Carol Howell Talks Dementia: I Need to Chill!


Type A personality.

On the DISC Personality survey, she registers as a low “D” and high “I”. No surprise. She wants things done correctly the first time, and she would rather fix a problem yesterday than do it today. See the need? Fix it. See a way to make life better? Do it. See a problem? Plan a solution. It has helped to form her into who she is—but it has caused a few hiccups along the way.

I’m talking about myself.

Hi, I’m Carol Howell, Executive Director of Senior Life Journeys/Let’s Talk Dementia. I am also the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller titled Let’s Talk Dementia, and I host the podcast and YouTube Channel called Let’s Talk Dementia. I write blogs. I manage finances. I plan business meetings and keep our board of directors happy. I work with families in distress because of the dementia in their world. I help individuals find an assisted living or memory care in all 50 states. I am worship leader at our church for folks with dementia. I conduct handbell choirs for individuals with cognitive issues. I sing in the homes of individuals under hospice care. I manage employees and volunteers that total about 20.

Oh, did I mention that Momma has advanced Alzheimer’s and she almost died a few weeks back? She often doesn’t recognize me or my sisters (but she always recognizes my husband whom she has always loved—go figure!). She always wants to “go home.” She cries when I leave. She doesn’t eat well. She is losing weight. She is very often worried about “the baby.” She asks if she still owns a car. She wonders when was the last time I talked with “her sisters.” (She actually means my sisters.)

I am Carol Howell, and I obsess over many issues. Momma is one of those issues. Her care is of paramount importance to me. Her health… her happiness… her appearance… her medications… her doctor’s visits… her activities… her ketchup and jelly (she needs lots of these in order to bribe her into eating)… her cookies and drinks… and on and on the list goes. Oh yes, her laundry…her missing washcloths.

How is this working for me?  Not too good! I have an ulcer that I pray is healing. I have headaches from the anxiety over all these issues. As a result, I am trying so hard to let go. I need to make the best arrangements I can for my Momma, but then I need to  let go. I know all this in my brain, and I even tell my clients this, but it is very very difficult to actually do. God is teaching me to trust. To trust him and the people he puts in my world. To believe he loves my Momma even more than I do (hard to fathom, but oh so true). To realize I have a life outside of dementia (again, hard to fathom, but oh so true).

If you are like me, maybe we need to make a pact. I will find time to sit on a rock at the park, or go for more walks, or soak in the tub, and you do the same. I think we both need the time to decompress from all of life.  What do you think?

Hope that gives you Something to Ponder.

Carol Howell
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