Summit Resilience Training

DRwJL – Learning to Communicate when Language is Effected

September 15, 2020 ~ This show is timely as I discuss the importance of effective communication when working and living with cognitive loss and language issues. Memory loss is troubling enough, but adding word salad and miscued conversations can be rough on the nerves and maddening at times. We need to let go of perfection and live in the moment, go with the flow, let the river run its course. There will come a time soon enough when language is lost and visual recognition no longer exists, which is heartbreaking by itself, and we must do all we can to mitigate the way we act, and not react, to the chaos. I dive deep into techniques and thoughtful strategies to guide you through this process.

DRwJL – Parkinson’s Disease – You can get in a routine and take back your life!

September 7, 2020 Today my show is about taking control of your life with Parkinson’s and it can be easier than you think. The disease takes a lot from you, but it does not have to take everything. Get up! Move round! Make yourself a list of things you enjoy and figure out how to start enjoying your life and adding engagement activities which will make the day go faster. People with Parkinson’s have a tendency to have disrupted sleep patterns and you can end up sleeping during the day instead of the night. When this happens, no one is getting any rest. This podcast is for you and I will help you turn you bad habits around to live a more productive life.

DRwJL – Resources for you – My website & some fabulous books I critique for you!

This week I am going through books I have read over the years which will be of help to you as you care for your folks with various dementia’s. I used to read the books for the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association, which they sold in the lobby on Sherman street. I would read them for the efficacy and how valuable they would be for our customers. This should be a lot of fun!

DRwJL – Caregiver Grief ~ Thinking It’s Time to Move Your Loved One Into A Memory Community – Late Stage Is Hard!

August 25, 2020 Taking care of your partner in the late stages is very hard, and almost always takes its toll on the caregiver/carepartner. It is a long goodbye, that wears us out, makes us feel guilty, makes us consider letting someone else take over the care. I would rather you think of it as the grieving process, rather than guilt for having to throw in the towel. Sometimes the caregiver has their health fail, before the person with the dementia. Then what happens? You are looking for an alternative in a trauma and crisis situation. That is the worst time to look for a community. We need to take on the task of searching for alternative care when you have time to visit places and decide which one will be the best fit. This show goes into to all the options you need to consider.

Hugs to you my friends, I know this is tough!


DRwJL Home Safety When Living With Various Dementia’s

During this show, August 18, 2020, I am going in to great detail with home saftey. This is a concern which cannot be taken lightly. I explore over a 100 ways to keep your loved one, or the person you are caring for, safe while they are living at home. This is a show with many ideas you will find helpful and will not want to miss!

DRwJL – Dr. Victoria Pelak talks about Posterior Cortical Atrophy & it’s relationship to Alz

August11, 2020 I had the extreme pleasure to have Dr. Victoria Pelak, MD, on my show. She is a Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology, Divisions of Neuro-ophthalmology and Behavioral Neurology, Director, Neuro-ophthalmology Fellowship, at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Dr Pelak specializes in vision perception and a syndrome of Alzheimer’s which effects how the brain transmits what the eye processes and changes the view, balance and speech of the person afflicted. Dr. Pelak spells out the entirety of this syndrome in a language we can all understand. Below is a tip sheet for anyone living with this syndrome. If you have issues with any of the following, it may not have anything to do with your vision, but rather, your brain function. In this case, see a neurologist, not an eye doctor.

  • images have decreased contrast and
    • Sentences, words, letters, get jumbled
    • images to appear and then disappear
    • vertigo
    • glare being very bright
    • pages could be moving
    • patients say I can see, but I can’t see
    • motor issues, stumbling into walls
    • seeing fragmented images

I have attached a tip sheet which can help people with this syndrome.

Home Safety Tips & Recommendations
UHN Multidisciplinary Memory Clinic
University of Toronto
Revised July 2012

Alison Lake OT, Maria Martinez MSW and David F. Tang-Wai MDCM FRCPC
There are several types of dementia that impact a persons vision; not because of an eye problem but because of a brain problem. They have a lot of problems seeing shades of the same colour and have increased success when there is a high degree of contrast – such as black on yellow.
The types of dementia that have an impact on vision are:
• Posterior cortical atrophy
• Corticobasal degeneration
• Dementia with Lewy bodies
Here are a few tips to optimize a person’s safety and independence in their own home.
Ø Simplify the environment
o Remove clutter and objects no longer in use; keep pathways clear.
o Remove unsafe furniture and accents: i.e. low height stools, chairs or tables.
o Options to decrease the potential falls risk from scatter rugs and door mats:

-Remove unsafe scatter rugs/mats
-Install non-slip under-padding

  • Replace with rugs/mats with a rubber backing
  • Secure all edges with double sided carpet tape (not for outdoor use)

o Relocate and secure trailing cords that are in high traffic areas.
o Ensure adequate lighting: use night lights, install extra lights fixtures.
o Leave lights on prior to nightfall.
o Diffuse bright light areas. Reduce glare by covering windows with binds,
shades or sheer curtains to block direct bright sunlight. Avoid using bare light bulbs without shades.
o Obtain a door alarm and /or safety lock.
o Place stickers on large glass windows or large glass doors to prevent people from bumping or walking into to them.

Ø Increase contrast
o Label room doors; use yellow paper with black writing.
o Paint doorframes and light switch plates in a contrasting colour to the wall.
o Contrasting colour dot to mark the number/button to release automatic door.
o Contrasting colour strips (paint or tape) or tactile cue at top and bottom of
stairs, as well as on the edge of each individual step (both inside and outside).

o Use contrasting coloured adhesive strips to mark pathways to important areas – bathroom, kitchen, living room, laundry.

o Mark burners and stove dials with contrasting colour to make it easier to identify
and to know when elements are hot.
o Dials at the front of the stove are more desirable then dials at the back of the stove in order to avoid reaching over the elements.
o Mark frequently used settings on the oven or other dials (e.g. 350 degrees or normal cycle for the dishwasher) with a bumper dot or contrasting tactile marker.
o Supervise the person while using the stove, and if necessary, disconnect the stove and other appliances when they are home alone.
o Mark the 1-minute button on the microwave with a contrasting colour bumper dot, tactile marker, bright tape or nail polish.
o Place cleaning supplies away from food supplies * very important*
o Dispose of hazardous substances that are no longer needed and store other potentially hazardous substances in secured storage (locked cupboard, childproof door locks).
o Keep cupboard doors and drawers closed at all times and ensure everything is put away in its proper place.
o Problem-solve an appropriate organizational structure to the kitchen; consider having one designated area of counter space for preferred and usual foods. Trial placing frequently used items on a contrasting mat or tray, located in the same place every day. This is in an attempt to increase independence in finding items and participating in meal preparation.
o Store/relocate frequently used items at accessible and visible level.
o Keep counters clear and minimize clutter.
o Consider using appliances with automatic shut-off; i.e., kettle.
o Other items to optimize safety, independence and participation in the kitchen:
•Elbow-length oven mitts to ensure maximum protection.
•Knife guard aid to enable safe use and pressure when cutting.
•Cutting board with a black side and a white side to enhance contrast while
•Gooseneck lamp above the cutting area may also assist with vision.
•Large print timer.
•Liquid measure tool to assist in pouring liquids and avoid spills
•Re-label jars and canned goods using a thick black marker, white recipe
card, single words, and elastic bands.
•Penfriend Audio Labeler or similar
o Use bright coloured contrasting dishes and ensure they are all one solid colour (no patterns and no ridged edges).
o Use a dark solid-coloured placemat if using light-coloured plates and use a light solid-coloured placemat if using dark plates.
o Light-coloured food will be easier to see on a solid dark-coloured dish and dark food on a light dish.


o Avoid patterned table clothes.
o Maintain a strict pattern for mealtime set-up. For example, always place the same utensils, drinking glass and condiments in the same place for every meal.
o Avoid cluttering the eating area and only have necessary items within reach.
o Use verbal directions as reminders of where items are located; i.e., “your glass is on your right,” and “salt and pepper is on your left.”
o Use plate guards during meal times
o Use bright, contrasting colour fitted sheet, top sheet, pillow cases. Each should be a different colour to optimize identification and orientation to and within the bed.
o Place a bright coloured mat on nightstand to contrast against items placed on it.
o Label drawers and shelves with high contrast wording or pictures.
o Remove clothes that are no longer being used; including permanent removal of clothes no longer worn and temporary storage of out-of-season clothing.
o Simplify and organize arrangement of clothing; for example, group similar items together, one drawer for shirts and another drawer for pants.
o Lay out clothing for the day
o Minimize clothing requiring buttons and zippers and replace with elastic waists, pull-over/on, and loose clothing.
o Pin socks together when placing them in the laundry so they will stay matched.
o Reduce clutter on bathroom floor, countertop, in drawers and cabinets.
o Use high-contrast non-slip bath mat and install high-contrast grab bars in the shower or bathtub; use contrasting tactile strip on existing grab bars to
differentiate from tub or towel bar.
o Pick up bathmat after each use and store appropriately to prevent falls.
o If there is noted difficulty accurately locating the toilet you may consider
obtaining a toilet seat in a contrasting bright colour. Also consider obtaining a raised toilet seat with arms and the tape arms with a bright colour in contrast against the toilet seat.
o Tape toilet-flushing handle in a contrasting bright colour.
o Label important areas in the bathroom: toilet, sink, bathroom door (yellow paper with black writing).
o Tape sink faucet handles with bright colour tape (use primary colour such as red, green, blue) to distinguish handle from the rest of the sink.
o Keep soap in a bright container (i.e., red) with contrasting colour soap (i.e, white).
o Use sign as reminder to wash hands, flush toilet, brush teeth etc.
o Keep frequently used items (toothbrush, paste) in small shallow basket or on a mat to contrast items against the counter.
o Use toothpaste that contrasts in color to the toothbrush and bristles: i.e. red toothpaste on white brush and bristles.

o Cover mirrors if necessary: often people with vision problems may not be able to recognize the item as a mirror.
Personal Care:
o Nails: Ensure nail care is done by a professional. Can be provided in-home.
o Footwear: Ensure appropriate footwear is used: flat, non-slip sole, enclosed toe and heel, Velcro fasteners.
o Supervision of medication routine is usually recommended.
o Store medications in a secure place.
o Remove and properly dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
o Inquire whether the medication routine can be simplified (i.e., to once-a-day instead of three times a day).
o Other ways to simplify a meds routine: Pre-filled blister packs; dossette; list of current medications; medication schedule; medication alarms/reminders.
o Ensure adequate lighting on the stairs; with switches at both the top and bottom.
o Install secure railings on at least one if not both sides.
o Install railing extensions beyond the top and bottom of the stairs.
o Remove or replace unsafe flooring with a non-slip surface.
o Contrasting coloured tape or paint on the edge of each step.
o Contrasting coloured tape or paint and/or tactile strip at the top and bottom of the stairs.
o Safety gate to prevent use of stairs
o Arrange living area on one level
o Use a phone with large print and high contrast numbers, as well as one-touch programmable numbers.
o Program emergency and frequently used numbers to the one-touch programmable numbers and add tactile markers to increase ease of identification.
o Set up a “memory centre” with the phone, keys, note pad, whiteboard with large writing area and black marker.
o Include a paper, pen/pencil and task lamp beside the phone for messages.
o Place telephone on bright contrasting color mat.
o Use contrasting colored tape to outline phone cradle.
o If possible, utilize a service that requires voice activation for phone dialing.
o Use talking watches or clocks to indicate the time and appointments.

DRwJL – FTD Stages / An In-Depth Look

July 28, 2020 FTD or Frontotemporal Degeneration is a barely known disease under the dementia umbrella. It generally effects people between the ages of 44-64. It comes in a few forms, affecting behavioral, language and motor skills. This is a very difficult disease with symptoms that are incredibly hard for caregivers and care partners to live with. This show explores the vast symptoms and when they will most likely occur. Email me if you would like a copy of the scale

DrwJL – Introducing Body Groove – Dance Exercise Perfect for Alz, Parkinson’s & Carepartners!

July 21, 2020

I am so delighted to introduce Misty Tripoli, the founder of Body Groove, a new way to dance and feel funky! I love this program because you can follow the leader or find your own beat and groove while getting your cardio workout and exercising muscles. People with Alzheimer’s have trouble learning new things, so just watch , listen to the beat and find your own funky groove! People with Parkinson’s can do this dance exercise and stave off your symptoms for up to a half hour or more, depending on the amount of time you dance. Rock to music you know! It’s easy! It fun! Ihope you’ll try it!!!! Click the link below to watch

DRw/JL – How anti-psychotics work & are sometimes used as chemical restraints

July 14, 2020

Today I want to address the use of anti-psychotics in nursing home care because it is a troubling issue. It seems that many memory units and assisted living communities seem to want to quiet their residents by adding medication before redirection techniques and I believe anyone who has a loved one in one of these communities where the staff is asking to put them on these drugs – should BEWARE! These drugs should be used as a last resort, not a first resort, and documentation of all redirection attempts should be well documented. Also, if you have a loved one at home and want them to sleep more and choose this regiment, you should realize that they may have balance issues and experience more falls. This can cause more issues than the initial symtoms that seemed so difficult.

DRwJL – Using the Allen Scale to guide you through ALZ stages

June 30, 2020 This week was a great time to present a staging worksheet to help you with the paths of Alzheimer’s disease. Why would you need or want this? Many people ask me when changes occur and want to have a crystal ball to tell them how the disease progresses. This podcast will help you understand the stages so you can be as informed as possible to deal with issues before they happen. Having insight into where this disease goes throughout the journey can help relieve stress and put you in a more powerful position to move forward with kindness and compassion, and understanding how the brain is affected when it is impaired.