FIND OUT EXACTLY HOW YOU ARE DOING AS A DEMENTIA CAREGIVER

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Are You Ready to Rethink Dementia Caregiving?

In this episode of "Dementia Caregiving for Families," we go into a touching and insightful conversation about dementia caregiving. Our guest Debbie Compton, having cared for three family members with cognitive impairments, shares her personal experiences and the lessons she learned along the way.

A Journey of Love and Challenges

The podcast begins with a powerful story of how our guest's life changed drastically when her family members needed immediate care. She talks about the challenges of managing their conditions, including vascular dementia and Parkinson's, and the hard lessons learned about the unpredictability of these diseases.

0:02:13 Introduction and background of the guest, Debbie Compton
0:08:16 Transition to discussing the care plan for Debbie's dad
0:12:53 Practical Evaluation and Blessings of Caring for Loved Ones
0:13:40 The Importance of Building a Caregiver Team
0:25:24 Strategies for Effective Communicating with a Loved One with Dementia
0:27:50 Finding Joy and Creating Memories in Dementia Care

The Art of Balancing Care and Self-Care

One key takeaway from the episode is the importance of balancing caregiving with self-care. Our guest emphasizes that taking time for oneself is not selfish; it’s essential. She shares practical tips for creating a support network and utilizing resources like church communities, highlighting the importance of asking for help and sharing the caregiving responsibilities.

Finding Joy Amidst Difficulties

Perhaps the most heartwarming part of the discussion revolves around finding joy in caregiving. Our guest shares poignant moments of laughter and happiness, reinforcing the idea that even in challenging times, there can be moments of joy and connection. She stresses the importance of creating happy memories, regardless of the person living with dementia's ability to remember them.

Empowering Caregivers with Knowledge

The podcast also underscores the need for caregivers to educate themselves about the diseases they are dealing with. Our guest points out the importance of understanding dementia's progression and preparing for future needs. She also discusses the value of utilizing reputable resources for learning and planning.

Conclusion: A Call to Action for Caregivers

This episode is a call to action for caregivers to not only seek support but also to cherish the journey, despite its challenges. It's a reminder that caregiving, while demanding, can also be a journey filled with love, learning, and unexpected moments of joy.

So, to our podcast listeners: How are you balancing the demands of caregiving while finding moments of joy and fulfillment? Let us know your thoughts and experiences.

About Debbie Compton

Debbie Compton is a three-time caregiver for parents with different forms of Dementia, Alzheimer’s , Parkinson’s and Vascular Dementia. She is a Certified Caregiving Consultant, Certified Caregiver Advocate, Educator for the Alzheimer’s Assoc. speaker, and author of 9 books.
Debbie’s first book, Caregiving: How to hold on while letting go, offers actionable steps for caregivers as well as questions to ask doctors, in-home caregivers, facilities, and more. It is full of humor and inspiration.

Debbie is the founder of The Purple Vine LLC, whose mission is to empower caregivers with the tools and strategies needed to reduce stress, block burnout, and learn to laugh again. Debbie believes it’s okay to get knocked down, but it’s not okay to stay down.

Debbie’s website is
https://www.thepurplevine.com/
On it you can read blog posts, join the e-mail family, read about some of her books, find some free gifts, and book a speech or consultation.

The SPECIAL FREE GIFT for Lizette’s audience is https://thepurplevine.com/18-ways-to-improve-brain-function/
Be sure to enter the password FREE23 to get instant access

To view all Debbie’s books, click here:
https://amzn.to/3Sa0qoN

To connect on LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/in/debbie-compton-speaker-author-caregiver
Follow on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Caregiving.Book

To schedule a consultation, book a speech, or get acquainted,
Click here: https://calendly.com/debcompton1/initial_meet

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Transcript:

Introduction: Interview with Deb Compton from The Purple Vine

[0:01] Welcome back to Dementia Caregiving for Families.
Today's episode is very special and unique because this is the first interview that I am doing and my guest, her name is Deb Compton from The Purple Vine and she has a unique story in the sense that she has taken care of three parents, mom, a dad, and a mother-in-law who all had some form of cognitive impairment or dementia.
So stick around and listen to today's interview.

And while you are here today, I want to invite you, if I resonate with you, to consider becoming a founding member of our new community, where for the price of one person, the entire family unit can join.

And if you're one of the 54 founding members, you will have access to everything for the lifetime of the person that you're helping who is living with dementia.
So stick around. The information will be in the show notes. And thank you for being here here today.

Introduction and background of the interviewee, Debbie Compton

[2:13] Well, welcome to today's episode of Dementia Caregiving for Families.
Today we have a special treat. This is my friend Debbie Compton, and this is my first interview.
So I get to interview a friend of mine, and I'm very excited about that.
So to start us off today, I'm going to ask Deb to just give us a quick little idea of what was going on in her life.
She is one of, like me, She's a professional caregiver, but she was also a family caregiver, and Deb has a unique story.
So I'm going to hand it over to you, Ms. Deb.
Thank you so much. I am so happy to be with you, Lizette, and thrilled to be your very first guest. So thank you.

[2:59] I do have kind of a different story because I was in business traveling nationwide, nationwide, and my parents were aging, but my dad accidentally took my mom's pills. He had low blood pressure. She had high blood pressure.
He was nearly comatose, and I was out on the coast. I live in Oklahoma, by the way, nowhere near the coast, couldn't get there real quickly to help him, and then a very short time later, my mom was at the Daily Living Center.
She had a blood pressure drop, passed out, had to be rushed to the hospital. at all.
Again, I couldn't get there. And then the third straw, my mother-in-law locked herself out of her house in the middle of a snowstorm, did not have the mental clarity to walk next door to the neighbors that she'd known for at least 40 years.
And instead, she sat in her car for at least seven hours until her daughter got home from work.

[3:49] So these were just huge eye-opening experiences that said, okay, things have to change.
This is not safe anymore. more. In what time frame did all of that happen?
Like very short together or overextended? Three months.
Oh my word. Just boom, boom, boom.
And so it was like, oh my goodness, I can't do this. We have to make changes.
And we already knew that my mother had vascular dementia, but she was very high functioning.
And I had her and dad going to the daily living center and the Daily Living Center would come and pick them up, take them there, bring them back home at night.
So I'd fix the pills the first of the week and everything was rolling along until it wasn't.
And I did not know enough to know that things were not going to stay the same.
I learned so much through the process. I did not do preparation for the next steps. I didn't even know what the next steps were.
And so I learned the hard way. I had never even been around anyone who had Parkinson's before until my dad.
And so when he started hallucinating, I had no idea what to do.
And, uh, it just, it was a, it was a scary, shaky experience.
And, um, so I cared for dad till he passed of Parkinson's in his home, cared for... Now his home was...

[5:19] Three miles from me. No, he was just, I moved them from Arkansas here to Oklahoma, three miles from me.
So I could travel over there and back, except that I was traveling three times a week.
So you were on a, I remember you said you were on an airplane when all of this, you were away when all of this happened and they lived in Arkansas.
And it's also when you got thrown into the deep end within three months with three parents needing assistance.
It sounds like one of the first things that you did was move your mom and dad who lived several hours away closer to you. Is that correct?
Close, yes. I had moved them prior to this happening because I noticed that they were having cognitive issues.
I just thought it was old age. I didn't think there was anything more than that going on, but I knew that they were going to need some assistance.
So I moved them just three miles from me.
And now your mother-in-law, how far away did she live?
She lived a couple of hours from me, but she lived with her daughter.
And so we thought everything was fine, but her daughter was working sometimes 12-hour days.
So she was home by herself all this time. and then when we discovered she had Alzheimer's.

[6:41] Then I researched that, and it's like, oh, my goodness, this is not going to get better.

[6:46] This is going to get worse, and we have to have a better plan in place.
And we tried a number of things. We had a niece move in with them, but she also had a job and was working.
So it still left my mother-in-law alone all through the day, at least eight hours a day, which became unacceptable really fast.
Right. Right. So before you and I came onto the program, we kind of talked about it that I've noticed over the years of doing this, that in essence, there are really only four different plans that one can have when you step into a caregiving role.
The first one is a person can stay, a parent or whoever can stay in their own home with intermittent care, somebody coming in and out, or at home with with 24-hour care, or they can live in a family member's house with somebody coming in and out, or 24-hour care, or an assisted living, or a skilled nursing facility.
If I remember correctly, you pretty much did all of those. Am I correct?
Yes. Yep. You're correct.

[7:51] Because we started with mom and dad going to the daily living center through the day and being brought back home.
And then that did not that wasn't enough and my dad would not move in with me and did not want anyone coming into his home and because he didn't need help you know and so we had to work around that and what we did is I talked to one of my brothers and I said I've got to have some help.
Transition to discussing the care plan for Debbie's dad

[8:16] And he had been planning to move back to Oklahoma anyway he was currently living in Florida So he asked dad if it was okay if he and his wife moved into their guest room until they could build a house. So this completely changed the dynamic.
This is dad helping him. It's not him helping dad.

[8:37] So, so dad was very agreeable with that so that he could help him.
And that helped me so much because then my brother and sister-in-law took care of the evenings and the night shift and I took care of the day shift.
So it was much more doable with them. So that was dad living at home with pretty much 24 hours supervision.
And I remember you, he, he was able to stay at home until he passed away, correct?
That's yes, that's correct. Correct. And then your, your mom was the one that tell me, remind me of your mom's story.
My mom had vascular dementia for over 20 years.
She was the first one diagnosed and the last one to pass away.
She just passed away a couple of months ago.
And so she went through all the phases diseases, and she wound up, she, at the end, in the middle of COVID, I had to move her to a memory care facility.
It broke my heart. I felt like I was letting her down, and I cried and cried, you know, the whole thing.
Turned out to be the best thing in the world for her, because she had new friends. She had activities.
There were things to do. There were things going on.
She perked up, and it allowed me to be able to be her daughter again, not be the mean one that was making her take a bath, making her take her medicine.

[9:58] Making her do all these things she didn't want to do.
I could just enjoy, we could enjoy each other's company again.
So where I thought it was going to be horrible, horrific, terrible, it was fantastic.

[10:10] And that's something that I think caregivers really need to hear because we have that mindset that we're letting them down and that wasn't the case.
Did you know that caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be this hard?
If you are struggling and you would like to join our next free workshop, it is this coming Saturday.

[10:37] The topic of the workshop is three tips how to avoid challenging dementia behaviors without stress, anxiety, or burnout.
I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills, that many professionals don't even know after attending this free workshop on Saturday. day.

[11:05] If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.
For some people, it is the best option. And then for other people, it's not necessarily.
And there's no way to know until you try and see what works.
I mean, Most people prefer to stay in their own home, but that doesn't mean that that's the practical solution.
And I come from the framework that, yes, it's important to keep the person who is living with dementia, their preferences in mind, but their preferences do not take precedence over the care partner's abilities and preferences.
It has to be a balance. Right, right. And every person is different.
And mom has always been a very social person.
She loves seeing people, interacting with people. She was bored with just me and her. I like to garden. She doesn't.
She wants to sit and watch movies. I can't sit and watch movies all day.

[12:22] And so it wasn't good. But then I had to move her because she was passing out.
And she was having these sudden blood pressure drops and she outweighed me by 35 pounds. And so it wasn't safe anymore.
It wasn't safe for either of you. No, not at all. And her doctor is the one who told me, he's like, this is not a good situation.

[12:42] You need to move her to memory care so that she can be taken care of.
Because she forgot how to use her legs when she was sitting in the bathtub and I couldn't get her out.

Practical Evaluation and Blessings of Caring for Loved Ones

[12:53] I couldn't lift her. So you have to be practical about it and evaluate that situation and that person and the fact that, too, mom never said, don't put me in a nursing home. So I was blessed in that.
She didn't really care. Dad was very much against it.
My mother-in-law was very much against it. So my mother-in-law, we moved into our home and I cared for her with Alzheimer's, which was terrible.
The hardest thing ever because it's just, it's 24 seven complete exhaustion.
She would always be more antsy and prone to wander at night.
And so more than one occasion, I was chasing her down the street at 2 a.m.
Because she'd pulled off all her clothes and gotten out of the house.
The Importance of Building a Caregiver Team

[13:40] So everybody's different. Everybody is different. So for people listening related to your mom in law and the providing, helping her with 24 hours supervision in the house.
What did you learn from that, that you would have done differently now if you could redo it?
Oh, so many things. Number one, you can't do it by yourself.
No. You need a team and you need to get that team in place no matter what you have to do.
Like from the beginning, not wait until too late. Oh, yeah.
I waited way too late. I waited until I was in full-blown caregiver burnout, which I didn't even know what it was.
Didn't know what was going on. I just knew that I was mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted.
I was just exhausted. What I hear you saying is that anybody who gets a diagnosis of dementia almost immediately needs to start planning to put a team together.

[14:46] Yes. And who the team is. It's not saying that that team is jumping in right at the beginning, but you cannot wait until you get to the caregiver burnout phase to start to scramble to find the team.

[15:02] That's exactly right. Exactly. And I encourage caregivers to do that, to start talking to people as soon as you have the diagnosis, to see where all your options are, record it, write it down.

[15:14] And there are so many ways to get people to help. A lot of people want to help, they just don't know what to do.
And so if you're prepared in advance and you have your list of this is what I could use help with, somebody picking up the groceries, mowing the yard, walking the dog, whatever it is, if you have all these things down and you run into someone who says, well, let me know if I can do anything, pull out your list and you say, what would you like to do?
What would you like to do? I have these things available.
That is a really practical tool for people to be able to do, because I agree with you.
People around us are willing to help. They just just don't know how to help.
And the person who is in that particular situation.

[16:01] Whether it's because of the social stigma of Alzheimer's or just it's such a slow, not the Alzheimer's part, but the caregiver burnout part is such a slow, insidious journey that everybody is thinking thinking they're coping, they're coping, they're coping, and they're really not coping.
Right. They just don't know. They don't recognize that they're not coping.
I had a conversation with a couple of people in my church a couple of weeks ago as I was getting ready to launch this podcast, and I found out two men in my church have dads who both have dementia, and my first question to them was, how's your mom?

[16:47] And both of them without, any hesitation said, oh, she's fine. And the first thought that went through my head was, no, she's not.
No, she is not. You don't even have any awareness that your mom's not okay.
So for younger adults who are listening to this program as a family caregiver, who may have a parent who still has a spouse, like a mom or a dad, one of them has dementia, the other one's the primary care partner.

[17:21] What I want the children to understand is you think your parent who's the caregiver, the care partner is doing okay, but really they are not.
They're just not able to recognize yet that they're not feeling okay.
Exactly. It's that frog in the water and you slowly turn up the temperature.
You know, you bring up the frog.
I hate using that analogy, but it is such a good analogy.
I actually used it in one of my podcasts that I recorded earlier that I don't remember when it'll actually play. But my point was just exactly that.
When you get a diagnosis of dementia of any kind, it doesn't matter what kind of dementia it is, the care partner is like that frog in the cold water that is obliviously swimming.
And it's just slowly heating up. And you don't notice it until it's a boiled frog.
Until it's a boil. A full-on boil, and then you have to have them help immediately, and then you do something drastic.
Yeah, and then it's too late.

[18:35] Okay, so setting up your team from the beginning, what else? Yes, yes.
Oh, my goodness. Take a little bit of self-time.
Self-time is not selfish.
So when people listen to you saying that, the very first thing I know they say is, I don't have time for that. I don't have time. Yeah. I didn't either.
I thought the same thing. So give people some practical solutions for me. Absolutely.
Well, one way to do it is I have people, older people at my church who are still mentally cognizant, but they don't drive anymore.
I drove over and picked up a little lady, brought her back to my house, sat her and my mother-in-law on the couch to watch a movie. And I went and soaked in the tub.
They were at the house. They were safe. They could holler at me if they needed needed help.
Everything was taken care of, but she was being watched.
She didn't realize that she's watching a movie with a friend, but she was safe and secure and I could relax in the tub. It was like a mini vacation. It was amazing.
And what people don't realize is even that 20 minutes or half hour or hour of just not being in charge.

[19:49] And not being on duty can make such a tremendous difference.
And I love it that you brought up church because I think church members are highly underutilized in regard to helping somebody with dementia.
And I also think that if you reach out to your deacons who are willing to help you find find help they can help you set this up yes and they love to they exactly but we don't even think about it like i've often recommended to people you know when a woman has a baby in our church we get a meal train yeah why do we not set up meal trains for shut in people with you know a family care partner situation where one meal, even one meal a week for a year would significantly.

[20:52] Lighten the burden of the person who's the primary responsible party.
Because the church is willing to help, it's just we don't ask.
That's exactly it. That's exactly it. And oftentimes, your loved has attended a Sunday school class or some sort of class for years, they're close to those people.
Those people want to help your loved one, but they didn't know how, as in our case, until I said, hey, would you like to come and sit and watch a movie?
And then she said, sure, I'd love to.
So we just have to ask. That's the thing.

[21:29] So what would you say to people who don't want to ask? Well, you know what?
You're denying them the blessing of being able to help you.
Because when you help someone else, you're blessed.
So by you not asking, and this took me a long time to get, and my little brother's the one who beat it through my head. He said, don't deny me my blessing.

[21:52] Ow, that hit home. Yes. Yeah.
So ask them, let them help you. you don't need to be a lone ranger lone ranger is going to get shot in the end we need to take community and take care of ourselves some too because sadly the statistics show that a caregiver then winds up getting sick being hospitalized having problems and i know i did i didn't go to the doctor i didn't take care of myself i didn't go to the dentist and so I'm trying to help people learn to do better than I did starting off and I got much better after two of my loved ones passed away I got my certifications I got my training I learned a lot of great tools that would have been super helpful had I known before but I didn't and you do the best you can with the information you have but that's the third thing that caregivers need to do is to educate themselves about the particular disease that they're dealing with and use reputable sites you know whether it's the mayo clinic alz.org depends on what your situation is but research that disease and learn about the steps and start putting things in place before you get there so that you can have a smoother smoother journey that use that's very very true i find it.

[23:15] I think it's a really good plan for people to research it on their own, but there are also a lot of tools out there that can streamline the process for people.
Uh, and I also, the more I do this as an occupational therapist, yes, I think it's important for us to know from a treatment perspective.

[23:40] Medical treatment perspective, what type of dementia somebody may or may not have.
But the boots on the ground...

[23:49] It doesn't really matter for the family caregiver to know the idiosyncrasies between this dementia and that dementia and this dementia.
It's more important, I think, for the family, and you can correct me from your experience, but I think it's more important for the family caregiver to truly understand the progression.
Regression.
And not so much the word stages, but to understand that if your loved one, and I always, hate to be, I feel like sometimes I'm the bearer of bad news, but it's like sometimes people get a diagnosis and they don't truly understand that if this person lives long enough with this process that they will need 24-hour care and that if they live long enough with this process, they are going to pass away.
Those two things are right now fact.
And so we don't prepare ahead of time for the fact that a person might live 5, 7, 10 years with this.

[25:05] Or 20 like my mother. Or 20 like your mother, right?
Some people have dementia for ten years and have a heart attack and pass away.
But I'm not talking about those people. I'm talking about we've got to consider ahead of time.

Strategies for Effective Communication with a Loved One with Dementia

[25:24] What we're going to plan for, we know that if they live long enough, they will need 24-hour care, and we don't prepare for that, and we don't want to talk about that.
But it's more important, I think, for a family caregiver to early on start to learn the strategies and not talking about transfers and helping somebody take a bath and things like that.
Those are skills that are actually very easily learned. I'm talking about the how to actually communicate with this person to not constantly be making it worse.
Yes. And that's what I see as such a huge issue.
And plus, when I do consultations with caregivers, that's what I will do is to prepare them for the next steps and or the next progression of the disease, because we don't know when it's going to happen.
And some people stay at a plateau for a long time and then take a big drop and then stay there for a while and then drop again.

[26:23] But every step of the way, and this is the thing that I like to emphasize, there's still joy to be found. Life is not over.
There's still laughter to be found. When my mother could no longer speak, we still had laughter.
I would get down in front of her eye to eye because you want to get eye level with them and get in their field of vision and make sure she sees you.
And then I'd make a crazy face and she'd make a crazy face back at me and we would both just laugh.
Did you know that caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be this hard?
If you are struggling and you would like to join our next free workshop, it is this coming Saturday.
The topic of the workshop is Three Tips How to Avoid Challenging Dementia Behaviors Without Stress, Anxiety, or Burnout.
I invite you to walk away with science-backed dementia caregiving skills that many professionals don't even know after attending this free workshop on Saturday.

[27:36] If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.

Finding Joy and Creating Memories in Dementia Care

[27:50] So there's still joy in the journey.

[27:53] I'm so glad you brought that up because that's one of, you know, one of my big passions in this process is to like society the the greater world out there is oh doom and gloom and woe is me.

[28:10] About this process i'm a christian this is not a this is not an overtly christian program but i bring my christian values to it i you and i've spoken about this before so i know where where your heart is.
The reality of the matter is that anybody passing away, any death is difficult, for the people around the person who passed away because we love them.
And so dementia is not necessarily an easy process, but I also don't think it's the worst process process in the fact that all death is terrible and it's a separation and it just reminds us that we're not supposed to be, it's not supposed to be this way.
But I'm so glad, so extremely glad you bring up the working on creating these moments of joy, of creating, of still living with this process of being in the moment and making those memories and taking the photos because too many people don't and they've lost.

[29:26] A lot of time that they could reflect back on later.
Right. And there's still, I mean, ice cream brought my mom tremendous joy.
She loved ice cream. So I would take her out for ice cream.
And in the beginning, you know, we would go to a Brahms where you could go in and sit down and do all the stuff, you know, and then it got to be too difficult.
So then we started doing Sonic because you can stay in the car or a drive-through and get it something like that.
But she's still getting out. She's still seeing different scenery.
She is loving that ice cream. And we take pictures of us in our ice cream all the time.
And because it's a good, happy moment.
I had someone say to me, well, she's not going to remember it two hours from now. No, she's not. But you know what? She's very happy in this moment.
And I am very happy in this moment.
But you're going to remember it. Yes. Yes. And I have have the photos exactly and so smiling laughter create those memories it doesn't matter whether the person remembers it or not that that is not what it's about right it's about you remembering them and you're bringing joy to them absolutely whether they remember it later or not they remember it right then they're experiencing it so that's enough i agree totally totally Totally.

[30:47] Well, Deb, tell people how they can connect with you.
I know that you had a free gift for anybody who was interested, and it'll be in the show notes for anybody who's listening or watching.
Go ahead and tell people how they can connect with you.
Okay. Well, first off, that free gift is 18 ways to reduce your odds of getting dementia, dementia, because so often we as caregivers forget where our phone is at and we immediately jump to, oh my gosh, I'm getting dementia.
Usually that is not the case. So, but there are things that you can do to minimize your chances of getting it.
So those are compiled on a cheat sheet, PDF, whatever you want to call it.
And so that's the free gift that you can get, action steps that you can take in your home.
It's not, I'm not selling things for you to go out and buy, things you can do yourself to cut your odds of getting dementia.
My website is thepurplevine.com.
And I named that purple. Purple is my favorite color. And it's also the Alzheimer's color. So it worked perfectly.
And then vine, because I used to be in training and development in business, and I was used to a linear process. You do one, two, three, you get four.
Quickly discovered dementia is not like that. You do one, two, three, you get seven, 12, 144, negative two. I mean, it's all over the board.

[32:11] And I'm a gardener. So vine made sense to me.
And then i am a christian as well and john 14 i am the vine you are the branches he that abideth in me bears much fruit apart from me you can do nothing and so so my website is the purple vine, there are blog articles and posts and things on there you can read there's free resources, information about my books and you can also sign up for an email list where i give away other free things and teach short, actionable things to make life safer, easier, because my whole mission is to empower caregivers to reduce their stress, block burnout, and learn to laugh again.
Yeah, for sure. You have to have the joy if you're going to get through it.

[33:00] I'm so glad that your free gift to people is actionable steps that they can take to prevent dementia because so many people believe that there's nothing that you can do.
And there is a lot of research that indicates that there is so much you can do for your own cognitive wellness.
The thing that I want people listening to understand is that if you do notice that you're having difficulty with your thinking and it doesn't go away, don't ignore it.
Because sometimes we wait too long saying it's stress or whatever.
If it truly is something that keeps coming back, don't ignore it and don't allow your doctor to tell you, oh, it's just old age.
Right, right. Well, and two, to your point in that, it could be reversible dementia.
That can be caused by a UTI, an infection, low vitamins, stress, dehydration.
There's a host of things. And so you could be worrying, thinking you have dementia when all you need to do is drink more water.

[34:13] Or you're slow, you know, low on a vitamin B or vitamin D or something else.
And so, yes, people, I don't want people to go to the one extreme, but I also don't want my fear, usually not particularly regarding this conversation.
But, you know, the research shows that they can start to trace back true changes in people's thinking 10 to 15 years before signs.
The problem is that the doctors and the medical field just tell you there's nothing wrong.
Don't worry about it. Don't worry about it. That's the other extreme, you know. Right.
There are two extremes. The reality is you really do know yourself. Right.
And if you see the signs, like you said, go to the doctor. A simple blood test is all that's going to tell you tons of information, tell you that, like you said, if you're just low on some of these vitamins and you need a supplement, you start taking that supplement, and then the brain fog clears.
Now, if you tested and everything was fine and everything lined up perfectly and you know that you are having reoccurring memory issues and problems, then you need to push it and progress for more testing because it is not normal aging.
Dementia is not a normal part of aging.

[35:41] It is not. And that we will talk about that in a different episode.
What is the difference between normal aging and abnormal aging? Because that's my jive.
I love that. Yep. We will definitely talk about that.
So thank you for your free gift to the people listening. And thank you for being my first interview.
I'm excited. Kind of fun and different.
I'll get better at it as I do it a little bit more. You did great.
You did great. And I forgot to say too, I mean, they can email me at debcompton1 at gmail.com.
And I'll do the first consultation free just to talk and help them get a plan, develop a plan, find resources, whatever the case may be. So I'm just, I'm here to help.
Awesome. So all of that information should be in the show notes later on.
And Ms. Deb, Deb, thank you very much for being my first guest.
And I have enjoyed this tremendously.
Me too. Thank you so much.

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About the author

“Think Different” Dementia’s owner, Lizette Cloete, OTR/L graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1992. Lizette has almost 30 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings, the latest being in the home health environment. She enjoys teaching on the topic of dementia, most recently presenting at a national conference on the topic “Dementia Made Simple”.

Disclaimer: These blogs, videos and any work done by Lizette Cloete OT, as a Member of Think Different Dementia, LLC, is given only as educational content and consulting work. This does not create an Occupational Therapist-Patient Relationship. The educational content and consulting work performed should not be considered medical treatment as an Occupational Therapist. The consulting work does not take the place of medical work normally performed by a licensed Occupational Therapist. Please consult a licensed Occupational Therapist for medical advice.

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