly laws are right now. It’s my understanding that one person has to be vaccinated, doesn’t. It doesn’t matter which one is that correct? That’s the one. I think it’s based on by county, so it’s a little bit okay. Yeah. So so the point is is that, let’s just say you’re going to see a loved one for the first time. What are your recommended recommendations at this point? I would so you’re coordinating with the staff. I’m sure see if you can have a phone call before you go, just make that attempt to let mom know that you’re coming. Call or when you get there, see if you can try to get her into that per I say mom because I doubt with my mom. Of course it could be dad, it could be anyone, but just being in touch with them more frequently, not just a pop in surprise visit, although it we would think that would be fun to surprise them, but they don’t really surprise very well now. So doing your best. Find out whether the home is going to let you in their room, whether they want to meet you outside, what, what are the requirements for that facility and what they’re dealing with. Bring mom something that is her favorite. My Mom love chocolate. I could shift her mood easily by bringing chocolate or flowers. Do that too. Yeah, we’re saying that. My mom was always in the summer. I’d stop and get a root your float and we’d sit there. You know, I grab a cart of ice cream at the grocery store nextself and bring in a bottle of root beer and and we would sit there and have the most lovely time together, even though she was not you know, I I know. What about like taking photographs. What do you think about that idea? Like some sometimes it helps them remembers. That what you mean? Yeah, yeah, we always had photo boards and mom’s room to help her remember. Another thing that I want to mention is that sometimes your dealing in your own fear. Your apprehensive, you don’t you’re fearful that mom might remember you. One of the things that I recommend is, if it’s possible, to bring a friend or have a sibling come with you. Mom always seemed to open up more when there were was more than just me. So I would bring my friend as a crutch, because mom would behave better for the friend and have a conversation with the fat friend instead of looking at me saying, where have you been? I love it. So it’s it’s it’s it’s all about how how the family member feels to your sure well, and I think the other thing is is that just thinking is your expectations. I think letting go of your own personal expectations. Yes, meet with your loved one. You know mom’s going to be probably different every time you show up and ye not, it’s not necessarily going to be. You know, it might be a good day or might be a bad day. Right, and one of the things about dimension and Alzheimer’s. You know, I always knew my mother would have a Urina are attract infection and Uti if he started acting a little bit more pronounced with your dementia right away, I had them checker. Absolutely. Yeah, you know those things that are going on every day with them and certainly doing our best to make sure that they’re that they’re comfortable and realizing just meeting them where they’re they are is, you know what you said. That’s really the key and all of this is making sure that your expectations are let go, because mom might be wonderful one day and mom may not know you the next. Right then, reality. Also be prepared, because my mom had no filter. Oh so, in this last year I put on a few COVID pounds. So if I showed up to see her, she probably look at me and say you’re fat. She just had no filter, right. Yeah. So, you know, be prepared for you look different. They might look different. So prepare yourself for maybe how they look. They might be a little thinner, they might. Yeah. So I think the other things bring up to is the fact that doesn’t matter how long you’re separated from them, it doesn’t matter or how you know what your how pronounced, their dimension and Alzheimer’s is, they still know how to push your buttons. Oh, yes, and learning to take care of your own self. Yes, I know. For me, I learned with my mother. She still knew how to push, push my buttons, even when she, you know, her dementia, got moral pronounced and she could do it in Swedish because that’s pretty much all she was speaking with the end of her life. But she could. I would learn to excuse myself and go walk around the block. UH, making sure that you’re taking care of yourself in the process and not getting into it with somebody that has dementia, Alzheimers. Yes, they don’t have their reality is the reality. It’s not going to change. Nope, and it’s certainly not going to be the you know your perception of right and it’s a waste of your energy to try to convince them otherwise. You just, yeah, do the dance, and I say it’s like dancing with dementia, right, it’s like they’re leading and you’re following. You may you may miss a step, but it’s okay. So faith. We have one minute left. Give us just a really quick summary of what do you do to help families and how do we, how do we reach you? I love meeting with families and just kind of learning where they’re at, what the siblings are contributing and and kind of come out with a list of things to do so that they can cooperate and collaborate their efforts in support of their loved one. And you can schedule a call with me by going to Awakenings, hypnosis and coaching and it’ll give you an option to schedule a free, complimentary call that we can just strategize and see if I can help your family well, and we would love to certainly do more of this with you, because I think a lot of the things there are ways of communicating with our loved ones. We just have to find them and you’re certainly, you know, a communications helper to do that. So we’re looking forward to having faith with us for the rest of this hour everyone, and she’ll be right back with us right up with this. Thank you, Suzanne. 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 and advocating for your loved one’s care. So call faith at eight fifty five three D and sixty three, two four eight four to receive a two hundred dollar gift card just by mentioning that you’ve heard these podcasts again. That number is eight fifty five three and sixty three, two four, eight four. And guess what that’s spells faith. Eight fifty five three FAI
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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.