Aware Senior Care Blog

 Dear Clueless Speaking Engagement with Sandra Savell at Waltonwood: Impressions

Dear Clueless Speaking Engagement with Sandra Savell at Waltonwood: Impressions

Aware Senior Care, Waltonwood Lake Boone and the Dementia Alliance of North Carolina hosted Sandi Savell and her husband Dale to talk about her book, Dear Clueless: A Daughter’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s Caregiving.

Impressions on the event by Tim Murray, CEO of Aware Senior Care:

It was a wonderful and inspiring event!  

We had over forty people come to Waltonwood to listen to Sandi share her personal experience of a decade of caregiving for her mother with Alzheimer’s. What made the event so much fun was although Alzheimer’s is a very serious and terrible disease, Sandi mixed in laughter and humor filled with little vignette’s about doctor visits, family comments and her own personal experience.

My personal favorite is the story about when Sandi actually went away for a short vacation at the beach to refuel herself. Her husband Dale was in charge of care for her Mom while she was gone. When Sandi came back, her Mom was annoyed at her because she was cramping her style with her new boyfriend Dale!

Sandi closed the session with some helpful advice of things she learned along the way including a discussion about when is it the right time to move a loved one with Alzheimer’s to assisted living or memory care.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed Sandi’s knowledge and passion.  I’d highly recommend Sandi for any event where people want to learn about what’s it like to care for someone with Alzheimer’s and firsthand knowledge and experience on Alzheimer’s home care.

Thank you Sandi and Dale for a wonderful event and bless you both form taking the time to write your book and pass on your knowledge for all of us to benefit from.

Impressions on the event by Kyle Murray, Web Content Manager:

The event was a great experience to attend and I'm glad I got to hear Sandi speak. Her story serves as a good example of what to expect when caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer's.

Her story is funny. Sandi regaled the audience with a number of humorous situations that took place because of the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Her mother, a hard drinker, couldn't be convinced to attend Alcoholic's Anonymous or any organization similar prior to the onset of Alzheimer's. But upon arrival to memory care where an AA meeting was announced to begin, her mother went off to attend like it was something she had always done.

Sandi's husband did his part to care for his mother-in-law while enjoyed a brief vacation for some respite. Upon returning, Sandi showed him affection and her mother became angered...believing he was HER boyfriend. 

Her story is sad. Her voice cracked recalling the moment she realized her mother would never recognize her as the daughter she was again. Old habits and routines that spanned decades fell prey to forgetfulness. For example, her mother's hair became greasy and dirty from lack of care as she couldn't remember her weekly visit to the salon. An appointment rarely missed for nearly 30 years.  

Her story is informative. "Dear Clueless" isn't directed at the loved one with the disease. It's not only about how a caregiver feels dealing with the complexity of it all. Doctors, for example, are some of those being addressed with "dear clueless." 

Sandi explained how frustrated she felt with doctors and other medical professionals who didn't seem to take their time in assessing her mother's unique situation. Their method of treatment relied on "one size fits all" solutions that often harmed more than helped her situation.

I really appreciated how Sandi emphasized the importance of self-care for caregivers and knowing when the time is right to look for help like dementia or memory care. Thank you to Sandi and Dale for speaking, Waltonwood Lake Boone for hosting, and if you were able to make it, thank you for attending!
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