I hear you: Listening with your heart

Alyson Kuhn is co-author of the book I hear you: Talking and listening to people with Alzheimers. In a previous post Alyson said: “My goal was always to help my mother feel in charge.” In it, Alyson talks about learning to “kuhncierge” to care for her mom.

In this post, Alyson talks about communications. It is the most overlooked and neglected aspect of caring for people with dementia. For some caregivers, communicating is intuitive; for others, it’s like learning a foreign language. It’s a skill we can all polish—and apply to everyone we care about. Alyson provides three practical pointers.

I say it over and over again: There's no one more important than the caregiver in the daily life of a frail person.
Warmest Aloha,


“I hear you” by Jane Mahakian, PhD and Alyson Kuhn
is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com,
and through your local bookseller

I’m not sure I should go back on hospice. What do you think?

Most of my patients who passed away received hospice care at home. Hospice provides the best care possible at end of life. The hospice team focuses on physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing. Comfort and dignity are provided to both the patient and loved ones.

I am a strong advocate for hospice care. But, for many patients the choice to enroll in hospice is a difficult one. A recent patient told me why she dropped out of hospice:

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My goal was always to help my mother feel in charge

My friend Alyson Kuhn is co-author of the book I Hear You, about talking and listening to people with Alzheimer’s.  Alyson and her co-author, gerontologist Jane Mahakian, provide great insights about how to avoid “talking down” to someone living with dementia.
 
There is no greater gift to a person than conversing with love and respect. In today's video, Alyson presents a “social solution” to entice her mother to eat lunch.

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Rest and Revel

Dr. Warren Wong

The Holidays are almost over. After a challenging and exhausting year, I am pausing to rest. I hope you do too.

Just recently I reconnected with a friend from high school Alyson Kuhn. She is co-author of a wonderful book I Hear You. Alyson and her co-author, gerontologist Jane Mahakian, provide insights on conversing with a person with Alzheimer’s. We thought it would be great to interview Alyson and wanted to get a post out before Christmas. We decided, however, to take a bit more time and not rush at the end of a long year.

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A Special Relationship Between the Older Adult and the Caregiver

In a previous post, my friend Shannon talked about gracefully and thankfully accepting a caregiver at a certain stage in life.  Today’s post is Part 2 of our discussion. Shannon talks about the relationship “rules” that both the caregiver and the client need to keep in mind to make the relationship a strong one.

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What is Causing this Person’s Weight Loss?

In my last post I talked about a patient who had some bleeding in her brain. That was the obvious diagnosis. However, I'm frustrated because an important diagnosis was missed. It was immediately obvious that she was severely underweight. I looked through her chart carefully. Her weight had gone from 89 pounds to 74 pounds in a little bit over a year. No one had mentioned this.

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Why did my patient have a Subdural Hematoma?

Last week I was busy taking care of some patients. I reviewed the chart on a patient who recently had some falls and bleeding in the brain. She had a “subdural hematoma”. What is a Subdural Hematoma? Subdural hematoma is a medical term for bleeding between the brain and the skull. The bleeding can be a small or large amount and is easily seen on CT scan of the brain. The bleeding is due to bursting of veins on the surface of the brain. This is usually related to an injury to the head although […]

AARP “Saved my Life!!”

Did you know that November is National Family Caregivers Month? AARP Hawaii definitely knows and puts a tremendous amount of effort into a series of activities throughout the entire month. The AARP champion behind the scenes is Jackie Boland. A caregiver told her that AARP “saved my life!!”. In this short video Jackie tells that story, talks about “the Art of Caregiving”, “Sky Blossom” and Amy Goyer:

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I expect to be frail at some time in my life. What decisions will I make?

Most of us will become frail before we pass away, especially if we live to an old age. Will we still be happy when we become frail and need help from others? How can we be both happy and not a burden to loved ones? My friend Shannon has poor vision but in other ways she sees things very well.

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How Strong is Your Funny Muscle?

If you’re too busy to have fun, that’s not correct at all. The busier you are, the more important it is to have fun. Because Fun gives energy.

Do you have stress? Caregivers definitely have stress. There are many good ways to manage stress. One way is by having some fun. It’s hard to be having fun, laugh and be stressed at the same time. If you don’t know how to have fun, there’s a perfect gift for you coming out just before Christmas:

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