A podcast that listens, hears, and offers wisdom & hope from caregivers who have lived the experience.

A Supportive Podcast for those Dealing with a loved one with Memory Loss

Caregivers-Lots of Self-Care Strategies Here!

Caregivers-Lots of  Self-Care Strategies Here!

 

00:00:00 – 00:05:01

(Intro)

Caregivers are regularly told to take care of themselves. It’s important because nearly seventy percent of us are hospitalized or die before the person we’re caring for. That’s a stressful statistic especially when we feel lucky to get our normal daily to-do list completed. How are we supposed to find time to take care of ourselves as well?

 In this episode I bring you as many tips, suggestions, and ideas as my guest and I could fit in about an hour. Barbara Cohn cared for her husband for a decade; he had younger onset Alzheimer’s. In writing her book calmer waters it was Barbara’s goal to help other caregivers feel happier, have more energy and time for themselves, sleep better, and feel more relaxed and confident. That’s a big order for one book and one podcast episode, but you’ll be happy you tuned in because she squeezed in a lot of great tips and advice.

(Sponsor Plug)

 This episode is brought to you by Family History Film. Visit MyFamilyHistoryFilm.com to find out how they can preserve your family memories in a fascinating documentary film.

(Jennifer)

Welcome to Fading Memories, a supportive podcast for those caring for a loved one with memory loss. With me today is Barbara Cohn, she is an author and she also was a caregiver like me. She took care of her husband, Lawrence, for over a decade. Morris had younger onset Alzheimer’s, as I suspect my mom did, and the name of her book is Calmer Waters. So we’re going to be talking a little bit about Calmer Waters and why that’s a really important book and what she recommends we do in this crazy pandemic time, and for all times actually. So thanks for joining me Barbara.

(Barbra)

 It’s my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.

(Jennifer)

You’re welcome. So, why don’t you tell me about your husband first.

(Barbra)

So my husband Lawrence died from younger onset Alzheimer’s Disease ten years ago. And, he was diagnosed just about the time he was turning sixty years old. I was forty-eight years old, which is very young for having to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. And I suspected something was going on for a couple of years before he was diagnosed, and I begged him to go to a neurologist, but refused. He insisted on everything being just fine. So the first clue for me is when we went away for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary to Spain and he could not figure out  the money exchange. And he was a financial guy. He was really smart. He memorized airplane schedules, train schedules. He ended up following me around like a puppy dog. So I knew there was something going on and  then later when we came home, he started getting lost driving around. 

(Jennifer)

That happens. My mom got lost going to her nail salon and it was less than, well it was   about a mile away. Well she actually made it to the salon but they got new owners so there was different signage and different decorations, and it confused her, so she went back home.

(Barbra)

 Well the real key to thinking there was something wrong. The ultimate one was when a friend called for directions to the High School where Morris attended in Denver because her son was taking the SAT there and he didn’t have a clue. He grew up in Denver , he went to high school there. I got out a map and he couldn’t read the map, and then I really knew something was wrong. So to make a long story short, we went through the whole journey. Which was tragic, terrible. We had two kids when in college, actually they were both in college when he was diagnosed. And I tried to keep it a secret from them for an entire year which was really really hard on me. I do not advise that.Don’t keep it from your closest family. It just made it that much more stressful. Um so because my background as a writer for.

 

00:05:01 – 00:10:01

 

Manufacturers of nutritional supplements. I got him on all the latest and greatest supplements that are  supposed to support cognition. And I ordered the Namenda  from Europe before it was FDA approved in this country. 

(Jennifer)

I didn’t know that it hadn’t been approved. I had just  assumed it had been around a long time.

(Barbra)

 Well it was approved after so, this  is twenty years ago already. Im talking about. So I got him on that. This is after the  diagnosis. And things did improve for a long time but of course, unfortunately can’t stay that way forever. So I wrote this book Calmer Waters: The Caregivers Journey through Alzheimer’s and Dementia. To help other caregivers through their journey to reduce stress, feel happier, healthier, learn different ways to cope. And? It’s kind of ironic that you invited me to do this talk today, because now that we’re dealing with all the stress of this pandemic. This book is wonderful for everybody. For you and me for everyone who is stressed and that probably one hundred percent, ninety-nine percent of the population. And I’m going to go through the book I’ll I’ll talk about why I’m saying that.

 So I was sent to a unique position as I mentioned to write this book because I had a background in nutrition. I have a certificate from the Bowman College of Nutrition and Culinary Arts, so I knew what some of the greatest silver bullets were. So this book has four sections. The first section deals with the spirituality of caregiving. And I invited some religious leaders to write essays. The second section is essays written by other caregivers and I wanted to get other stories, because as the saying goes once you’ve seen one Alzheimer’s patient, you’ve seen one. Yup everyone’s story is a little bit different. And every caregivers story is different for dealing with the world that has turned upside down. It’s a  really really tough time for everybody. I’d like to talk about the biggest section of my  book, it’s the  main reason I wrote the book to help other people. I just want to talk about some of the favorite ones.

(Jennifer)

 Sounds great.

(Barbara)

So, aromatherapy did you ever use that with your mom?

(Jennifer)

 No, my sister really wanted to do the essential oils that are essentially evaporated in water. So it required somebody to deal with the apparatus to do that and we weren’t sure how to make that happen on a  regular basis. It just didn’t seem like something she could make work. But I do have to say my husband and I have gotten back on our bikes. Cycling really helps me get rid of negative feelings and emotions and the other day as we’re riding the sun is really warm. It’s still quite breezy, and we ride past bushes, orange trees in bloom. The scent just just smells so wonderful and it really when you like to take a big nose full, it’s just I don’t know if it does something. Does something positive to me, so aromatherapy is definitely good.

(Barbara)

 This is one of the things that I used with my husband that worked instantly for reducing his anxiety. This is a fabulous chapter in the book written by Lorraine Pounds and she goes through all the different categories of sense, florals, and citrus. And talks about how to use them to alleviate different symptoms like  stress, depression, low appetite, anxiety. So when my husband was reacting to certain stimuli and the environment and he would get anxious I used a wall plug in and you can put some drops on a little piece of felt.

 

00:10:01 – 00:15:10

 

And it  defuses the molecules in the air and it goes right to the olfactory centers of the brain. And it would calm him down,  so probably most people are familiar with lavender oil. That’s the most common one that’s used to relieve anxiety and calm  people down and that’s also wonderful to use on your pillow. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night. You can just spritz a  bit on the pillow or on the sheets. You can also spritz some on a handkerchief and tuck it into somebody’s pocket. So they’ll always have that aroma or  well at least a while. But that’s a really wonderful way to just uplift the mood and  to calm things down. And exercise, of course, you notice when you’re bicycling it’s so important especially now when we’re in lockdown, many of us are in isolation to at least get out and walk every day for twenty minutes at least. When the weather is permitting and if you can’t get outside trying to do something inside and  there are so many great free classes online right now that are streaming. Yoga, zoomba, dance – what whatever you’d like! So what else, there’s a chapter on art projects written by an art therapist, and these little art projects are so simple that you can do them with somebody with dementia. And so many times the person with Dementia is told no, you can’t. You can’t do that, but creating art is a wonderful way of uplifting them and giving  them a  sense of pride and accomplishment. What else, breathing.I’ve been doing a lot of breathing exercises since this pandemic hit. First of all to strengthen the lungs and when you do breathing exercises, and ill  actually teach you. It’s called pranayama and it’s from India and it goes along with meditation and  yoga. So you just sit comfortably and can close your eyes. Put your thumb on one nostril, breathe in with the other nostril. And then, put your third or fourth finger on the other nostril and breathe out. And its alternating breath.

(Jennifer)

 It’s Interesting.

(Barbara)

 So you’re breathing in one nostril and out the  other. In the other nostril out the other. And not only does it calm us down. But it really is working the lungs and it’s making them stronger. 

(Jennifer)

That’s definitely important regardless of this pandemic. You know, you need strong lungs just for daily living.

(Barbara)

 Right, but this is also a wonderful technique for just calming us down. And making us feel more in our body instead of crazed with anxiety.

(Jennifer)

 I always find when I find myself getting wound up, stopping just taking like three or four really deep breaths in through the nose, out of the mouth. Really helped like kinda calm me down and  center so I can be like okay you know ,going off the edge is not going to help anything. It’s not going to get anything accomplished, itll make it  worse. I do what i  need to do. Okay, boom, go forward.

(Barbara)

 So another great healing modality for everybody is the use of humor.I  know people are watching a lot of TV and  movies and if you don’t feel like spending a whole hour, it’s good to just get on youtube and some funny videos of cats and babies. Just something to make us laugh ’cause laughter is the greatest medicine of all. And get on the telephone talk to a friend and  reminisce about the crazy things you did when you were kids.

 

00:15:11 – 00:20:05

 (Jennifer)

That’s a good one.

(Barbara)

 So it’s a good thing to do now. It’s a good thing to do if you’re a caregiver to uplift your mood and I just want to remind people when you’re caregiving for somebody with Alzheimer’s it’s really good to have a sense of humor. And I’ll give you a little anecdote, my husband toward the end of his illness he forgot what to do with a sandwich.

(Jennifer)

 My mom got like that.

(Barbara)

 Yeah, one day I handed him a chicken salad sandwich and he looked at it, and he said “What is this?”. And i said “Chicken salad” and he took it in through it across the table and said “This chicken is dead” and I just laughed and laughed and laughed, and he ended up laughing too because laughter is contagious. And it’s not as if we are laughing at them when they come out with these crazy things, but we’re laughing with them. So keep that in mind.

(Jennifer)

 I have a funny anecdote. My mom was talking this one day about how her brothers are normal people now. So I said “Oh your brothers are normal people now?”she said yeah and then she started talking about something totally. You know a totally different topic and I thought “I wonder what her brothers were before they were normal people?” It was nice to have that internal chuckle about my uncles being normal people. 

(Barbara)

Yeah, that’s funny.So I wanna go through some other important things that I think everybody should be aware of now, one of which is making sure you’re hydrated.Because the lungs are about eighty-three percent water and  the brain is I think about sixty percent water. 

(Jennfier)

It’s interesting that the lungs are more water.

(Barbara)

Yeah, they’re very spongy and they hold a lot of water but our brains depend on water to work well. And I wanna tell you a little story about my mom who died almost three years ago, and she was in a senior community in her own apartment, but she had two full-time aides round the clock. Because she had broken her hip and she couldn’t walk anymore, and she had a severe stroke, she had very mild dementia. She got a lot of UTIs and she ended up in hospital with severe dehydration and a UTI and a psychiatrist called me and said your mom is in full blown Dementia,I  said No. She’s not I just talked to her the other day and she was fine. Well she ended up being severely high hydrated  And after she got her IV fluids after a couple days, her mind was just fine. So that’s just an example of how when the brain is dehydrated we can  show signs of dementia. And now with this  pandemic it’s just more important than ever that we really have to stay hydrated. So just make sure you’re drinking lots of good water, teas are good, watch the caffeine because caffeine is actually dehydrating. We don’t wanna  get too hyper during this. 

(Jennifer)

That’s all I drink tea and water. 

(Barbara)

And you know you you’ve heard it before soda ,soft drinks are not good for you

(Jennifer)

Nope! My mom used to drink two liters of diet coke a day. Like yuck! 

(Barbara)

Another thing I want to talk about is the importance of good sleep hygiene. When we’re sleeping it gives the brain a chance to actually clean itself of the amyloid plaque that  builds up in the Alzheimer brain. So, besides needing our sleep to rejuvenate and restore everything else that’s going on in our body. It’s really important to the brain. I know a lot of people are having trouble now sleeping because they’re worried about their finances, about losing their jobs, about taking care of their parents, about not being able to visit their parents or spouses.

 

00:20:05 – 00:25:01

 

(Barbara)

Or relative in memory, care home. So there are things that we could do to help us sleep better number one. Turn off all your electrical devices at least an hour before. And, when this first thing broke, I found myself glued to the news like most people. I was watching it way up until right before bed, and it was definitely affecting my dreams. I was having really weird dreams. So just remember. Normal Sleep. Recommendations. Don’t watch the news right before bed. We can have some protein before bed like cottage cheese or a piece of. She is or even hardcore porn is which is what I like. peanut butter on a cracker, some kind of Carbohydrate…Bananas are good. In that way there won’t be a drop in our blood sugar during the middle of the night, which is often the reason why people wake up in the middle of the night. Because your blood sugar drops? In talking about having to go to the bathroom, that’s a whole nother issue. That’s my issue. In that case, try not to drink right before. Bet. I know if I do that, I get up another night. 

(Jennifer)

Yeah, I try to cut it off at about eight thirty, but now it’s warmer. I live in California and it is really dry. I have you know, the water bottle by the bed. You Know I. Get up I. Do what I need to do and I go back to sleep pretty quickly. And I also have a technique. I listened to podcasts because the talking is melodically. The rhythm of speaking is very, I mean seriously…I’m asleep in two or three minutes which never ever happens. If I wake up and I don’t like it I decide I’m not gonna not turn that one on. I want to listen to that and actually be awake for it. I can lay there for half an hour or forty five minutes or more so I don’t do that I just listen to it again four times. Actually here It’s fine.

(Barbara)

I’m glad you found something that works. There are a lot of apps too that have water music and meditative music. Chimes are Nice. 

(Jennifer)

Actually found just recently when I’m editing and when I’m listening to my own podcast to edit to make sure they’re all the way they need to be to release… obviously I can’t listen to music or podcasts. That would just confuse my poor brain. And, this one day, for whatever reason I was like I just don’t want to hear and listen just to this. And I went into Apple itunes (We have the subscription) and I was in the mood, and it had like nature sounds, and that’s what it was like water and birds chirping, and rain, and it was just had on really low volume in the background and really nice. So I need to make sure to add that to my list. 

(Barbara)

It’s interesting now when I’m watching TV every once in a while, commercials will come on and will just play rain music as a commercial for Calm Hearing.

(Jennifer)

That’s the app that my husband’s been using. (Calm App)

(Barbara)

Just to relax the viewers. It’s really nice. 

(Jennifer)

That’s a good way to advertise the APP too. 

(Barbara)

Just a reminder for what I talked about earlier… Lavender oil is good for sleep. Also taking a hot epsom salt bath is a wonderful way to relax. Add on some music, light some candles into the bath and just unwind. And our body, we actually absorb some of the magnesium in the EPSOM salt. Magnesium is one of the anti-stress minerals. It also helps us sleep. If you can tolerate drinking milk…Warm Milk with a little bit of honey and some Indian spices like: Cumin, Cardamon, Turmeric…Any spices are very relaxing to drink. Um, It’s like a golden latte. If you’ve ever had one of those…

(Jennifer)

No I have not.

 

00:25:02 – 00:30:04

 (Barbara)

The key is to heat the milk first…And then it’s easy to absorb the calcium which also aids in helping sleep. 

(Jennifer)

What’s interesting about my weight loss journey is one of the recommendations was if you are hungry close to bedtime…was to have breakfast food, like an egg or a bowl of cereal, so it’s the protein and I generally like cereal ’cause. It’s just sweet enough with the milk and everything that you kinda get that dessert kinda hit to the brain. Whole, family on my mom’s side of the family, all has a genetic “sweet tooth”that the listeners all well know about, and I think I’m wondering if I might just have to try the Golden Latte. That sounds really good. I am kinda desiring it right now, and it’s lunchtime…or was lunchtime. 

(Barbara)

Yeah I actually had the recipe. I must’ve taken downstairs. 

(Jennifer)

If you send that to me, I will include it in the show notes because that sounds really good.

(Barbara)

I’ll send you that recipe, so it’s fun that you brought up breakfast, because that was the next item on my list that I wanted to talk about. It is so important to have a good breakfast, especially if you’re caregiving at home. So what happens when we’re caregivers? Is we get into this fight or flight? Um Chronic stress that can last for a decade. It lasted for me for an entire decade and after my husband died, I realized. I haven’t been breathing properly. I ended up with other health issues, but when you’re in a chronic stress situation in… I would say almost everybody is in a chronic stress situation…

(Jennifer)

Definitely. 

(Barbara)

The Adrenal glands There’s a little walnut shaped gland that sits on top of your kidneys. Get stuck in the “ON position”. So they’re continual, continuously pumping out cortisol, which is the stress hormone. So when we are pumping out cortisol… That can keep us up at night. We get into this vicious cycle of not being able to sleep and then um we wake up in the morning um if we don’t eat a good breakfast to bring up our low blood sugar. And grab something that’s sweet…Like a Donut, or an over-sugared coffee, or fancy latte drink. It’ll spike (The blood sugar). Then an hour or two later it will crash in. And it really affects the mood. It makes us impatient and irritable. So the best way to fix that is to eat breakfast with protein. Actually, it’s important to eat some protein with every meal because that stabilizes the mood. So I just want to mention neurotransmitters. And then I’ll get back to breakfast. On, neurotransmitters are the chemicals in the brain that communicate with the rest of the body. innate control everything from our ability to breathe our ability to digest food. For the heart to beat as well as mood, sexuality, um so we want to try to support our neurotransmitters and the best way to do that is by eating a good healthy diet that contains proteins. And carbohydrates and healthy fats, and liquids. So for breakfast for instance… Probably cornflakes, banana, milk. Is the most common breakfast in America. But it doesn’t really give us enough protein. So I know I’ve been having a little bit of issue keeping eggs in the house during this pandemic. I’m not going to the grocery store at all. I am totally socially isolated. So I have to depend on “INSTA-cart” to do my shopping, and sometimes they bring me what I want, and sometimes they don’t. So this past delivery did not get on the eggs I wanted.

 

00:30:05 – 00:35:02

 

(Barbara)

A really good breakfast! would be eggs and some type of Greens. I know it takes a little bit of getting used to having Greens for Breakfast but we’re supposed to get five to seven servings of vegetables a day, so if you get it in the morning, at least you’ve got something in you. So my favorite breakfast is sauteed Kale or Swiss-chard, with  eggs, and a side of beans. They are great for protein and for fiber. If you want, you could add a little bit of avocado for healthy fat. Avocados are one of the best sources of fat that we have. 

(Jennifer)

Unfortunately this Californian doesn’t like avocado. 

(Barbara)

Well I don’t either. Wish I did, but I can still recommend it.

(Jennifer)

I’ve tried. I’m going to suggest the eggs and if you don’t like Kale. I don’t think I’ve tried Swiss chard, Collard Greens are… they’re like a more tender version of Kale. With us being in Northern California… Collard Greens is not something we eat up here and I tried it through a “Blue Apron” meal, and it was like ‘Oh–We actually like this better than the Kale’, just because it wasn’t quite as fibrous and It just, like I said. It’s like a little bit more delicate version to kale with the same basic flavor and so yeah, maybe toss in Onion is definitely good. 

(Barbara)

I mix in onions with everything I make. So onions, mushrooms, peppers. That’s another favorite of mine. Maybe a little sprinkle of cheese if you have cheese. Also, oatmeal. Grains are wonderful for breakfast. You can add some yogurt. Some nuts. flaxseed a few have that. 

(Jennifer)

I bake with that [flaxseed]. It makes a good egg substitute in baking, probably not a good substitute for eating though. Flaxseed meal mixed one part flaxseed meal to two parts water. And it’s an egg substitute. 

(Barbara)

I didn’t know that. 

(Jennifer)

or its three parts. It’s two tablespoons of flaxseed meal and six tablespoons of water. So that’s one two three. I can do math. And that’s what I put in a lot of my baked goods. 

(Barbara)

Okay? I’ll try. 

(Jennifer)

It is really good, and that’s how I bake. 

(Barbara)

I wanted to get back to neurotransmitters a little bit and I’m going to have to read some of the stuff. ’cause I can’t keep it all in my head all the time. So serotonin, everybody, has heard of  Serotonin, which is the happy neurotransmitter? And it’s estimated that eighty six percent of Americans are deficient in this. Poor Diet, stress …which we all have now. Protein deficiency and digestion. Who has blood sugar control? Drugs both prescription and recreational, alcohol and Caffeine can deplete neurotransmitters. So serotonin is important for keeping an upbeat positive mood. It’s important for our sleep. Our concentration, our weight. And when we are deficient, it can cause imbalances. It can also cause depression and anxiety. So foods that can enhance serotonin are: salmon, soy, turkey, cheese, eggs, spinach, cottage cheese, nuts, milk, avocado, chocolate. 

(Jennifer)

Yay for the chocolate. 

(Barbara) 

Chocolate that is the most important one I wanted to talk about today. Because we are all feeling stressed. And also GABBA… Too Many carbs and refined foods deplete GABBA… and that’s really important for helping fall asleep. So we talked a little bit about sleep.

 

00:35:04 – 00:40:02

 

And chocolate… You know if you don’t have too much, and stick with really dark chocolate. It’s known for its ability to increase our feeling of calmness. And create Serotonin. And it Stimulates her brain cells to release dopamine, which is another neurotransmitter. 

(Jennifer)

Quick, story on chocolate and calling. Ten years ago I went on a huge weight loss journey to lose one hundred pounds. 

(Barbara)

Good for you!

(Jennifer) 

Like right around nine eleven I have. My business bank account got hacked. I’m not a huge fan of banks. They wanted to basically close this account immediately and slam it closed, and they weren’t really understanding or flexible. My immediate instinct was that I was so frustrated [and my husband normally deals with banks because he used to work in the banking industry for twenty years, so he can speak their language] whereas I-I just lose my cool way too quickly. I had this urge to literally lay on the couch and suck on a hershey bar like a pacifier. I am not doing that to myself…I know that stress. That’s not Gonna make me feel better I just think it’ll make me feel better, but it was like a serious battle, good versus evil in my head, so I’m looking in the fridge with raspberries like raspberries are good and they’re sweet. That might help, and then I looked at the bottle of Hershey’s Syrup, which is pretty much sugar. But it was also zero fat, and it’s dark chocolate and I put like less than a tablespoon of hershey’s syrup on about. Two thirds of a cup of raspberries and ate them slowly and it was just like…I could deal with the bank again. Just that little kick of chocolate on ’em just made them into this wonderful dessert and it made me happy, and it made me feel like I could deal with the bank again. Which was important. 

(Barbara)

They’re probably even better with frozen berries. Berries are the best fruit we can eat. 

(Jennifer)

We’re definitely eating berries with breakfast. 

(Barbara)

So I went down to the Ann Shouts medical center a couple of years ago and there was a panel of Neuroscientists who all work on Alzheimer’s disease. And one of the presentations was on the line diet, which is a combination of the Mediterranean and the Dash Diet. And they’re finding that people who Stick to this Diet pretty well reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s by fifty three percent. Those who stick to it moderately well reduce the risk by thirty five percent. So I just wanted to talk a little bit about it. How does it differ from the Mediterranean Diet?…well it’s pretty similar. On a daily basis you eat at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and another vegetable. They recommend that you can drink a glass of wine, but the researchers at this symposium said if you have not been drinking wine up to this point, please do not start. 

It’s not a reason to start because the jury is still out on whether a little alcohol consumption is better for your brain than none at all. Um so they also suggest that you should snack nuts in just a small small handful, because they are full of fat we don’t want any excess. And every other day, eat half a cup of beans. At least twice a week, eat poultry and a half cup serving of berries. And blueberries are best… raspberries are great. Any fish at least weekly with olive oil as a preferred cooking oil…So the main way it differs from the Mediterranean Diet is they don’t like dairy at all. No-too little cheese at all. The Mediterranean Diet is more forgiving. You can eat some feta cheese. I think also the Mediterranean Diet includes more fish…

(Jennifer)

Oops, that’s where I fall off the wagon. 

(Barbara)

But, it’s basically just an overall diet with lots of: Vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, olive oil. And, they don’t like any sugar at all.

 

00:40:03 – 00:45:09

 

That’s tough tough for most people not to have any sweets at all, but if you are gonna have some, it’s good to have a little bit of chuck dark chocolate. And people are just crazed right now about baking. 

(Jennifer)

I find it funny how many people are like getting into sourdough baking, which my daughter did but that’s because she wanted to perfect making sourdough bread for a while, and she didn’t really have the time while she was working, and now she does.

(Barbara)

 Baking is a good therapy. I always bake as  soon as I hear about someone who’s died whos close to me. My first first inclination is to bake. It’s very therapeutic.

(Jennifer)

 I bake a lot on the weekends.

(Barbara)

So when I bake I also cut way back on the sugar. I usually cut it by half and I use coconut sugar because when you eat something with coconut sugar, it doesn’t make you crave more sugar. Somehow it just cuts that and it’s a much healthier sugar.

(Jennifer)

 I’m going to give that a try. I use molasses a lot in chocolate baking. I don’t know if  that’s much better, but I do it. I think it’s less processed than white sugar. 

(Barbara)

Ywa, it’s always important to use organic sugar because regular white sugar is -Its got chemicals in it, they bleach it. And who knows what else they spray on the cane stalks.  But, It’s not good it’s not good for us. 

(Jennifer)

Probably not, did you use a lot of these modalities while you were caregiving?

(Barbara)

 I did I used a lot of them, i’ve included aromatherapy in the book which used. Acupuncture we used, meditation and yoga. My husband was able to do yoga for a while, we used  music, oh  he he would walk around with headsets all day listening  to music and I think it was a godsend for him. He just loved loved it. He lived in a memory care home the last two years of his life and he cheered everybody up. All the caregivers adn then they  gotta know his music and theyd play it  for the other residents.Dance still is really important in my life and there’s a whole chapter in the book about dance. I’m using it now. I didn’t use it then. The memory care home would have jazz musicians come in once in a while and wed have dances there. So now you can get dance parties online and stream them and you know no ones watching you so  you can dance as crazy as you want. 

(Jennifer)

It’s good exercise that makes you happy, so there’s a lot of good components to dancing. And being silly I find sometimes. Like we’re walking the dogs and the kids had  traced a hopscotch on the trail. And thankfully it must have been bigger kids because the boxes were pretty big. And you know I was just like  look Hopscotch donk donk donk hopping along and the dogs looking at me like what are we doing and my husband’s like? What are you doing like? This is fun. You know It’s just it it raises your heart rate a little bit ’cause you’re jumping, and then you know it’s like eight jumps and then you’re done, so it’s not too horrible, but it just kind of gives you that little spark of joy.That we need to spark as often as we can. Especially now, but always and when  you’re caregiving even not in a pandemic.

(Barbara) 

 So there is a chapter in my book written by Dr. Ed Bowman who is the President of Bowman Collage of Nutrition. And he writes about different herbs that we can use.

(Jennifer)

 Oh good, I’m about to plant a garden.

(Barbara)

 Because there’s a whole class of herbs called nervines  that also calm us down which are good for stress. And adaptogen herbs, which just help trying to normalize the metabolism in the body and  whatever were experiencing thats outta whack

(Jennifer)

Which which which herbs would you recommend in that group? 

(Barbara)

Well,  I like arabadic herbs, ashwagandha um if you would like i could send you a list?  

00:45:09 – 00:48:27

 

I do want to mention my blog.  You could find out by just putting in “ Barbara Cohn” in small letter dot com. It’s called the healthy caregiver blog. And I write between two and three articles a month. Covering everything from how do you know its  Alzheimer’s as opposed to another type of dementia. I cover nutrition,  a lot of the things I’ve talked about today. I just posted a couple of blogs about the Art therapy projects. Culture therapy. How to work with your care partner on creating a little garden that can stimulate memories. There’s a chapter in the book on Pet therapy,I go through and  just post everything  dealing with Alzheimer’s and caregiving, ranging from nutrition to what is the latest and greatest study on Alzheimer’s. Different diets, so its barbaracohn.com  and also my book is available online from Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart. Amazon I noticed only has one copy left .But the other outlets all should be able to get quickly.

(Jennifer)

 So the book linked, the blog is linked in the show notes, so they’re hotlinks. People just scroll down and tap on it. Go right to the blog when we’re done talking here. Or buy the book, or do both.

(Barbara)

 And you know I’m happy to talk to people if you have any questions. My email is on my blog and on the back page of my book. Its healthwriter1@gmail.com so if you have any questions I’m here to help support givers, having gone through this journey myself  I felt like It just made sense I did want to go through this whole experience for not. I came out the other end pretty healthy,happy and I want to help other people.

(Outro)

 What a fantastic offer, thank you so much, Barbara and all those tips! This is an episode you should definitely bookmark and return to time and time again when you need a little pep talk, some ideas, a voice telling you will survive this journey, and it’s possible to come out the other side, happy and healthy.

 I hope you enjoyed this episode.Be sure to pick up Barbara’s book and as always I’ll be in your ears again next Tuesday.