About Me

PortraitI am the daughter of a woman who had vascular dementia.  My Mom lived through this disease for seven years following three strokes and died in 1978.  I was a naïve, long distance caregiver who knew nothing about the disease process.  My Dad was not well and had multiple medical problems.  As an only child, so much rested on my shoulders and that was tough because we were living 10 hours away from my parents.  My husband and I had two young children at the time and I wasn’t in a position to travel home to assist either my Mom or my Dad on a regular basis.

My Mom’s situation deteriorated dramatically.  She had been a vibrant, active member of our community. Previously she was a teacher and an administrative assistant to the mayor in our hometown.  As the effects of the disease took away the Mom I knew, I was puzzled, frustrated, felt helpless and totally overwhelmed as to what to do to help her situation or my Dad’s. Caring for my Mom and Dad has assisted me in understanding, first hand, what caregivers experience. There are many stressors that caregivers face and having cared for my parents prepared me for the role I know have in assisting other families through the Alzheimer’s/dementia journey.

In the late 1980’s I became the Director of Education for the Alzheimer’s Association of Central New York.  I was responsible for developing and implementing educational programming for family caregivers and professionals.  A number of years later, while living in Grosse Point, MI, I was the director of an adult day care program for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.  Our program provided a safe haven for patients whose families were caught in the “sandwich generation”…that is, taking care of parents and children at the same time. From 2007-2013 I was the Senior Director of 9 assisted living communities for Benchmark Senior Living working throughout RI, MA and CT.  These communities provide residential care for men and women with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  I worked closely with residents, their family members and professional staff.

My vision for this site is to provide you with a professional perspective of caring for individuals in your life who are experiencing Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia.  There are many sites available that are written by family members who want to share their stories.  Certainly the national and regional Alzheimer’s Associations have very informative websites, brochures, training programs and current referral sources.  You should avail yourself of their wonderful services too.

The suggestions and perceptions I hope to share are “tools of the trade” that are used on a daily basis by professionals.  I want to share insights…understandings…helpful hints regarding behaviors… suggestions that will make your life easier.  As a professional in the field, there are many things we take for granted in our daily routines that are completely foreign to a new caregiver.  I want you to know that you are not alone and there are people who can help you through this unfortunate, but frustrating and confusing situation.

I hope I will hear from many of you who have questions, specific to your situation, or comments.  Please don’t hesitate to ask what might seem like a “stupid” or “frivolous” question.  You learn by asking questions…the important thing is how you put new information into play in your daily lives to benefit your loved one and bring understanding to your own life.

I am committed to assisting caregivers – family members and professionals – in understanding what is happening during the disease process so we can all better understand how to communicate and care for individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another variety of dementia.  (March,  2014)

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As of today, October 9, 2017, I have been assisting families and professionals for 3.5 years. I am proud to say that in that time frame, I have personally (face to face) educated/trained 4,791 individuals which includes family and professional caregivers, as well as interested community residents. During the month of September, 2017, people in 21 different countries around the world viewed this website. (The highest viewership was 67 countries in one month.) And my FaceBook page DCPutnam Consulting has registered more than 135,000 hits. It pleases me to know that people throughout the world who are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or one of the other forms of dementia, have found the information I have shared to be helpful. Thank you for viewing my website and I would encourage you to share this site with others who are struggling to care for their loved one’s.    (October 9, 2017)

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