FIND OUT EXACTLY HOW YOU ARE DOING AS A DEMENTIA CAREGIVER

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Have you ever reconsidered a long-held belief because of a new experience? Imagine the profound impact of such a change, especially in the context of dementia caregiving.
Today, we're exploring an inspiring journey that challenges common misconceptions about travel with person living with dementia and unveils the enriching possibilities it holds.

One Mistake A Dementia Caregiver Makes By Not Traveling

03:04 Kathy: Registered nurse, specializing in geriatric neurology
08:48 Personalized cruise experience with seamless logistics
12:57 Cruise impact on caregivers' advice; therapy example
20:16 Embrace change and make lasting memories
25:13 Continuous learning leads to living joyfully and confidently
33:09 Unexpectedly connected with people during airport layover

Kathy Smith Shoaf RN is a Travel Expert with 20+years of clinical and management experience in Geriatric, Rehabilitation and senior housing as an RN and ATP. She realized after years of counseling with families that the QUEST to enjoy life "Should Never Have to Stop". Her ability to overcome Fear and Anxiety about travel... Makes "Dreams Come True".

You can find Kathryn on 
EliteCruisesAndVacationsTravel.com. As an RN and experienced Group Travel Expert, Kathy has created travel opportunities in a wide range of exclusive Cruise, Land Tour, and Topical Social Itineraries.

Experienced in Luxury/ VIP, Faith-Based, Accessible, Dementia, Senior, Diabetes, Cancer Care, educational /CEU and Topical group cruise events.

The Misconception of Travel Limitations

Many assume that travel with a loved one who has dementia is off-limits. Concerns about safety, discomfort, and the unknown often overshadow the potential benefits. However, this narrative is about to change. The dementia-friendly cruise experience showcases that with thoughtful planning and specialized support, the world is still very much open to those navigating the dementia journey.

A Specialized Cruise Experience

The cruise, designed specifically for families dealing with dementia, provides an inclusive and safe environment for all passengers, regardless of their cognitive state. With the guidance of healthcare professionals, including registered nurses and occupational therapists, families embark on a journey filled with activities tailored to their needs and capabilities. The emphasis is on creating joyous memories, fostering connections, and offering respite for caregivers in a unique setting.

The Impact of Shared Experiences

Participants of such cruises often return with stories that highlight the joy of shared experiences. From dipping toes in the ocean to witnessing the majesty of the Panama Canal, these shared moments become cherished memories. Caregivers observe their loved ones engaging with life's wonders, rekindling the joy that dementia threatens to overshadow. This collective joy not only enriches the lives of those with dementia but also provides caregivers with precious moments of connection and respite.

A Call to Adventure

The message is clear: dementia should not be a barrier to experiencing life's beautiful moments. With proper support and a community that understands, traveling can offer much-needed joy and respite for both caregivers and their loved ones. It's a call to reconsider the possibilities and embrace adventure, even in the face of challenges.

Embracing Life Beyond Dementia

This narrative serves as a beacon of hope, challenging the stigma associated with dementia and encouraging families to explore life beyond the diagnosis. It's a reminder that even in the midst of caregiving, moments of joy, adventure, and connection are not just possible—they're essential.

Let this episode inspire you to look at dementia caregiving through a new lens, one that sees beyond limitations and embraces the full spectrum of life's experiences.

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One Mistake A Dementia Caregiver Makes By Not Traveling With Kathy Shoaf Speer

Transcript

Life-Changing Experiences

[0:00] Have you ever had an experience in your life that made you change something that you have believed in for a very long time?
Information that you didn't have when you were giving advice or information that you didn't have when you made a decision, that when you get this piece of information makes you change your mind.
Today's episode, One Mistake a Dementia Caregiver Makes by Not Traveling, is my interview with Kathy Schoaf-Speer from Elite Cruises and Vacations.
And this episode is 100% related to the experience I had as a support member on a dementia-supported cruise that made me do a 180 on something I have believed in for a very long time.
So listen to episode 98 to hear why I changed my mind.

[1:20] Hey there, success seeker. Welcome to Dementia Caregiving for Families.
Do you feel overwhelmed with the daily struggle of dementia caregiving, looking for an easier path?
You're in the right place. On this podcast, we teach you the skills to simplify caregiving.
We unravel the mystery of dementia and guide you through the often difficult behaviors.
I'm Lizette, your host and fellow family caregiver.
As an occupational therapist, I bring my professional and personal personal experience to this community.
Here we speak the truth, but without the verbal vomit.
I know you will find value in today's program, so buckle up while this flight takes off.

Introduction to Dementia Caregiving

[2:16] Well, welcome back to today's episode of Dementia Caregiving for Families.
And we have a very, very special treat today because we are going to talk about one big mistake family caregivers typically make by not traveling.
And I will tell you, when you actually listen to me in this podcast, you're going to see that this experience that I went on with Ms.
Kathy totally changed my my view as a 30 plus year therapist on traveling with your loved one with dementia.
So Kathy, please introduce yourself to the people listening or watching this podcast and tell them what it is that you do.
And then we'll get into this program.
Hi, everybody. I am Kathy. I'm a registered nurse and a geriatric neurology nurse.
I'm also an adaptive technology professional.
So I am professionally capable of keeping everyone safe in whatever setting they choose to be in, including traveling.
So I believe that every person should.

[3:30] With no matter as to a diagnosis, deserves to still get to enjoy their life.
And so I create dementia-friendly caregiver retreat travel, along with senior elite-supported travel, so that everybody still gets to go.
Whether you need a scooter, a wheelchair, a power wheelchair, a walker, a cane, or you walk better than I do, which is commonly possible.

[3:59] That everybody gets to go.
We take oxygen concentrators and we take clients that have a cognitive challenge and we have fun.
We create opportunities for caregivers to enjoy their loved one and watch their loved one having a blast.
And then those caregivers take home in their heart, these memories that they get to hold and keep forever. I love that.
I love that about you. I love the mission.
And full disclosure to everybody listening, I was one of the staff members on one of Kathy's recent cruises, which totally changed my life and totally changed how I think about traveling.
Now, before we got on to the podcast, Kathy mentioned to me she gets this question frequently.
And so I thought we would start with this particular question because I'm very curious to hear what the answer to the question is.
Kathy tells me that she gets asked this particular question very frequently by medical professionals, nurses, other travel professionals.
And the question is, why on earth would you do this? So, Kathy, why on earth do you do this?
I do this because it really, truly matters.

[5:24] It really honestly makes a difference to the caregivers and to their loved ones.
We make experiences possible.
We put people's feet in the ocean one more time. We let them experience the Panama Canal.
We let them be splashed by a whale. We have wonderful, amazing experiences that people still deserve the chance to have.
And is it difficult? cult? Yes. Some trips are more challenging than others, but it's always 100% worth the effort.
So we travel with many, many professionals along with me.
Please don't think that we take 40 people to the Caribbean with just one nurse. That is not true.
We travel with many professionals professionals such as Lizette and other licensed professionals, dementia activity directors, certified nurses' aides, people that know how to manage and help us, and people that know how to help the caregivers.

[6:33] Yes, it was probably one of the biggest eye-opening experiences of my life.
And later on in our conversation, remind me if I forget, remind me to tell you the story that happened as I was flying out of Fort Lauderdale on my way home as I was waiting for my flight.
Because I got some perspective from other people who had observed us on the cruise.

[7:03] Which was actually tremendously uplifting. So Kathy, tell us a little bit about what a dementia-supported cruise is.
What is the purpose behind it? How do we structure it and give people who are thinking, oh, but they're going to jump over the boat, over the ship, right?
Like every person I have spoken to, they're like, but they're going to to jump over.
I'm like, that thought never crossed my mind. Not once. Other things crossed my mind.
But that one wasn't one of them.
So tell people who are listening, who are like, I could never go on a cruise with my family who have dementia.

[7:48] It's too big. How am I ever going to find them again?
I can't keep my eyes on them the whole time.
Tell people a little bit about how how you've designed this because this is designed this is not by chance the first thing we did creates a private custom conference space with a door so we have a space that's for our little group on the ship that's our home base so we are there for all of basically all the activities on the ship as a group.
So everyone knows what that room is and it has a door.

[8:34] So if people are concerned about misplacing their loved ones or them wandering off, you know, we do a very good job of keeping them within a space with solid support.

[8:48] So we create a cruise that starts with everybody is a meet and greet at the airport. port.
My staff meets every single family as they come in, assist with luggage, get the luggage and the clients back to the hotel after one of us helps the mom off to the bathroom so that the son does not have to worry about that one more time in his life.
And then we have a group hotel the night before the cruise.
And then when it's time to leave for the cruise the next morning, we attach the baggage cruise identification tags to everybody's suitcase before they get in the transfer and then we go to the cruise together we all go at the same time everybody knows where we're going and why we're going and it's just together so that nobody has to be stressed about how can I hang on to my suitcase and my loved one we've got the suitcases you just hang on to to your loved one for right now.
And we have guys that are capable of pushing the wheelchairs, helping people up and down little steps.
And we have also created wheelchair accessible transfers when that's actually needed for someone that's wheelchair bound.

[10:01] On the ship, we concentrate on eating in the dining room.
If anybody has ever been on a cruise, you know that one of their happiest places is upstairs in the buffet where there are 25 countries represented with different genres of food and 900 choices.
None of that do our people need.
So we work really diligently to get everybody to go to the dining room and eat at a table with a menu and a waiter where the food is presented to you that you have ordered and nobody's fighting for a table or trying to figure out what they want to eat.
So we try to decrease those stressful experiences as much as we possibly can.
My next little trick is that we try very hard to take your loved one out of the cabin in the afternoon so that you have a couple minutes to unpack in privacy without so much help because sometimes all that help is really not necessary.
So being organized and knowing where this stuff is that you know you're going to need for your loved one and yourself is really important.
And then we create.

[11:18] A workshop sessions with educators like Lizette to come in and create 30 to 40 minute sessions on caregiver ideas, caregiver thoughts, caregiver we want you to leave our trip with something that you can hold on to, something that you can take home and use.
And if it's not useful today, well then it's probably going to be useful two weeks from now because life just doesn't stay the same.
I've now done 53 dementia friendly cruises 53 oh my word and one of the as old as I am, one of the very first ones we ever did a lady looked at me and she said okay Kath you have taken care of me you have taken him to the bathroom you have cleaned up messes you have done everything to take care of him for an entire week and if you don't give me something to hold on onto.
When I leave this ship, I'm leaving him with you.

[12:18] And I went, okay. So yes, we will toodle them, make them have opportunities for respite, take care of their loved ones, play games, have interactive ideas and supportive suggestions and watch entertainment and enjoy music in the evening.
But they need some information that can help them go through this journey, help them with the challenges and some pieces of useful information.
And we try really hard to provide that with incredibly capable speakers, which is how Lizette participated just a couple weeks ago.
So what's really interesting about what you did is I've been in contact with a lot of the people on the cruise, after the cruise.
So one of the things that I offered them, everybody that was all the family caregivers that were on the cruise, I offered them a free one-on-one consultation.
Not everybody took me up on it, but a few people that were on the cruise with us did.
And one of the people that I was speaking with, she actually said something very interesting, that the information that she had gotten on the cruise wasn't necessarily that it made such an impact right then and there.

[13:37] Afterwards, as other things started to occur, the information that was shared on the cruise about participation in activities, for example, her husband recently went through some skilled physical therapy and occupational therapy.
And the presentation that I had done for everybody was on activity engagement.
And one of my points that I made in one of the presentations was focusing on what the person's activities had been before, you know, what their life story was. was.
That apparently came out again when one of the occupational therapists came to see him at home and suggested something that I had.
I didn't say the specific suggestion, but came up with something that was very similar about the gentleman's previous vocation.
And she's like, Like between that and listening to you, it was kind of like it went in, you know?
And then another statement she made was, I've been having him help me do things I never would have had him help me do before because he didn't necessarily, it wasn't like his job at home when they were younger, but it's something that he can do now.

[14:59] Did you know that caring for a person with dementia doesn't have to be?
If you are struggling and you would like to join our next free workshop, 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.

[15:41] If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.
And he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.
And it was just a simple activity of putting away knives and forks and spoons in the drawer.
But he was engaged. And so, you know, even though some of the education may not necessarily go in right on the cruise, it provides people with the basis on which to build more activity, you know, more information.

[16:23] Gives you time to filter through it.
So I thought I would share that with you. Well, I think it gives them the chance to realize that there are options for increased sanity.
Because when we're in the middle of this caregiving circus, you become very tired and very stressed at times.
And we don't think through all of the options that could be available to us.
So that being said these suggestions that come up in our presentations with our professionals and or we also do a lot of caregiver circles where we actually put the caregivers in a room okay people what are you struggling with okay it might be incontinence it might be he won't stay in the house it might be he throws his food on the floor i mean what's going on that what's going Because whatever is going on now is going to be different next week. What's going on?
So when they exchange those ideas and thoughts, then they learn coping mechanisms for themselves and actions, which will help them.
Manage those kind of quote-unquote behavior issues or problems that come up in real life.

[17:43] Yeah, what you mentioned there is absolutely one of the biggest benefits that the people that have joined my group coaching program that I've been working with for nine months have told me.
They're like, sometimes we don't have a particular question, but we just come and listen.
And the The repetition over time, because the questions, the way we answer questions as people who have a basis in this particular process is actually very similar each, every single time.
But because a problem is different for one person versus someone else, they don't necessarily think that the answer is like a recipe.
But the answer really is a recipe.
And we have the recipe. And so when people are in the caregiver circles, which I never had the benefit of going to one of the caregiver circles because I was being the respite queen in the other room, which was one of the best experiences of my life in working with some of the people, and I'll tell you why here in a second, but the opportunity that people get in having that community around them.

[18:57] For listening and answering the questions is absolutely invaluable, even though it doesn't always feel like that in the moment.
It absolutely can make a tremendous difference for a family caregiver, specifically in my outside looking in view, the primary caregiver who is doing the day to day.
So if it's a child helping a parent with the day to day or a spouse helping a spouse with the day-to-day.
It's not necessarily so valuable for the family that are a little more distant, but it's super valuable for the people who are in the trenches doing the work.
It also breaks down that fear of saying something because, oh, I don't want anybody to know that my loved one did that. Well, guess what?
Mine did it two weeks ago.

[19:50] And was I mortified? Yes. Yes.
And am I happy it happened? No. But the fact that it did happen, now we can figure out maybe ideas and thoughts. How do we keep it from happening again?
What do we do to prevent XYZ from happening again?
And then the people that are listening to that going, oh, I don't have to deal with that. Well, you know what? They probably will soon.
And even if they don't, that's okay.
They're probably going to deal with something else that the other person might not have.
So, yeah. But I know earlier on in the conversation, I mentioned that going on the cruise has totally changed the way I think about traveling with a person with dementia because as a qualified healthcare provider, as an OT, what we have always been taught is, you know, routine is your friend.
Keep the environment always the same because it's good. and 100% agree with that to an extremely large degree. But...

[21:01] After being on this cruise, I think I've totally 180'd or 360'd, whichever one it's supposed to be, on my view on that.
And the reason for that is that, yes.

[21:15] Maybe the person that you support or help might lose a little bit of ability with the change in environment and be, you know, maybe a little bit more confused during the period of the cruise and maybe even a little bit more confused for a period after getting home because of all of the multiple changes.
I think the benefit of living and making memories with your family and your family care partners is way more valuable than trying to hold on to a little bit better function for a little bit longer.
And I didn't think that that benefit would be so significant.
So I am, like I told some friends, I was extremely humbled by how much I learned.
Like I have 30 years of experience in this, you know, I'm well qualified in dementia and dementia caregiving.
But I learned so much from this experience related to what's better quality of life for the people who are involved in this process.

[22:37] And I say travel. I say go. Like I will tell people now, I will always tell them go.
We have had so many clients that have traveled with us repeatedly.
And of the trip that you and I completed to the Southern Caribbean, four of those people have already signed up to go again.

[23:01] Because that is my greatest honor, first of all.
But they see that there is a chance to still live.
They can still enjoy doing things it may not be exactly the way that they did them before but they're still great yeah they're still great they don't have to be exactly the way they used to be it can be wonderful to go on a cool excursion and take one of Kathy's caregivers with you because it's just easier to take dad on the excursion to see the whales with another man as opposed to his daughter.
So you know what? That's great because now one of my guys can help him on and off the boat, decrease the risk of falling, and handle toileting issues.

[23:51] And it's just fun because everybody has fun together.
And getting to have those amazing memories with your loved one is priceless. It is priceless.
I have stayed in contact with several of the people on the cruise, and it was a larger one of Kathy's cruises.
We had nine humans that we were supporting and extended families on the cruise.
So I think our entire group was like 31 or something like that, Kathy.
So it was a larger group of of people that we were supporting but i've stayed in contact with a fair amount of them and a lot of them um have told me that they want to do it again.

[24:37] And i have one of them that we that we took is seriously considering going to europe with us, for going to the caribbean and one is looking at going to alaska oh that's making me so happy so So it makes me joyfully happy that what we did.

Impact of Dementia-Supported Cruises

[24:56] Met their needs and exceeded their expectation that that what they did they had a blast they had fun they they got to see and do and touch and feel new and different things and listen like Lizette said there is never an experience and now we're on 54 in a couple days here that I do not learn something new I will learn something from one of my presenters I will learn something from one of my clients, from one of their loved ones.

[25:27] I don't know what it's going to be this time, but it is always a positive learning experience for me to prayerfully be better.
I mean, be better at what we offer, be better at what we do, be better at how I present it, better at how I explain it.
You know, living is a great thing and being able to be joyful with the opportunities that we have to get to live, that's what I'm all about.
Right. I think one of the prevailing narratives that I am so desperately trying to change through the podcast and everything that I do is this underlying current in the world that dementia is the worst thing that can happen to you.
And that from that moment on your, you know, you're just waiting to die.
And to me, that is the saddest thing for people, both the person living with dementia as well as the family of the person living with dementia because we need to stop looking at what a person has lost and we need to focus on what they still have.
And they have so many skills and so many wonderful skills.

[26:47] Things to still share with you, even though it looks different.
For example, I'll use this example in the, in the respite care, in the respite circles, when everybody was going to, when the families were, were, were gone, and we were, Becky and I were working with the, the group of people that needed support.
And as a therapist, my job has always been to correct, right you know because our goals are written a person needs to get five out of seven right or five out of ten right or whatever to show progress related to dementia or whatever you know medicare's insurance rules um but what was the most fun experience for me as a therapist was playing playing a game of cards with our members who were there. And it was an Uno deck.
And I have no idea how to play Uno, first of all. And you still don't.
I still don't know how to play Uno.
But it was the best card game I've ever had in my life.
And the reason it was so much fun to me was to see how much the people enjoyed because I took all of the, whether it's right or wrong, away from the game.

[28:10] And everybody got seven cards and we just kind of played a game and it would be, Lizette, which one should I play? I'm like, well, which one do you think?
And the answer would be, well, I think this is a good card. And I'm like, I think that's a great card.
And the rule, the game had absolutely no rules.
However, every single one of the people who were playing the card game with me beamed because from a social perspective.

[28:43] I could banter with them. I could tease them. One was the card shark.
One was, you know, we just had so much fun playing this game of cards.
But it totally made me think about things in a different way because our normal response in a situation, like a family situation or something, is then to try to correct and follow the rules.
Well, I threw the rules out of the window and I was still able to facilitate each one of them winning a hand.

[29:28] And it was so much fun. And I'm like, I can't wait to do that again, you know, because it's a very different view from being a therapist that you're constantly correcting or rehabilitating someone.
And even in habilitation, we're not doing something like that.
But what I want families to hear is play games with your family member and throw all the rules out of the window. up and just play a game.
And just do it. And just do it. Make it up as you go along. Take the Monopoly game.
And whatever rules come out, you just go with the flow and make memories because you will never, ever regret that time that you have spent connecting because that's what about those people during that card game totally connected with me and they totally connected with one another.

[30:26] And it was and it was fun. And it was so much fun.
And when their families came back from the spa or from tea or from the deck or wherever they went to, everyone is laughing and having a blast.
And so now the family feels completely at peace because when they left their loved ones.

[30:49] They had a good time and they came back. They're happy. Some don't even want to leave, which is, I mean, we kind of need them to leave because we have to get dressed to go to dinner.
But it's not like we needed any more food, Kathy.
It's only our honor that they didn't want to leave.
So it's just an amazing experience to give those caregivers a real respite so they really honestly can go to the spa and they don't have to worry about spending 45 minutes washing their hair or taking a nap.
And they don't have to worry about what's going to happen while they're asleep for the nap.
They just get to relax, whatever relax means to them. For sure.
So when after we left the cruise, mistake number one that I made was I never should have gone to the airport.
So never doing that again. I will go to the hotel.

[31:44] It was a bad mistake. But that's okay.
But you you guys didn't know and you guys and I wasn't really in a position to say you need to go to the hotel you know just it's okay we all learn that once yeah you you learn that one note to self never going to do it again one of the benefits of me going to the airport early was I was hanging out on the airport for a very long time right and so um after we finally 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, 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.

[32:51] If you'd like to register, message me the word workshop on Instagram or check out the link in the show notes below.
Got through TSA. I went to go get myself something to eat before we got on the flight because it was a long day.
My flight was at eight o'clock that night or something.
And I was sitting eating pizza and there were people that were sitting next to me.
I was sitting sitting at the bar because there was no other place to sit on the airport, right?
So I'm sitting at the bar and a couple of people were sitting next to me on the bar and they were talking to the bartender.
And he came, he looked at me and he asked me, you know, why I was, where I was traveling and everything.
And it came out, I was on the Holland America tour cruise and the people who were sitting next to me kind of looked at me, but then I also mentioned why I'd been on the cruise.
And then I was part of a dementia-supported cruise.
I had staffed it, and the two people sitting next to me turned, and their eyes went big and wide, and they're like, we saw you.

[34:01] On the island on Half Moon Cay when we had handicap-accessible beach wheelchair, which is a a totally wonderful experience.
And they were sitting in our, they were in our section and they had watched us the entire day help these people and these families.
And their testimony about how they experienced it, Candy, was truly remarkable.
They just had, you know, they asked me a lot of of questions about what it was that we were doing, you know, and then they're like, we watched it the entire day and we couldn't believe what you guys did with all these people and how you actually got them in the water and, you know, just the whole thing.
So what I want people to understand from that is there's a societal tendency to shove people, specifically people with cognitive impairment, into a dark alley and a dark corner and a dark room somewhere and not talk about them.

[35:17] But the reality of the matter is, if we continue to work with, quote, treat.
I'm not talking about treat like medical treatment, but human, right?
Treat people with cognitive impairment as the human being that they still are.

[35:40] We changed the world. And we changed the world for them, but we also changed the world for the people watching this.
And it takes the stigma away, and it makes it not so scary anymore.
So it was a remarkable testimony to me to hear what they had to say about watching us.
Of course, embarrassed me to no end because it was in my bathing suit, but other than that, Well, of course we were, because we were up to our knees in fish and Cheerios and beach wheelchairs.
And a rooster. And a chicken.

[36:22] Which anybody who knows me knows I'm the chicken girl. I forgot to tell you that story the other day. I love that.
I mean, obviously, that's just amazing. amazing. I have had the privilege, in fact, last week I was the keynote speaker at the physical therapy symposium in Florida.
I always begin my privilege to speak and I say, I want everybody in this room to raise their hand if you have nothing wrong with you.

Embracing Unconventional Care Approaches

[36:52] No arthritis, no heart issues, no diabetes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
I mean, you have no problems. You have no physical ailments well no one can say they have nothing wrong with them right and so the truth is my response is you don't want to get put in the corner and told to watch tv the rest of your life.

[37:16] And so just because we have a cognitive challenge does not mean that they want to sit and watch TV for the rest of their life either. Right.
Even if it makes it harder for me to figure out how to do it with them, it doesn't mean that we just stick them in front of a TV for the rest of their lives. And there's nothing wrong with TV.
And there's nothing wrong with being in front of it. There's nothing wrong with watching a few shows.
But there has to be more than just the TV.
Correct. And so having the ability to participate in life, then you still own the ability of who you really are.
I try so hard to make all of our clients represented by who they still are.
We had a physician on the last trip.
He is still a doctor. He is still a doctor. He still is.
And he always will be. My mom was a pharmacist from the early 50s when women didn't do those things.

[38:21] She was a pharmacist, period. I mean, she still is that.
She doesn't have to give that up because she doesn't have the cognitive ability to perform that anymore.
And I think that just the privilege to provide that honor for who these people truly are gives us the opportunity to let them live. Let them still live.

[38:50] We have all kinds of fun tricks. I've had a couple of clients, well, many clients over the years, that their families did not want them to drink.
And Holland America is... It's a fun one. Excellent.
Well, but Holland is excellent with creating mocktails that look exactly like the other items that I asked them to fix.
And then everybody gets to enjoy a drink together and they don't know any different but they get to participate in life we don't say no you can't have a vodka tonic you just can't have that, no but you can sure have a seven up and it's still clear and please bring in a highball glass, so that he gets to enjoy his drink with everybody else right he deserves that dignity and there's There's no reason why he can't participate in an after dinner drink with everybody else.

[39:43] Yeah, I just love the detail and the amount of caring and like the team that you've put together to help you go take care of these people on the cruise is just phenomenal.
Phenomenal um everybody brings something different to the table and are extremely complementary and work so well with each other and with you but more particularly with the people who who require the help because they really you know you it would not be kathy couldn't do this without a a team. Oh, heavens no.
There's just no way. No way. No way, no how.
I mean, I don't care. I mean, we have in many cases had private duty caregivers, private duty paid caregivers for a particular client and or his wife.
We have even gone to the extreme of accompanying flights, which we're doing two of those thus far to go to Alaska.
Those kinds of situations are readily available, we will happily provide that kind of service.
But we just want to know ahead of time what people need, what kind of support do you need.
But we can absolutely provide additional assistance as requested, whatever that means.

[41:11] Well, Kathy, this is so much fun. Thank you so much for being here today.
Tell people where they can connect with you.
If somebody who is listening to this, at whatever point, you know, podcasts live for a very long time, where can they go to connect with you if they're interested in coming on one of your dementia-supported cruises?
Well, my business phone number is 219-608-2002.
And that phone will either ring or take a message or it'll be there.
I have a full website though which explains and details the support and all of our upcoming trips and that website is elite e-l-i-t-e cruises c-r-u-i-s-e-s.

[42:07] A-N-D and vacationstravel.com. And that long website, but we will put it in the show notes.
Thank you. Thank you. That takes you to all the details, takes you to my picture and phone numbers and emails and all of the details of what we do.

[42:30] Oh, what a blessing this was. And one of the biggest honors in my life was to go on that cruise with you.
It was truly such a blessing.
Well, it's definitely time to do it again. Hard work, for sure.
It's not any time to get any massive sleep. That's for sure.

[42:48] Oh, I slept like a baby. Well, that's good. I slept like a baby, but then it's because of work. Well, because it never stops.
Because it never stops. Because when you think it's going to stop, then it doesn't.
Because it was well worth it though you know there there I do two things I now do two things that I see kind of like a ministry one is I'm a counselor at a biblical worldview student conference as as often as frequently as I can where I give up a week of my life to not sleep leap and take care of adolescents between the ages of, you know, 15 until 20, which has a lot of similarities.
I was going to say that wasn't that different. With people with a lot of impairment because they have not quite reached their full capacity.
And then this would be another ministry for sure. It's a ministry.
It is. So, okay. Thank you very much. I know you're super busy because I know you're leaving to go on a cruise tomorrow.
Thank you. Awesome. Thank you very, very much. You are very welcome.
Have a wonderful day. Thanks.

[44:05] Thanks for joining me today, Success Seeker. I pour my heart and soul into this program to serve you.
You can serve me by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.
And join our free Facebook group, Dementia Caregiving for Families.
It's a positive and proactive space to navigate dementia caregiving together.
Get practical tools and find support, but without the verbal vomit.
Be a part of our community where we seek to find peace of mind and ease, despite the dementia diagnosis.
So join today and see you next time as our flight takes off.

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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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