Author Lisa Skinner is a behavioral specialist in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. In her 30+ year career as a community counselor, private adviser, Regional Director of senior care facilities, and certified dementia care trainer through the Alzheimer’s Association, she has helped thousands of families and caregivers understand the daunting challenges of living with brain disease.
Her #1 Best-seller book “Not All Who Wander Need Be Lost,” was written at their urging. Her latest book, “Truth, Lies & Alzheimer’s – Its Secret Faces” continues Skinner’s quest of working with dementia-related illnesses by teaching families and caregivers how they can have a better-quality relationship with their loved ones through education and workshops on counter-intuitive solutions, effective communication techniques, care strategies, and helpful tools to help people effectively manage the symptoms of brain disease.
Lisa Skinner has appeared on many national and regional media broadcasts including Fox News Channel, I Heart Media, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, Good News Planet, Chicago Defender, USA Today, KGMI News Talk, Health & Fitness, The Rico No Suave Show, West Wales Chronicle, New York Trend, Valley Por Vida, and more…
[Jon Dabach] 00:00
Today on the relationship Revival Show, I’m joined by Lisa Skinner. Lisa Skinner is a behavioral specialist in the field of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. In her 30 plus year career as a community counselor, Private Advisor, Regional Director of Senior Care Facilities and certified Dementia Care trainer through the Alzheimer’s Association, she’s helped 1000s of families and caregivers understand the daunting challenges of living with brain disease.
[Jon Dabach] 00:27
Her number one best-selling book not all who wander need be lost was written at their urging her latest book truth lies and Alzheimer’s it’s secret faces continues Skinner’s quest of working with dementia related illnesses by teaching families and caregivers how they can have a better quality relationship with their loved ones through education and workshops on counterintuitive solutions, effective communication techniques, care strategies, and helpful tools to help people effectively manage the symptoms of brain disease.
[Jon Dabach] 00:59
You’re listening to the relationship revival podcast with [Jon Dabach] also known as Mr. Spirituality. That’s me. I’m your host giving you insights and guidance from over 10 years in the field of this amazing journey we call romance on this show, I go over everything you need to know about how to get into a relationship, how to get the most out of a relationship, and sometimes even how to gracefully end a relationship without pulling your hair out and going crazy.
[Jon Dabach] 01:26
And occasionally, I’m even joined by new and old friends who are also relationship experts to bring you guidance and wisdom with new perspectives. Thanks for stopping by. Lisa Skinner, thank you so much for being on the program. How you doing today?
[Lisa Skiner] 01:41
I’m doing well. John, thank you so much for asking me to be here. I’m excited.
[Jon Dabach] 01:46
Yeah, absolutely. You know, one thing I’ve seen in my own practice working with couples, is when parents start to have issues health issues, it can take a real toll on a couple’s relationship. And one of the things that comes up is dementia, Alzheimer’s, you know different things and how to deal with it. And you know, how to support your partner through the grief, how to help with taking care of mom and dad, whether you decide to be the caretaker or put them in a facility. And, you know, unfortunately, in this field, people just don’t think about it till it hits them in the face directly is what I found.
[Lisa Skiner] 02:29
You’re absolutely spot on with that that’s I’ve been doing this professionally for about 30 years now. And that’s been my exact experience with family members. And kind of along the lines of what you just said, I have seen this disease, just rip families apart for a variety of different reasons. And I personally have seen and this is this is my observation, that the one of the key reasons why that happens is due to people’s lack of understanding about this disease. And as you said, lack of preparation.
[Jon Dabach] 03:16
So with that in mind, you know, if you, you know, what’s your big message? I know you’ve written two books, and there’s a lot to talk about. But what is the one thing that you wish everybody did to kind of get grounded, get educated about this?
[Lisa Skiner] 03:40
Well, that certainly is my emphasis based on my decades of experience counseling and working with families. And my advice to everybody is if this hits your family, and the chances of it doing so are pretty high. I’ll tell you the most recent statistics about that in a second. But to answer your question, John, it’s really learn as much about the disease as you possibly can, because this is a long course that everybody’s going to be on.
[Lisa Skiner] 04:19
And it impacts every single person. It’s not only the person who suffers from Alzheimer’s or one of the other 100 or so brain diseases that causes dementia, but it impacts the families in in many, many ways. And the caregivers, friends, everybody. And I think that primarily it’s because people really don’t have an unclouded understanding about the disease. They believe in the myths that have been circulating around for decades that don’t have seemed to really change a whole lot.
[Lisa Skiner] 05:02
And most people relate this illness, Alzheimer’s disease, specifically, because it’s the most common one, with it really exclusively being a disease that causes memory loss and confusion. And it is so much more complicated than that. But because of the lack of understanding about what this disease is actually doing to the brain of the person suffering from it, people still have a difficult time connecting the dots, and relating all of the behaviors and the signs and the symptoms that they see with their loved one on a daily basis as it being part of the disease instead of okay, well, the disease is causing the memory loss and the confusion, and then they’re acting like this.
[Lisa Skiner] 05:53
So I think, in addition to them having Alzheimer’s disease are also going crazy. But it’s all part of the same disease. And I think that that’s a really important principle to understand. So learn what you can as much as you can about the disease. And I will tell you that based on the many testimonials that I have received from family members and caregivers, you don’t get a lot of information from the physicians, they basically give you the diagnosis, and then
[Jon Dabach] 06:33
A pamphlet or something and you’re on your own.
[Lisa Skiner] 06:36
Yeah, if you’re lucky to get a pamphlet, and the world Alzheimer’s report just came out in 2022. So actually was in the last six months, it’s very recent. And the number one crisis that they discovered and brought to everybody’s attention was the lack of post diagnosis, care, and information that is given to families after they’re told that their loved one has like an Alzheimer’s disease.
[Lisa Skiner] 07:06
And they’re just kind of left feeling stranded, like, Okay, well, what do we do next? What, what’s our expectation? What are we supposed to do? What does our future look like? And so that’s kind of their number one focus right now is to change that. But that’s been my experience for 30 years. And then to have that come out in this world report was, it wasn’t surprising to me, but it was kind of mind boggling that it’s that way today.
[Jon Dabach] 07:44
Yeah, that makes sense. Um, you talked about the myths of Alzheimer’s, I’d love to dispel some and kind of go over some of the common myths that people have if, if that’s okay with you.
[Lisa Skiner] 07:57
Oh, sure. So there’s quite a few of them. But some of the more common ones is that this disease only strikes older people. And that is not entirely true.
[Jon Dabach] 08:16
Right. You have early onset? Yeah,
[Lisa Skiner] 08:21
That’s exactly right, early onset. But that’s a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease, actually considered Alzheimer’s disease. The difference is, it’s the genetic form.
[Lisa Skiner] 08:35
And it tends to show up at a much earlier age than our traditional Alzheimer’s disease, which typically doesn’t show up until after the age of 65. And then the other part of that myth is that if somebody in your family, so personally, I’ve had eight family members suffer from dementia. Yeah. And five of those are blood relatives. We were through marriage, but five blood relatives.
[Lisa Skiner] 09:07
So I mean, if I didn’t know better, I would think oh, my gosh, you know, it’s only a matter of time and a next Yeah, but that’s not necessarily true. I have done so much research on this. And basically, the way it works is there are a lot of risk factors that go into determining whether or not somebody will develop Alzheimer’s disease, and then there’s exceptions to that rule. So there are several what we call non modifiable risk factors. And the number one non modifiable risk factor is our age. Yeah, makes sense.
[Lisa Skiner] 09:45
So and we can’t change that. We can’t do any better. Right. So with the exception of early onset Alzheimer’s, yes, it’s true that typically it does not show up in P till after the age of 65. Another non modifiable risk factor is gender. So females tend to be more prone to getting Alzheimer’s disease than men. The jury’s still out as to why exactly that is the some of the theories say it’s because we live longer. And there are other theories that think it may be due to the difference in the hormones that women carry versus men. But the fact remains that there are more women who develop Alzheimer’s disease. And do you
[Jon Dabach] 10:39
Happen to know the statistics on the percentage breakdown or the ratio between men and women?
[Lisa Skiner] 10:44
One is say maybe a third more women habit than men pretty significant? Yeah. Oh, yeah. And you know, all the years that I’ve spent in the eldercare industry that is, holds true, yeah, yeah, there are way way, way more men, women in the memory care units than there are men, but it strikes everybody. So we can’t change our gender, we can’t change her ethnicity.
[Lisa Skiner] 11:14
So there are certain ethnicities that are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than others. A statistic just came out in the last year that Latinos are at a 50% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, then their Caucasian counterpart, African Americans are at a higher risk. Pacific Islanders, Asians, so we can’t change our ethnicity. So you see where I’m going with this, you have to first look at the things you can’t change.
[Lisa Skiner] 11:51
Because if that applies to you, you’re 65 or older, you’re a female, you’re a Latino. And there’s a couple other non-modifiable risk factors. You have those going against you right out of the gate.
[Lisa Skiner] 12:11
So that’s going to increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, then the second part of that are your modifiable risk factors, the ones that you can change can treat or can do something about the number one modifiable risk factor that is attributed to increasing a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as cardiovascular disease is the number one over and above the
[Jon Dabach] 12:41
Nonmetal. Like post heart attack, we see a huge, you know, increase in the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. Is that what you’re kind of saying?
[Lisa Skiner] 12:49
Any heart condition any heart pressure? Yeah. So but the good news is, is if you do have some cardiovascular condition, it can be treated through medications and, you know, exercise and proper diet and things like that. So, if you are being treated for a cardiovascular disease, then it will, I don’t know, 100% negate that from kind of piling into your pot of risk factors, but it will help.
[Lisa Skiner] 13:26
So some of the other modifiable risk factors are diabetes is huge. A lot a lot of people who develop Alzheimer’s disease actually suffer from diabetes, but it’s not as high risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
[Jon Dabach] 13:43
Is there any literature that you’re aware of that differentiates between diabetes one and two?
[Lisa Skiner] 13:51
Just well, more people have diabetes to horse and that can actually be managed through diet and exercise where diabetes one for a different reason. Yeah, it’s your body just so as a modifiable
[Jon Dabach] 14:10
Risk factor. It would be diabetes to by the nature of it being modifiable, got it got it.
[Lisa Skiner] 14:20
Although diabetes one does increase a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as well of course that’s treated with insulin because the pancreas is it just doesn’t produce insulin, right? Were in diabetes to the pancreas does still produce insulin. It’s just not doing its job by moving sugars out of your blood as it’s supposed to. Right.
[Lisa Skiner] 14:48
So there are things that we can do to manage that by eating a proper diet and exercise is very important and a of taking medications to lower your glucose. But that’s a huge risk factor. And it is the reason people ask me all the time, well, why is it that Latinos are now 50% at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease? And it’s because they are have a higher propensity to develop cardiovascular disease, diabetes? For some reason,
[Jon Dabach] 15:29
There’s a correlation. Yeah.
[Lisa Skiner] 15:31
And they have less access to health care to manage those conditions.
[Jon Dabach] 15:37
[Lisa Skiner] 15:39
So that is the reason I, you know, saw a statistic, and I thought, why is that the case? So I researched it. And that’s the answer that, that I concluded after finding out why is it that culture, but you know, I think that also is probably true of African Americans, they’re probably the next tightest sure cultural, you know, ethnicity that develops Alzheimer’s disease.
[Lisa Skiner] 16:11
But so anyway, you have all of these, I mean, it’s probably too much information to really dig down into a lot of detail. But the point is, is you’ve got the modifiable risk factors, the ones you can do something about. And I mean, there are so many hearing loss is a huge risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
[Lisa Skiner] 16:36
But if you’re treating it with hearing aids, then you’re going to just negate that it’s really it’s letting these conditions go unmanaged and untreated, that’s going to add to your risk. So the more of these risk factors that apply to any individual person that you either cannot change, or that you’re not managing, will increase a person’s risk. Now, does that mean Oh, and it also runs in families like in mind?
[Lisa Skiner] 17:09
But does that mean that I am definitely going to develop Alzheimer’s disease? No. There’s an exception to every single rule. But if there are ways to lower your risk, then that’s probably something that most people want to consider. Because why do you want to increase your risk or have a higher risk of developing this this disease if there are things that you have control over? So that’s the way that works?
[Lisa Skiner] 17:42
But I mean, you could do everything that increases your risk, and you just might not be the one that develops Alzheimer’s disease? Yeah, for sure.
[Jon Dabach] 17:53
For sure. Your first book, not all who wander need be lost, was written at the urging of a lot of people you’ve worked with over the years? What was the request? What did people want to have in a written form?
[Lisa Skiner] 18:11
I’ll tell you the story of the inspiration, the impetus behind me actually sitting down and writing that book. Because it’s, it’s a great story. And I’ve been thinking about it for years, because I’ve been working with families for decades. By that time, I would hear the same pain from everybody, you know, lack of resources, can’t find the information, nobody will tell us what to do.
[Lisa Skiner] 18:42
So I have my own consulting business at the time. And basically, I worked with families educating them about Alzheimer’s and, and kind of the best practices and how to respond to the behaviors that we see commonly with the disease.
[Lisa Skiner] 18:58
And one of my clients referred me to this woman when she called me and she invited me over to her home. And she said, Lisa, I just really want to talk to somebody who knows about brain disease, and hopefully, can get some valuable information, some guidance from you. So it turns out that her father had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. And her parents were that now living in their granny flat on their property.
[Lisa Skiner] 19:33
And then her husband’s mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but lived in Oregon, and we’re in California. So she was in her earlier stages, but she was in a different state. So they didn’t really have the same lens on her that they did on the scales. Father, he was right there at their home.
[Lisa Skiner] 20:00
And the diagnosis, I think for both parents probably came about two years prior to her calling me over to her home. So anyway, long story short, she just, they just start asking me questions and pick my brain for about the next two and a half hours. And then she stops me.
[Lisa Skiner] 20:18
And she says, least I just going to stop you right there for a minute. Because I really want to tell you, that you have provided us with more helpful and useful and valuable information about the day to day realistic living with this, these diseases than anybody we’ve been able to speak to, or Google or our doctors since the diagnosis two years ago. Then what she what she said after that was where I’m going with the story, she says, you really need to write a book.
[Lisa Skiner] 20:56
And then she says, it would be very selfish of you to not share what you know, with families, like with families like mine. She said, I’m talking from experience, we’re all desperate to know what you know. And it’s so hard to find this information. Now, of course, that was almost 10 years ago.
[Lisa Skiner] 21:20
Yeah. It was more than 10 years ago, because the book came out in 2015. Right. But I thought about it. And it was the way she said it to me. Because I’ve been thinking about a book for a long time, I had heard of very similar experiences from family members for years.
[Lisa Skiner] 21:39
But it was it was the way she said it. To me. That was kind of my aha moment. And I said to myself, she’s right, I do need to share what I know. Because nobody else is doing it. Yeah, things have changed a little bit in the last couple of years since COVID. But we’re not nearly where we need to be with helping people understand this disease.
[Lisa Skiner] 22:05
So that was really the impetus that got me to actually sit down and start writing the stories and the explanations and the illustrations of all of these behaviors that are a common part of the disease that my years of experience of working with families and the people who were living with Alzheimer’s disease. Just weren’t connecting the dots and putting two and two together. So I thought okay, she, she got my attention, I am going to write the book.
[Jon Dabach] 22:43
Okay, so that fantastic story and through line there. What brought you to write yet a second book, truth lies and Alzheimer’s? It secret faces, what was left out? What did you realize? Oh, no, there’s another book here?
[Lisa Skiner] 22:59
Well, I basically, the objective of the first book was not to do an information overload situation and give people too much information where they just felt overwhelmed. It was really intended to provide core principles and fundamentals to help people first understand the disease and what it does the people who live with it. I probably could write several books, as there’s a lot of information to pass on to people about how to respond to the behaviors and the things that come up. So second book, really to answer your question was to expand on the information that was provided in the first one just to
[Jon Dabach] 23:57
So what’s the main focus? Is it just an expansion? Or was there one little sliver or avenue of dealing with the disease that you wanted to dive into?
[Lisa Skiner] 24:09
Well, we added a chapter on the impact that COVID had on people living with Alzheimer’s disease, which was pretty compelling. And there is yeah, there’s some, some definite changes and an expansion of information. So let’s say we kind of took it to the next level of understanding so kind of part of the book, but there’s still so much more that I’ve also written a training program recently I just finished
[Jon Dabach] 24:45
That directed towards
[Lisa Skiner] 24:49
If family members and the caregivers,
[Jon Dabach] 24:51
Okay. Oh, well, on how to care for people who have Alzheimer’s.
[Lisa Skiner] 24:57
Yeah, so whether you’re going have us on the sidelines, caregivers like a lot of family members are at but they’re going to visit their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Like, you know, maybe they’re in a care facility. They’re not actually the primary caregiver.
[Lisa Skiner] 25:18
But I used to run a support group at a memory care facility. And I listened to what these family members went through with having a loved one, even though they weren’t the primary caregiver. And it’s just as painful for them as it is being a caregiver because of the hallucinations and delusions and the paranoia and the personality changes. And not a lot of the people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, at some point, don’t recognize their loved one their family member, or they do and then they don’t.
[Lisa Skiner] 25:55
So all of these things create a lot of agitation and frustration and pain for the family members, even if they’re not the primary caregivers. So I teach people how to effectively respond to all the behaviors and situations that arise that are actually caused by this disease.
[Lisa Skiner] 26:21
And the bottom line of that is, so they can have a better and more enjoyable relationship with their loved one with less stress. Yeah, because people find it very hurtful, that they go to visit their mom and their mom has no clue who they are, they don’t understand. She doesn’t even know me, it really hurts. So, you know, I give the explanation of why that happens and how to respond to it. There’s, well, let’s
[Jon Dabach] 26:47
Dive into that as it because I think that’s a great example of understanding your approach and, and will and giving people a little bit of a taste of what’s inside the book. I think it’s a great example that we’ve seen definitely in the media, if not in person, right? If we if we have our own family members or friends who’ve gone through it, what is the right approach? Right, what is the right response that you found? Helps kind of that bridge that hard part of the relationship to getting to a safer place? There are more stay? The
[Lisa Skiner] 27:19
Answer to that question is evidence based. It’s based on years and years and decades of studies and trying one thing, see what works, what’s not working. So the best approach that people believe is the way to address let’s say this is very common.
[Lisa Skiner] 27:50
And I mentioned that I’ve had eight of my own family members suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. And one of them I’ll tell you, the story was my mother in law. So she wasn’t actually a blood relative that she was over at our house. We were taking care of her for the day to give her primary caregiver a break. And we were having a normal conversation. She seemed to be very lucid and, and everything seemed really normal.
[Lisa Skiner] 28:17
And then out of nowhere, she pops up off the sofa, and demands that I take her home, because she claimed that her husband Marty was there at home waiting for her. And it was getting close to dinner and he would be really upset with her if she wasn’t there to fix them dinner. Well, the odd part of the conversation was that Marty had been deceased for close to five years by that time.
[Lisa Skiner] 28:48
So just in the turn of a dime, she went from our reality being the same, too, all of a sudden, bam. Oh, she thinks her husband’s waiting for her at home. And she’s got to race home to pick some dinner. Yeah. Now my experience. And what I’ve seen is our instinctive reaction to that would be to try to correct them, right. We are wired to fix people to fix situations, especially when it comes to our children or our loved ones. We want to fix things for them. So they don’t they’re not in pain, right?
[Lisa Skiner] 29:32
In this particular situation, that is probably about the worst thing that we can do. So think of it this way. If I had said, Maryann, what are you talking about? Marty’s been going for close to five years, don’t you remember? Those are like the taboo words. Don’t you remember? No they don’t remember it could have been a situation where I caused her to go into a complete panic.
[Lisa Skiner] 30:06
Because if she believed in her reality in her mind that Marty was still alive and waiting for her at home, and then all of a sudden they come out and say he’s dead. Yeah. She could have just like, what are you talking about? When did this happen? Nobody told me and just broke into a total panic. And that’s one of the risks you take, trying to reorient a person living with brain disease back into your reality. She believed 1,000% that Marty was alive and well and waiting for her at home. And we know there is absolutely nothing that anybody can do or say, to change that belief in a person who’s currently
[Jon Dabach] 30:55
Do you play into their reality? Is that the right way to go?
[Lisa Skiner] 30:58
That’s exactly what you do. And some people have a problem with that, because
[Jon Dabach] 31:06
You don’t drive or home to non-existent or you save maybe something like the approaches? Oh, what are you going to make them for dinner? I mean, is there because there’s a certain line, right? If someone thinks they’re still going to go skydiving, and you’re going to put themselves in danger? You don’t want to do that either. Right?
[Lisa Skiner] 31:21
And that was a good route, which would have been a good response. What are you thinking about giving him for dinner, but the way I handled it was I choose standing up, she was in a panic, she was really nervous. She was like, come on, come on, get let’s get in a car, I got to go, I got to go. Because she was from the generation where she was a homemaker.
[Lisa Skiner] 31:41
And that was her job was to take care of her husband. And he, you know, he calls and says, he’s waiting for and all of a sudden, it’s like, oh, my gosh, she’s going to be really upset with me. So that was a big deal to her. Yeah. So I said, Oh, Mary, you know, I just got off the phone with Marty. And he knows you’re here. He knows we’re having a really, really nice visit. And he wanted me to tell you that as soon as we’re finished, like in the next 10 or 15 minutes, that I would bring you home.
[Lisa Skiner] 32:13
And he was perfectly fine with that. So you can just sit back down and relax. We’ll visit for a few more minutes, and then I will take you home. And she goes, Are you sure? Are you sure because I know how he gets when he’s hungry. And you know, blah, blah, blah.
[Lisa Skiner] 32:31
And I said, I promise you that he knows you’re here and that he’s absolutely fine with it and is so happy, you’re having a nice visit with your son and daughter in law and grandkids and blah, blah, blah. So she sat back down on the sofa was completely calm, I addressed her concern, I put it to rest.
[Lisa Skiner] 32:55
And by the time she I was ready to take her home, she had completely moved on to something else and never even mentioned it again. And what happened was, and this is the best analogy that I have been able to come up with to help people understand what happens and why these false beliefs occur. Would you like me to share that with you? I don’t know if we have. Okay.
[Lisa Skiner] 33:24
So I think now, the first part of the brain that Alzheimer’s disease attacks is our short term memory. Our long term memory stay intact. For most people, for the duration of the disease, even a lot of times at the end, they are still pulling from their long term memory, right. So in the beginning stages of the disease, think of your short term memory being hooked up to a switch that you can turn it ON or OFF, ON or OFF.
[Lisa Skiner] 33:59
But this switch goes on and off, on and off automatically, right? Without notice. So in the beginning stages of the disease, that switch has the short term memory on most of the time, with a few exceptions where it gets flipped off, like
[Jon Dabach] 34:21
In moments of Yeah, that’s where the memory loss, you don’t remember
[Lisa Skiner] 34:24
Anything that’s reset. Yeah. As a person progresses into the mid stage of the disease, that switch now is on half the time and off half the time. And then by the end of that disease, some people’s switch goes off permanently and they have no short term memory left at all. That’s
[Jon Dabach] 34:47
when you hear those stories of someone having a conversation and having to introduce themselves within the context of a 10 or 15 minute conversation maybe three times four times to the same person. Is that what you’re talking about?
[Lisa Skiner] 34:59
That’s wonderful. Oh, yeah, repetitive stories and things like that. But that is why people when their short term memory switch flips off, and it basically short circuits and it’s not functioning, and it can happen like this, they don’t recognize their grown daughter, because now they’ve gone back.
[Lisa Skiner] 35:21
They’re pulling from their past memories. It’s different for everybody what period of time they’ve gone back to kind of like living your life and read on rewind. Yeah. So this happened in my mother in law a lot. When her short term memory switch went off, she believed her husband was alive and waiting for him at home.
[Lisa Skiner] 35:42
Other times, she talked about being 12 years old, and she hadn’t gotten married yet. She was in junior high, she would look at my husband and call him Otto, because she wasn’t old enough to have a grown son, at that time in her mind that she was 12 years old in her mind, who’s Otto? Otto was her brother.
[Jon Dabach] 36:06
Oh, got you. Right.
[Lisa Skiner] 36:08
So she knew she knew him from somewhere she recognized them. But because she was obviously in her mind, not old enough to have been married and had a grown son. He thought, Okay, this is my
[Jon Dabach] 36:20
Firsthand to where people think that their kids or their spouses and things like that. Yeah, for sure.
[Lisa Skiner] 36:26
That’s exactly why this happens is because that short term memory switch got flipped off. And the
[Jon Dabach] 36:31
point in the timeline of their long term memory they’re living in, connects closer to the age of whoever they’re talking to, to, but they make a different connection. I get that. Yeah, that makes sense.
[Lisa Skiner] 36:43
They know that. They always know that they’re connected to people, they recognize people, but they can’t place them in the right timeline. So when she’s when this happened to my mother and lunch, she’d looked at my husband, it couldn’t possibly be her adult son, right.
[Lisa Skiner] 36:59
So in her mind, she brother in her mind, Brother. And all she talked about was going and playing tennis and beating these, these two other kids, that tennis that they routinely played with. Now, the thing is, that makes it difficult. And this is where people really have to pay attention. You have to listen to the cues that the person with dementia is giving you about where they are on that timeline. So when she started calling my husband, Otto, of course, I knew will autos the brother, right? And talking about the tennis tournaments, and all about, you know that part of their lives. I knew where she was in her on her time,
[Jon Dabach] 37:43
Like a little scavenger hunt, you have to kind of have to be a detective
[Lisa Skiner] 37:48
Regress back to their childhood. So they’re asking, Where’s my Mommy, why, why isn’t my mommy here. So if you listen to the cues, you can or what they’re talking about, you can place where they are in their timeline, and then respond effectively to what they’re talking about.
[Lisa Skiner] 38:08
So the switch going on and off is temporary, but frequent in the mid stages. And then as I said, by the end stage of the disease, sometimes in a lot of people, it goes off permanently, and they have no short term memory left at all. So they are in their reality in there, in their beliefs.
[Lisa Skiner] 38:29
They are living wherever they ended up on their timeline, and it’s different for everybody. Some are in the prime of their life as a House Maker, and they’re looking for their children or some are have reverted back to their childhood and looking for their parents and their parents home. Some are more like my mother in law where she was now back at her adolescent period of life. It’s different for everybody.
[Lisa Skiner] 38:59
And because it’s different for everybody, you have to follow their cues and then adapt your reality to theirs. But now keep in mind, that switch can go back on like that, and you’re back in the same reality as we are. And then all of a sudden, what they’re telling you is completely different. And now make sense again, so then you have to switch back to the same reality that you’re both sharing.
[Lisa Skiner] 39:26
So you really have to pay attention. Because, as I said, we can create serious care for people if we’re not careful how we respond to their beliefs at the time, like because, you know, believing a spouse is still alive who hasn’t been alive for years is actually very, very common.
[Jon Dabach] 39:55
Thank you so much for all of this amazing information. It’s it’s It’s eye opening to say the least. Your your latest book can be found at truth lies Alzheimer’s dot com. Is that correct?
[Lisa Skiner] 40:08
That’s my website. Yes. And it’s also available on Amazon. Okay, great. One with the other fine booksellers. Yeah.
[Jon Dabach] 40:16
All right. Wonderful. Lisa, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate your time and sharing all this amazing knowledge and keep doing what you’re doing. I you know, I think it’s, it’s it’s so sad that there’s no more information and we need more people like you out there helping.
[Lisa Skiner] 40:33
Thanks, John. Thanks again for having me. And it was an absolute pleasure. And I really hope that this was really helpful and valuable to your listeners.
[Jon Dabach] 40:43
Selfishly it was helpful to me so. So even if nobody else got anything out of it, I’m happy but I’m sure I’m sure you know, I always say if I found it helpful, there’s somebody out there who’s going to feel the same way for sure.
[Lisa Skiner] 40:56
Well, I have had a lot of people say, I’ve never heard any of this stuff before. So yeah, it is eye opening. Yeah.
[Jon Dabach] 41:04
Thank you again. If you’re interested in learning how to get the absolute most out of your romantic relationships, then you’re in luck because I have put together a free workshop or masterclass if you will, about three secrets that people in happy relationships have discovered.
[Jon Dabach] 41:21
You can view the workshop and mrspirituality.com/threesecrets again, it’s completely free. Just go there and watch it. It’ll help you on your journey give you some wisdoms and things to think about. The website again is mrspirituality.com/threesecrets. That’s mrspirituality.com/the Number three, the word secrets. It’s all yours. Enjoy.