MD and Chef Team - The Show!

Support? What does it really mean?

August 31, 2021 Dr. Isabel MD & Culinary Nutrition Expert Chef Michael Season 2 Episode 24
MD and Chef Team - The Show!
Support? What does it really mean?
Show Notes Transcript

✅  Support; How many times have we heard this word used, but ... do we really know what that means?

🔵   In this episode of the MD and Chef Team Show, Dr. Isabel MD interviews Bill Cohen where we learn about how a tragedy in his life lead him from retirement to an "encore career" in support and caregiving.

Bill Cohen is a caregiver support group leader and speaker, an Alzheimer's Association and HOPE Dementia Support Groups volunteer, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®, and the owner of Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants.

🔵  His loving and talented mother, Sheila, lost her home to Hurricane Katrina. Then, she lost her health, ability to create beautiful art and, ultimately, her life due to Alzheimer's. For almost 10 years, Bill was her primary caregiver and advocate, not just her elder son.

After formal retirement from government employment after 25 years, Bill turned his personal loss and pain into his passion and “encore career”.

🔵  Bill shares his story and journey about his late mom, answers specific questions and concerns, and provides advice on dementia care and caregiving.


⏬   Download and Listen to the Whole Story! 

➥  Link to contact Bill including his website;  https://linktr.ee/CohenSupport

➥ 
Schedule a free initial consultation;  https://calendly.com/bill-102

➥  Share or join Bill’s Online Support Community for Caregivers:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/billcohensupportgroup 

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Speaker 0 (0s): Coming up on this episode of the MD and shift team show. 

Speaker 1 (9s): And we wonder if he passed away or went into a care committee, would she bounce back? Well, as you alluded to in 2005, what happened hurricane Katrina? They're homeless, swept away in the horrible storm surge and the trauma of seeing that gone, that she fully expected to come back to. Was it just exacerbated and accelerated your condition? 

Speaker 2 (36s): Welcome to the show from DMDs shop team. I'm Dr. Isabel medical doctor here at the MD and chef team. And who are you? I'm chef Michael Coleman nutrition expert. I'm the chef, the kid. And what are we going to talk about bad. Now I can see that because he's my husband as well. Then we'll be talking about marriage relationship, parenting intimacy. Talk about mine of success, overcoming depression, anxiety. I'll be getting into functional nutrition, recipes and tips from the kitchen. 

And we're going to both get into how to live a long, healthy, vibrant life. Yes, I love it. Our mission is to help you prevent and reverse the disease and give you hope in the process. Oh yeah. We might have some, let us get on the show. Hello bill. How are you doing 

Speaker 1 (1m 34s): Great. Good morning. It's afternoon here in Portland, Oregon. Yes. 

Speaker 3 (1m 39s): And it's a day before, like today where, when we're Tuesday and you're Monday, right? Exactly. Isn't that crazy? How that happens? 

Speaker 1 (1m 49s): So, yeah, I'm a Portland, Oregon, and I'm a native new England. I was born and raised in Hartford. Connecticut went to school in Boston, mostly vacation then Vermont, and been here for about 34 years. And there's a lot of similarities. So I usually tell people, go England, you'll love the Pacific Northwest. And that maybe you for this. I heard this from somebody from New Zealand, a Kiwi while back saying that if you took British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon flipped them upside down and stuck it in the south Pacific, you've gotten New Zealand. 

True 

Speaker 3 (2m 26s): Pretty much, pretty much. And if you take Colorado and just stretch it out, it's that, it's that whole population of people. If you can imagine, I think we're up to 5 million here. 

Speaker 1 (2m 38s): That much. We are only a little bit above all of Oregon and Oregon's only like 27th largest state. 

Speaker 3 (2m 46s): Wow. I loved Oregon when I worked there. When I was living there for a little bit, about two months doing a residency turn in the hospital, up on the hill. I love the coffee. I loved walking in the Bush, those little forest that you have there. And I really love the weather. I liked that moist rainy kind of weather. I mean, not all the time. Of course. 

Speaker 1 (3m 9s): And right now you probably are. We've been very hot, a lot of fires and we can't wait for our range to come back. Otherwise we shouldn't live here if we don't love our boisterous. 

Speaker 3 (3m 19s): Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And do you ever get close to the beach? Do you ever go to the 

Speaker 1 (3m 24s): Yeah. Yep. On a regular basis, get up there for a getaway. If not the mountains, one of the two, 

Speaker 3 (3m 29s): It's not too cold, the water's not too cold. 

Speaker 1 (3m 32s): Water is cold for swimming and it's also can be dangerous with the sneaker waves and the sharks. And God knows what else. 

Speaker 3 (3m 40s): Yeah. Yeah. Here in New Zealand, the Kiwis love to go swimming and surfing in the winter, which blows my mind. But anyway, they were bred for this deal. How about if I introduce you to the, to the MD and chef team people? Huh? 

Speaker 1 (3m 57s): Absolutely. That's what we're here for. 

Speaker 3 (3m 60s): All right. Welcome everybody. I'm Dr. Isabel, your host at the MD and chef team podcast. And today we've got bill Cohen all the way from Oregon America. And I'd like to just share with you a little bit about him, and then he's going to talk a little bit about his story. It's an amazing story. It's sad, but it's going to give you hope. Okay. Bill Cohen is a caregiver support group leader and speaker an Alzheimer's association and hope dementia, support groups, volunteer Bravo and certified senior advisor and owner of Cohen, caregiving, support consultants, his loving and talented mom. 

Sheila lost her home to hurricane Katrina. So sorry to hear that. Then she lost her health ability to create beautiful art and ultimately her life due to Alzheimer's for almost 10 years, 10 years. That's a long time for 10 years. Bill was her primary caregiver and advocate, not just her elder son after formal retirement from the government as an employee for 25 years, bill turned his personal loss and pain into his passion and Encore career. 

Bill's going to share with us history story and journey with his late mom and answer some specific questions and concerns and provide advice on dementia caregiving and what that whole journey looked like. Thank you, Belle. 

Speaker 1 (5m 33s): I'm excited and honored to be here today. 

Speaker 3 (5m 36s): Thank you. How long ago did Sheila pass 

Speaker 1 (5m 39s): By about eight and a half years ago. Yeah, it was February, 2013. 

Speaker 3 (5m 44s): Have you ever gotten past it? Yeah, that's actually 

Speaker 1 (5m 48s): A good question to start with that because of the way Mo many forms of dementia, especially Alzheimer's there's that term that many of your viewers probably heard anticipatory or ambiguous grief because your loved one is still there, but they're not themselves anymore. Is the person's still inside. They're physically there. So there's that long goodbye. And I had said goodbye to my mom a long time for which she passed away. 

And the night that she did it, wasn't like reacting out of, oh my God, you know, she's gone. It was more like a big sigh and it's over. She's no longer suffering and everything I've done. As you mentioned in the bio, thank you has been in her memory and her honor, so I haven't dwelled on it. And occasionally, like I have a video that I compiled with a local university, Pacific university outside of Portland, which was old, old movies and photographs from when I was growing up and I watched it about once a year and then I get a little choked up. 

But most of the time it's more like, yep. Doing this for you, mom and I, and I hope you're proud wherever you are. So 

Speaker 3 (7m 8s): Yes. And she is, and she's resting and not suffering anymore. Can you tell us what happened? What, how did this all start? How old was she? How was the, how did you notice something was wrong with mom? 

Speaker 1 (7m 28s): Love to, this is back around 2004. So about 17 years ago, we were seeing the first signs of something. We weren't sure what it was, but she wasn't taking care of the house. She wasn't taking care of the finances. She was showing more anxiety than usual and confusion and mood swings, things like that. She was under stress. She was in a caregiver role herself from my late stepfather. And we wonder if he passed away or went into a care committee, would she bounce back? 

Well, as you alluded to in 2005, what happened hurricane Katrina, their homeless swept away in the horrible storm surge and the trauma of seeing that gone, that she fully expected to come back to. Was it just exacerbated and Sellerator condition. This is a woman who was a early adopter of Macintosh computer. She was in her sixties back in the eighties. This is not very common back then. 

And she took care of their finances, like it said, and she was a creative issue. Crater. She was an artist for our whole life. She did very intricate intaglio printmaking, where she was etching into metal plates and et cetera. And when she wants it, wasn't able to do that anymore. It was very obvious. Something was wrong that there was such a drop-off. Then you may have run into this before, or if it works somebody who is a professional, very educated and it's so obvious that something isn't quite right. 

So those were the signs we saw, but it was so obvious after the trauma of losing the home and seeing her when she was with other family and these coasts, I ended up right after this and flying back there because she was just so frantic. So agitated. I ended up taking her to the ER to get her on some medication. She thought she was just going to see a new doctor had used a little as I like to say compassionate deception. And yeah, and I was in a, mostly in a conference room because they didn't have space for her at that moment before she could see it geriatric specialist. 

And she was like a caged animal. I mean, I barely recognize this. This is my mother. I'm gonna shut the face and like, get me out of here. You know, that type of thing. It was horrible. But once she got checked in and she got some medication the next morning I come off the elevator, she wasn't mad at me. She said, there you are. There's my savior. So it wasn't me. It was her disease coming on. 

And it was, it became very challenging gut wrenching, emotional the following years. But it was also gratifying knowing and doing the best I could with what I knew, what I could find out and getting the right support. So it was, it was quite a journey, but I'd like to talk about one aspect that I think they'll speak to. What you talk about as well is I get asked often, why do you think your mother got Alzheimer's and it became obvious. 

It was Alzheimer's increasingly, as we went along, the signs were all there. That list of top 10 signs. But as we all know, usually we hear about genetics and age being the primary factors, or at least two of the biggies. She was only in early seventies when she was showing symptoms, not very old, that's really almost getting into the early onset area and nobody else in the family has it. 

There's a little bit of maybe a mild cognitive impairment, MCI with some other family members, older aunts and uncles, but nobody else has it. There's increasing evidence as you know that there are many other factors. And here's this story with my mom. Cause she's basically the poster child she was living. As I said on the Mississippi Gulf coast, not exactly a poster child for good environmental practices, toxins, pollution, chemicals, food. 

Yeah. The food is wonderful, but what's in it. You wouldn't want to be eating it long-term she used to smoke. She barely exercise. She would walk the dog down to the corner and back that was about it. She wouldn't get into a swimming pool. There's kids in there. And she was isolated socially with my stepfather, a few miles off the coast. She was in the caregiver role, like I said, and as I said, she was an artist. She was etching into those metal plates and putting it into an asset bath for many, many years. 

So we really think that those environmental factors and her own lifestyle and behavioral choices are, are the biggest factors on why she got so that's the lesson, which I think you've talked about yourself is prevention is so important. There are ways of delaying or at least slowing progression. 

Speaker 3 (12m 50s): Yes. Oh gosh, bill. So I just need to share with you just a little, two minute snippet of my life. When I, when I was five years old, my mom said that I, I said I was going to be a doctor. And it was because my uncle Dean Alito, just, he became my father, really my adopted father. And he w he was an anesthesiologist. And when he would come, he was one of these people that would come into the room and just light it up. 

You'd be like, wow, I want what you got. And he would just make you smile and make you feel really happy. And he was just my mentor, my father, you know? And, and then in 20 in, so like, I really like, I relate to you, but he's so far away. And, but in 2014, before I learned anything about Dr. Dale Bredesen protocol ending Alzheimer's and way before Sheila got it. 

You know, he was still learn, Dr. Bredesen was just learning all this stuff. I, I just was like, you guys, you got to get him checked out. But anyway, he's now still demented, pleasantly demented. Doesn't know what's going on. And yeah, it's really, it's so sad because he's so, he's so deep that, that it's, it's, you know, once, once you get in so deep into Alzheimer's, it's too late, you know, like the first two years you can bring, you can pull people out, but that's why I wanted to interview you because you've got a heart and for you to have a heart, to take care of your mother for 10 years, that's hard work. 

Speaker 1 (14m 36s): And that's one of the things why I related to your message and your podcast is because you share that compassion and that empathy you under, you understand some people it's strictly technical clinical. So when you've tasted it, you've experienced it personally. It really hits home. 

Speaker 3 (14m 54s): Yeah. It's in my DNA. Definitely. Hence the reason why I do what I do. So what's the biggest problems and concerns for caregivers once you've been in there. You know, I mean, you probably didn't even realize that once when you were in this journey that you were going to actually take this out, you know, and start helping the world. But when, when you were in there, what, what were, what were the challenges for you? 

Speaker 1 (15m 18s): Sure. And one of the things I like to say, so you had told me 17 years ago, what was going to transpire, and I'd be sitting here talking to you today and doing what I do. I'd say you're crazy. You couldn't make up that scenario. I would have said no way, because even the work I did for the state completely unrelated, not even worth going into it, that when I first saw those signs and I like the, even I admit that I, that was my first situation with denial. 

Oh, it couldn't be Alzheimer's. It couldn't be dementia. Could it isn't she just getting older? Is she getting stressed out, taking care of my stepfather? She's tired. What have you, but we had to start getting concerned. We did to go her a couple of those medications, which only helped delay the symptoms for awhile. Cause as we know, there's no approved, you know, magic pill or silver bullet yet we're getting closer to these treatments is that we, I had a lot to learn. 

I think the first thing I did after the storm was joined a support group. And I am still facilitating the same support groups 16 years later. And as well as two others that I needed, that information. I needed that feeling that I'm not alone, others are going through it, learn from others, including a wonderful facilitator, a social worker. Who's a friend to this day and she's gone through it herself. 

And, and then with our local RNA national in the states, the Alzheimer's association, of course each country has their own version of it. At that there's so much good resources and information and the support groups and the education and the research that they're doing because they are funding through our, our fundraising efforts to find that those cures in those treatments. And again, we're getting really close. I think what we like to say here, I'm sure you've for the same thing that this is an exciting time. 

Speaker 3 (17m 23s): Actually. It is hard. It really is. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 (17m 26s): That it is an exponential growth in one, the number of people who are being diagnosed with it, but also the costs, which is really a huge problem for every country around the world. But we're at that point where the, the exciting stuff that we're, we're understanding better why it's happening, we understand better how to diagnose it. And we're getting better treatments on how to slow or delay the progression, which is again very exciting and stark. 

Speaker 3 (17m 60s): Yes. Yeah. Very historic. So what, what were the biggest challenges that you felt that you had with your mom? 

Speaker 1 (18m 7s): Yes. That was really a question that so much to learn in terms of not just about the disease, but legal and financial and health and what resources and support are available. But the key is that to start seeking that out as early as possible, it's always better in so many situations to be proactive, prepared, advanced plans, to react in a crisis because then you're acting emotionally and you have many fewer choices. 

So that is a real key. And that's where I, where I, somebody liked me. And aren't many people doing what I do from the caregiver perspective, as opposed to from the medical or the social work or the geriatric care workers side, which is focused more on the person with the disease. But just somebody who is supporting the caregiver saying, you can do this. You can do that. This is what I recommend because they don't know where to turn. That's where I was 16, 17 years ago. 

The resources back then were nowhere near what they are today. Bigger problem today is with the internet, having an explosion of information is that it's also misinformation. And you don't know among those resources, net information, who do you trust? That's right. Absolutely. And that can be on a local basis. Well, who should I have use for I'll know, elder law attorney in home care, finding appropriate housing. 

Some people have the heart in it, not everybody does. And that's part of the reason why the way, I don't know if you're familiar with this designation after my name there, you mentioned in the bio certified senior advisor takes that holistic approach takes a broader perspective. Actually, the majority so far who have this certification are in finance insurance, real estate, et cetera, it gets is not just about making an inappropriate recommendation. It's about preventing fraud, predatory practice and abuse among our elders, our most vulnerable population. 

Yes. Yes. So more and more people in senior care are becoming certified senior advisors. And that's part of the reason why I do it. I added that certification and I have a financial background and I do have two business degrees and I've worked in government and I went through a lot of the legal issues. So again, I have that broader perspective and I try to coordinate the team, which most people in our industry are not doing there. They're working there. 

They're taking kid they're part of the journey. They're siloed. They're, they're a little piece of the, of the care. 

Speaker 3 (20m 59s): What do we call that? Mano? A mano preneur, Mon solo printer. Exactly. It takes a team. I am nothing without my team. You've got to have a team. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 (21m 14s): That'd be coordinated. There's a term in a social work wraparound that they use that term, that where they bring everybody together, take care of the kids. Why not? In senior care, we should all be talking among ourselves. So how 

Speaker 3 (21m 30s): Long were you able to keep a Sheila in the house or was she, did she stay in the home the whole time? 

Speaker 1 (21m 37s): So there was a couple of years before, or about a year before the hurricane. She was again in the caregiving role. She was never living on her own after the hurricane. It was that bad. So when she was on the east coast with other family members, she was in independent and then assisted living. I moved her out to Oregon in 2008 and she was a few years into care community here, including the last four years. We're in memory care. So yeah, the last, I'd say eight years, she was strictly a institutionalized. 

I know that's not the best word, but the last place that five years, especially that it was a nonprofit faith-based in Southwest Portland. I don't know if you remember where Raleigh Hills was, but it was a wonderful care community and great care. It looked like the old nursing homes and it's been since renovated, but the care was so good. The head nurse just recently retired after 37 years of working there. 

Wow. 

Speaker 3 (22m 41s): That's impressive. That's dedication. 

Speaker 1 (22m 45s): Yes, it was. So that that's indicative of the kind of care that was available there. Not all places are like that. That one's certainly a good one. 

Speaker 3 (22m 54s): And how do you work with families with dementia? 

Speaker 1 (22m 58s): So I work either individually, family, caregivers, families in a group, but I also do support groups. So I work with 10, 12, 14 people and groups virtually and increasingly again in person, which is nice or hybrid even which is difficult, but it can be done. But individually again, the most of the people that work or are adult children, occasionally spouses, occasionally grandchildren, it's been anywhere from somebody who is like in his twenties and his mom had early onset in her fifties to 80 year old spouses or older siblings, but most are, and the demographics and my social platforms bear this out ages 35 to five adult children, 80 to 85% women. 

Speaker 0 (23m 51s): Have you ever in your adult life thought I don't want to get Alzheimer's well, if that's you, you are not alone. How would you like to learn how to prevent Alzheimer's right now, especially if you're over 40, then pop on over to Dr. On emission.com to get your three free gifts. And these include brain health, the nutritional guide book to find out what foods are good and what foods are bad for your brain. 

The next is the end of all. Alzheimer's masterclass. That's a video series and the last is secrets of sleep. The ultimate guidebook they're all yours. All you need to do is go to doctor on a mission.com and that's doctor spelled long doc T O R on a mission.com. And now back to the podcast, 

Speaker 1 (24m 55s): And as you know, probably all your listeners to Alzheimer's unfortunately is a women's disease, the care recipients and the professionals. And 

Speaker 3 (25m 6s): I just need to put a little plug here is the reason it's such a woman's disease is hormones. Hormones are so important for our brains. Oh my gosh, it's so important for our brains. And we, I have women that are on the, our Bredesen protocol, reversal protocol with my husband and I, our team, and you put them on the hormones and you fix up just a couple of things. 

There's usually about 1520 things that need to get repaired, you know, with nutrients and hormones and, and you get their hormones under control, even vitamin D it will re it will definitely help them get back on, on board. So, I mean, I see women wake up and, but the medical community, the conventional system does not understand that. And in medicine, we we're taught not to give hormones after 65. Oh my God. 

Well, I personally am going to be on bio-identical hormones until my last breath, because I see the difference. My family sees the difference and I, you know, it's, we've got a long way to go bell. We've got a long way 

Speaker 1 (26m 24s): To go. Don't get me started on big food, big pharma in the American medical association. Oh no, 

Speaker 3 (26m 30s): We can. We can, we, we can talk about that. I just, I just that's what we're doing, you know, is letting people, we're opening up the doors and say, Hey, you guys, we've been there. We're in there. We've been in that area. And there's hope. And that's the hugest thing is hope people have lost so much hope and hope for me, the definition of hope for me is the happy anticipation that something good is going to happen to you and for you today. And just believing that 

Speaker 1 (27m 2s): I like to post a lot of articles like that on my social media, especially in my Facebook community, which is on six continents, including Australia, New Zealand. 

Speaker 3 (27m 12s): Yay. Congratulations. I'm so proud of you. 

Speaker 1 (27m 15s): Thank you. So I like to post a lot of articles, like raise people's hopes and increase awareness because they may not see this information and they're wondering, you know, what can I do? Where can I learn? What can I do to help myself as well as my loved ones? Because it's not just about prevent it. It's about prevention. It's about self care, but again, how can we help slow it delay that progression, which was so important and reverse that, right? 

Yeah. And I do, I do know the prednisone protocols, very, very, very good basis or recommendations. So I agree with most of this. Absolutely. Isn't one of the, when to agree, especially when it comes to women about sleep, that I've heard that women find it harder than most, more than men to even get a good night's sleep because of the child raising or other factors that, and that's a big, it's so important to get that re you know, the terms of the regeneration, the rejuvenation of the brain cells get into that REM cycle, et cetera. 

You could, I'm sure you could do a whole podcast on that one. 

Speaker 3 (28m 28s): Yes, I do. And I can't sleep is so huge because estrogen helps us sleep. Progesterone calms us down. So it's, you know, it's a catch 22. If you're, if you're low in your hormones, you're not going to sleep. And yeah, you can go crazy if you're not sleeping. And boy, how many pills are we using around the world to help people sleep? And that's not, that's not going to help people. There are other options. There are other options. 

So don't get, look at, see, we can be super tangential. We're pinging all over the place. Okay. So do you work with families virtually around the world? Can you do that? 

Speaker 1 (29m 14s): I'm going to sound like a lawyer. It depends. I started out primarily in the Pacific Northwest obviously, but one thing is, as we all did, 16, 17 months ago now we all had dependent. We all had to adjust and I realized, yes, I can help people. Definitely all over north America, Canada, and the states. But through virtual theoretically, I could help people in other countries. 

There's no reason why I can't, obviously when it comes to being licensed or anything like that, taxation I'd have to find out what, what is necessary. Like I did find out that as long as I do certain things or not enough money, shall we say enough income? I can go up into Canada and advise people, but I'm not a resident of Canada. So there's, I'd have to find out in New Zealand or wherever, but the regulations are theoretically I could, but I help a lot of people because I'm not driven by the compensation. 

That's tertiary after helping people and keep active myself, including the volunteering. It's not what drives me. So if somebody had contacted, like you said, bill, can you talk to somebody here in Oakland or wherever and say, can you give them a little bit of advice in how to handle such a situation? I'd be happy to good, absolutely. Or join my Facebook. 

Speaker 3 (30m 44s): Yeah. Because we all learn as a group, as a team. Right. 

Speaker 1 (30m 49s): Cool. With that is that, although I do post a lot and engage a lot, the members do it too for each other. Fantastic. 

Speaker 3 (30m 59s): I know they share the information. So I just wanted to also ask you, can you tell us a little bit about the volunteer work, including your support groups, fundraising, and advocacy? 

Speaker 1 (31m 12s): Sure. So one of the things I did after, well, like I said, I became the facilitator for that same support group. And what was interesting that when I went for the training, this is just a few months after mom passed away, I had no intention of doing so I thought it was just going to keep going back. Occasionally help others go through the experience like others, old mates. But like when they, the pers the facilitator said, I have to give it up. If you know anybody who wants to take over, let me know everybody looked at Nate because I did it a couple of times, lucky me. 

Right. And I, but I thought about, whoa, are you serious? What kind of support? We got a training, but I'd been through the whole thing. And I facilitated meetings at work. Why not? So it was a natural thing. I'm glad I'm doing it. But then I went for the training and this young woman sits down in front of me and starts talking about the walk to end Alzheimer's the fundraising. And I said it within about a minute, I have a feeling I'm not just going to be walking that I'm going to be leading a team on my mother's memory and honor our night. 

She said, yeah, that's why I called for a muse. She was so energetic. And this year is my eighth year leading teams, Sheila and our Portland and Vancouver, Washington walks. And I've been at a top fundraiser every year. And it's not hard. I mean, I've never been the type to, for people for donations, but because it's something I'm passionate about. And because it is for my mom and for, to help others, it's easy to do. Then I got involved with other fundraising events, going to the Capitol and advocating for more fun clinical research funds, that type of thing. 

So, yeah, it's all across the board. You mentioned the buy-out the hope dementia support groups is a nonprofit just across the river in Vancouver, Washington, hopefully some of your listeners know their geography and it's a nonprofit that has weekly support groups. And I literally live across the street from the care community. And that's where I do one every Saturday morning. And it's partly the residents and the independent living cottages, the aging in place, kind of just, but other people from around the area. 

And we were doing it virtually for the last 16 months. And we're back meeting in person. I also do. Are you familiar or maybe you're listening to started with a memory cafe? No. So a memory cafe, I can tell you a quick, really quick story. Somebody, one of the spark group says, my spouse keeps on asking, do you talk about me? Why can't I go? So they would ask, is there something for both of us, a memory cafe is for both the care giver, the care partner and their loved one, who would that leave? 

No worse than mild cognitive impairment or early stage Alzheimer's and it's social activities. And it could be music. It could be games. It could be dancing. It could be just some food, et cetera. I've done a virtual bingo. I brought it to somebody to do a meditation. Somebody do music therapy. So they do art therapy, all kinds of things. So it got a little trickier during the pandemic, but we're like I said, we're going back using card games, things like this is if you ever heard there's a page, I could send it to you. 

It's called memory cafe directory. And he has these memory joggers. And what it is is you finish a sentence, like a rolling stone, gathers no loss, right. As an example. And so you go through these and of course they feel good because usually they may not remember where they had for breakfast. That they'll remember a phrase like that. 

Speaker 3 (35m 1s): Yeah. Yeah. Cause that's, that's not short term. That's long-term. Yeah. 

Speaker 1 (35m 5s): So they, they love it. And these guys, mostly the guys, the men in this case, this group, and they do really well and their wives always say he was, he just enjoyed it so much. He was engaged. He did really well didn't they said, yeah, absolutely. So they love it. Good. That's so good. 

Speaker 3 (35m 27s): And you're absolutely right. You can only do something very, very well. If you've got the passion, passion, passion sells, that's the bottom line. Right? Exactly. Now, before I land this plane that we've been on in business class with you and I and the MD and chef team, I'd like to, you know how though the stewardess would go out and, you know, give little candies or a little drink or something. So I'd like for you to offer three action steps that people can take so that they can have a immediate wins with taking care of their loved ones. 

Speaker 1 (36m 6s): Yeah. One would be when you're seeing the first signs as a family or in some cases, a solitary caregiver, solitary family member. Cause a lot of people are in that position is to have the discussion and talk about it among yourselves. And remember, it's not about you individually. It's about your, your family member who has, who is showing these first signs. 

It's their care. That's both most important, not what's in it for you or what you are are, are, or not going to do. You want to get all on the same page. Second would be to, yes, join a support group. I think I've already discussed it. So I think that that says it all. But the information, the advice that help knowing you're not alone, it's a supportive, confidential, safe environment. 

And many are still online. It will be. The third would be that beyond having the discussion among your family is to seek out those resources seek out support. And it doesn't have to just be from family members because your family could be, however you define it. It could be your next door neighbors. It could be your friends. It could be your ex coworkers. You can be a charitable organization, a religious organization you're buy. 

There are many things that other people can do from a distance without having to be involved with the actual caregiving, whether it's spending time with your loved one or ordering things online, handling the finances. There's a lot of things that you can do either or spending a couple of hours because for a caregiver, I can't forget. And I'm going to give a three, a self-care is not selfish. It is vital that if you don't take care of your health, you are endangering yourself and you're not. 

Yeah, you're very good. I love 

Speaker 3 (38m 17s): That. I'm just showing a big heart that I've got on a lollipop stick. Yes. Self-care is not selfish. I love that 

Speaker 1 (38m 26s): Is vital because actually, and this could be the case with many other chronic conditions or diseases, but something like two-thirds of caregivers when it comes to dementia, pre deceased, their loved ones, pre decease. If you can get burned out, you can get sick or worse. And then again, you're not helping yourself and you're not helping your loved one any by trying to do it yourself and not getting that support that you need. 

And envision things like going for a massage or taking a bath is essential. Go for a walk, go for coffee with a friend. Don't think about, oh, I don't have time for that. I can't go. Like, what have you, if you envision those things, you realize how important it is and how good it'll feel. Then you will find the time. You'll think about, okay. If I had two hours, what would I do? If I had eight hours, what would I do? If I had a weekend with no caregiving responsibilities, what would I do? 

Go to a spa. Even if you have to go sleep for the whole weekend, go you'll do self. And to them, there are increasingly again, there are respite opportunities, whether it's an adult daycare or senior centers or care communities that have temporary state quarters take advantage of those, don't say, I'm going to think I'm going to mention one of my clients with obviously not by name. And it's sad that his wife was a gerontologist. She actually filled in and my first support group, unfortunately, she got Alzheimer's. 

So for a long time, because he was so afraid, she said, I don't want anybody to know. I'd be embarrassed. I don't want to go to a care committee. It would be humiliating. And so for a long time, he didn't do anything about it. So when we first met and he's telling me all these things, I said, okay, I've got some blood questions. Is it because you are the only one who can do it right? That you don't want to admit, you can't handle it. Are you in denial? Are you a bit of a control freak? 

He set all the above. 

Speaker 3 (40m 37s): Being honest. 

Speaker 1 (40m 39s): He was, yeah. Now I was honest question Adam out an honest answer, but he realized that he couldn't do it by himself any longer than he needed that support. He needed help. He needed to take care of things. He couldn't keep going the way he was going. And he was actually younger than her. So yeah, very, very crucial 

Speaker 3 (40m 58s): That breaks my heart. That breaks my heart bill. Where can people find you now? This will all be in the show notes, but just, you know, where can people find you? I see in the background, your, your, your website. 

Speaker 1 (41m 13s): Yes. So simply Cohen, C O H N. Caregiving support.com has most of my information. I think in the show notes, you'll have the, the link tree, which lists some of the things like my Facebook group and my walk to end Alzheimer's and the things I do in my monthly, if somebody wants to subscribe. So yeah, I love those things. That'd be the best thing or write me at bill at Cohen, caregiving, support.com. Love to talk. 

Speaker 3 (41m 44s): Beautiful. Thank you so much for your heart. We went through and you went through a really messy, ugly time with, with your mom, Sheila, but I know that she's really happy. I just, you know, I just know that I know that I know that she's like, wow, I'm so proud of bill. And I know bill that you're going to help millions of people with your journey so that they don't have to suffer as much as you did. Okay. 

Speaker 1 (42m 11s): So I know you are trying to do yours as well. 

Speaker 3 (42m 15s): Yeah. Day by day, baby, step by baby step. That's all we can do, right? Exactly. I'm sure we're big dreamers. I'm sure you and I are big dreamers and we're like, but we can do so much, but it's baby steps day by day. All right. Well, thank you everybody for joining me and bill on the MD and chef team, it's been a pleasure. And before we go know that you can start preventing Alzheimer's. It starts that whole process starts 20 years before the first presentation. 

That's what 

Speaker 2 (42m 51s): The research shows. So know that there is hope you can get help and you can learn how to prevent it and step away from that buffet. However, that information has not been revealed until the last three or four years by Dr. Del Kratos. So there's still many people like bill out there that are working in helping their family members and they need support. So God bless remain unstoppable. And thank you for joining. 

Speaker 4 (43m 26s): Hello, chef Michael here. If you enjoyed today's episode, we would love it. If you subscribe to the podcast and left us a review.