Gary Joseph LeBlanc

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Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

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The voice of authority

Certified Dementia Communication Specialist

 Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist  specializing in dementia care.  He has authored over 350 articles on the subject and provides local caregiver workshops

There will be many situations when a caregiver must decide what role to play. It can become awkward being the guardian, especially when one is caring for a parent. But that’s exactly the role that must be assumed. While being my father’s caregiver for a decade, I experienced a plethora of times when I felt uneasy using a voice of authority toward him. I’m not speaking about scolding him, just using a voice of stern reason.

Caregiver's health and sleeping habits

Certified Dementia Communication Specialist

Like a severe tropical storm, being under the weather can shatter a caregiver. You can find yourself in a washout mentally and physically, even taking the strongest of caregivers out for the count. It is imperative to pace yourself and be willing to bear disappointment or you’ll find yourself flat on your back, maybe even hospitalized.
Caring for my father, who had Alzheimer’s disease, I learned that honoring this obligation can leave you exhausted. Anyone who doesn’t realize this hasn’t a clue how much self-discipline is involved in caregiving. These are just a few examples:

Traumatic Brain Injury: A Silent Epidemic

Each year, an estimated two million Americans suffer some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI); this averages out to about one every 15 seconds. Approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with disabilitieshat have resulted from a TBI.
Several years ago, I received one myself. When a culprit attempted to rob a bookstore I’ve owned for 25 years, I resisted. The perpetrator then decided it would be a good idea to slam a metal pipe down upon my head, cracking my skull even as I threw him out the front doors.

The Decline of Facial Recognition in Dementia

Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care.  He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

Caring for my mom now in the end stage of vascular dementia, I have learned that when I walk into the room, I need to start talking as soon as she has visual contact with me. I can see in her eyes and facial expression that she truly doesn’t recognize me. She does however know my voice.

Another lesson that I have learned is that I must keep my beard trimmed short. Once it starts getting long, it gets extremely grey and I start resembling a man by the name of Saint Nick and my mother truly has no idea of who I am.

Lessons learned from caregiving

Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

After everything you as a caregiver have endured, in the end the reality is that life goes on. Your days will without a doubt roll into nights. The Earth will still revolve around our Sun in a year’s time. None of this will stop; it just may feel like it.

Stranger in the house

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Throughout my years of educating caregivers on dementia care, I’ve constantly stressed how important it is that caregivers understand the difference between a delusion and a hallucination. Caregivers need to be able to correctly describe what the patient is experiencing, to his or her physician. The reason being: we don’t want our healthcare professionals to start throwing heavy dosages of medications at them when our loved ones are only delusional.

The Dilemma of Crushing Pills

Mr. Gary LeBlanc is a health columnist specializing in dementia care. He has authored over 350 articles on the subject.

One of the jobs that every caregiver will have to perform is the daily dispensing of medications. Dealing with all the new drugs in today’s world, this task can become extremely confusing. In a twenty-four-hour period, one may have to administer medications as much as four or five times, possibly more in some cases.

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