Molly Wisniewski, is the Author of Dementia Guide and Activity Book, Caregiving Both Ways

Molly Wisniewski, is the Author of Dementia Guide and Activity Book, Caregiving Both Ways

By Molly Wisniewski

Caregiving Both Ways is for family caregivers of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. A diagnosis of dementia has significant impacts on the individual, their families, and the people who become their caregivers. Every day more and more people take on the role of caregiving without truly knowing what to expect. While it is difficult to have conversations about declining health, not to have a care plan creates scenarios of uncertainty in the direction of care. Prolonged caregiving roles without a plan may impact your personal life and the relationship you have with that person.

I wanted to write a book that gave family caregivers the same tools and training that professional caregivers receive in long-term care. My experience working with individuals with dementia was incredible, and my view on the diagnosis is sometimes different because of this. I got to know these individuals after a diagnosis and was humbled by their continued joy, humor, and friendship. I have found that many family caregivers struggle with the loss of the loved one they have known, and it becomes difficult to see past the diagnosis.

I broke Caregiving Both Ways into two parts. In the first part of this book, I explore the very nature of a caregiver and what impact caregiving for a loved one has on the relationship with the care recipient. I wanted to create a foundation of resources for caregivers. The chapters in the first part offer a variety of activity ideas for non-medical interventions. Activities are a fantastic option for caregivers to use to subdue dementia behaviors, and they cultivate a meaningful engagement to strengthen the relationship. Also included is a list of community support groups, online caregiver resource community’s (including AlzAuthors), and advocacy organizations that caregivers can use to gain quality information they need to provide care.

The second part focuses on the importance of caregiving conversations in the relationship between caregivers and care recipients. Too often, caregivers are left to make decisions for their loved one without really knowing what it is they would want. To make these types of difficult decisions can be frustrating and leave many with a ton of guilt, wondering if you’ve made the right decision. To understand what your loved one wants in care and also an understanding of what type of care you can provide is essential. You will find 100 care plan questions to help you get the conversation started and examples of things you can say to broach the topic gently. Included is a list of items to ask while you are on a nursing home tour, and an expansion of long-term care options available today in case your loved one is opposed to a moving into a nursing home, but still requires an amount of care you are unable to provide.

I hope to provide a strong foundation of resources, tools, and understanding for family caregivers. It takes a village is a popular sentiment when raising a child; however, the same goes for the caregivers in our community. Caregiving Both Ways walks with you during your caregiving journey to ensure a positive experience for both you and the loved one in your care.

Read the first chapter here:

About The Author

Molly Wisniewski is the author of Caregiving Both Ways and founder of She received her M.A. in the Management of Aging Services at the Erickson School, UMBC. She has over ten years experience working with seniors in a variety of settings including Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Public Policy, and Consumer Advocacy. She began her career with a mentor dedicated to the teaching of Resident Rights and a strong advocate for the quality of life and care for seniors living in nursing homes. As an activity professional, she is continuously humbled by the joy, kindness, and compassion individuals living with dementia have in their heart and their willingness to share this love with all those they meet. Her mission is to help caregivers cultivate the same type of relationships with the older adults living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in their life. Her blog the Upside to Aging is dedicated to sharing an alternative and more positive side to aging.

Connect with Molly:
Twitter: @UpsidetoAging
Instagram: @theupsidetoaging

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