Awkward Story: A Dementia Podcast

Awkward Story: A Dementia Podcast

Awkward Story is a Dementia Education Podcast focused on supporting individuals touched by dementia related diagnoses. We wish to address the stigma and isolation often beset upon patients and their families by bringing their poignant, tragic, beautiful, awkward stories into the open. We will speak to insightful professionals that regularly assist individuals in their fight against dementia. We will also share our own insight as Clinical Social Workers specializing in dementia care. Most of all, we hope to be a lifeline, a resource, and maybe even a brief respite for those doing all the work at home. We understand that the various forms of dementia often leave families desperate for knowledge and resources concerning available care and best practices. We will feature interviews on specific dementia related topics, so that families can eventually navigate our podcast history for specific guidance.... Show More

Episodes

June 29, 2020 36 min

This past month, Thomas and Maggie had the honor of interviewing Dr. Anne Basting regarding her new book, "Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care." Dr. Basting, a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, discusses her work as a creative gerontologist, and her role as a family member impacted by dementia. She also addresses the COVID crisis and the changing care landscape in the U.S.   All ASDP listeners...

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April 20, 2020 35 min

Maggie and Thomas interview Kelly Takasu, the Public Policy Manager for Alzheimer's Los Angeles. She discusses the implementation of Dementia Friendly Communities particularly in the Los Angeles area, as well as Age Friendly initiatives in the region.

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April 13, 2020 38 min

Anne Ellett is a certified nurse practitioner with extensive experience in all aspects of dementia care, and the founder of Memory Care Support. In this interview, Anne discusses the Best Life Memory Care Approach, which she developed and continues to teach for the Green House Project

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April 6, 2020 16 min

Dementia caregivers already face unique daily challenges. In this short recording, Thomas and Maggie share (from their respective homes!) how COVID-19 has presented challenges to common memory care practices.

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April 5, 2020 37 min

Mike Belleville was 52 years old when he was first given a dementia diagnosis. He retired at the age of 54 after being diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia. Mike was a telecommunications technician for nearly 20 years and also served in the Rhode Island Air National Guard for 12 years. After realizing that he could still contribute in a meaningful way, Mike became an advocate for those living with dementia. He currently serves on the ...

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January 29, 2020 31 min

Earlier this month, Maggie had the opportunity to interview Ted Werth concerning his work in the field of memory care and aging.  Ted Werth is the Head of Corporate Development and Research for MyndVR, a digital health company providing Virtual Reality recreation and therapy to the booming population of older adults. Ted has previously co-founded several startups in the tech, content, and social media worlds and is now applying his...

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Maggie and Thomas interviewed Jackie Pinkowitz, who discussed the ongoing work and mission of the Dementia Action Alliance. Ms Pinkowitz earned her Master's degree in Education from Rutgers University and holds advanced certification in special needs populations.  She was a primary family caregiver to her mother and father-in-law who both had dementia.  She is Board Chair of the Dementia Action Alliance and speaks at national, ...

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October 26, 2019 58 min

Maggie and Thomas recently interviewed Gary Glazner, founder and Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project (APP).  In this podcast, Gary explores the power of the arts in empowering individuals with a dementia diagnosis. Throughout the conversation, the group discusses the significance of creativity, ambiguity, expression, and sensory stimulation for these individuals and their families. 

Established in 2013, the AP...

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October 18, 2019 51 min

This week, Thomas and Maggie interviewed Reverend Jeanne Phillips, a Hospice Spiritual Care Counselor. Jeanne discusses the various manifestations of spiritual care, and how meaningful it can be for individuals with a dementia diagnosis, particularly at the end of life.  

​Reverend Jeanne Phillips has been working as a Hospice Chaplain/Spiritual Care Counselor at LightBridge Hospice in San Diego for 10 years, providing spiritual a...

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October 9, 2019 53 min

This week's interview is with Nancy Schier Anzelmo, MSG, and Paula Hertel, MSW, co-founders of Connected Horse. Nancy and Paula are long-time professionals in the field of dementia care, and they recently turned their collective focus toward equine-guided workshops. According to their website, Connected Horse "offers human-animal connection, engagement and understanding" through innovative workshops that engage the indi...

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September 10, 2019 42 min

In this episode, Maggie and Thomas interview Jason Bloome, founder of Connections Care Home Referrals. Jason started Connections nearly 20 years ago after being inspired by his own personal caregiving experience, with a desire to help low-income families find caregiving options for older adults. Jason discusses how certain policy limitations effect access to assisted-living care for older adults. He specifically discusses the limit...

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August 28, 2019 48 min

Raman Mohabir is a Hospice Bereavement Coordinator specializing in grief, bereavement, and support group facilitation. She has over five years of experience facilitating bereavement groups for children, adolescents, young adults and adults. In this interview, Raman shares her insights concerning the many manifestations of grief, and the group gives particular focus to the caregiver's experience of loss and grief.

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August 22, 2019 40 min

Dr. Gabrielle Mahler, D.M.D, is a Los Angeles based dentist specializing in older individuals with cognitive impairment. In this episode, Dr Mahler shares some of her experience and insight regarding oral care for older adults living with dementia symptoms. 

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Ymkje Dioquino, MS, LMFT is the Chief Operating Officer of the Presence Care Project in San Francisco, CA. She is also a Family Care Therapist at the Ray Dolby Brain Health Center in San Francisco, where she provides psycho-therapeutic services and support to persons with Dementia and their families and friends. She has practiced mindfulness since age 19 and started teaching Mindfulness Based Dementia Care (MBDC) in 2014. She was k...

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Anne Hanenburg is a landscape architect specializing in Dementia Design and Healing Gardens. She was gracious enough to speak with us about the significance of the physical environment in dementia care settings. Whether your loved one is living in a memory care community or at home, these dementia design principles can be very insightful.

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PK Beville is the founder of Second Wind Dreams and the creator of the Virtual Dementia Tour.  ​In this interview, PK discusses the Virtual Dementia Tour and the research behind it. The VDT is a dementia sensitivity training designed to educate and empower caregivers by offering better understanding of their loved one's experience. The training involves a simulation of the dementia experience, as well as an opportunity to refle...

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July 17, 2019 18 min

In this podcast, we interviewed Rick Lauber, author of The Successful Caregiver's Guide. Rick discusses his personal experience as a caregiver, and the issues that he finds most pertinent as a dementia care author. A link to Rick's website can be found on our resources page. 

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July 15, 2019 17 min

We are back with another interview! This week, Thomas interviews Lisa DiPalma, Physical Therapist Assistant. Lisa has been working in the field of Physical Therapy for ten years, with the majority of her work being with the geriatric population. During our interview, she discusses the benefits of physical therapy for individuals living with dementia.

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June 21, 2019 28 min

It is difficult to know whether an individual with dementia will reap benefits from activities traditionally designed for individuals without cognitive impairment. Because of this, we often hear loved ones say "My mother won't be able to do that because she is confused." However, this may not always be the case. In this episode, we speak with Emilie Rosanvallon regarding her experience teaching Mindfulness Meditation to...

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With the rise in dementia diagnoses over the past several years, wandering has become much more common among seniors. In communities throughout the US, individuals have tragically gone missing after wandering away from their homes. Whether individuals are at home or living in a facility, wandering can happen at any time. In this episode, we discuss efforts being made by the County of Los Angeles to educate caregivers and provide su...

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