Gary LeBlanc is an author, caregiver and world-changer. His weekly column, "Common Sense Caregiving" is published by the Tampa Tribune and Hernando Today, as well as dozens of other publications. LeBlanc created the Alzheimer's/Dementia Hospital Wristband Project in 2013, aimed at smoother hospital stays. Now, he's co-founded Dementia Mentors to magnify understanding, dignity, and hope. Through mentoring, videos, virtual cafe meetings, brain storming session and more, LeBlanc provides a look into what goes through the mind of someone diagnosed with a form of dementia.
As the author of Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness and co-author of While I Still Can, he encourages caregivers to realize it's not a science; "every patient responds differently ... the journey is trial and error, right up to the very end,” he says. Caring for his Alzheimer's-stricken father, he learned the hardships caregivers endure. Daily journaling soon evolved into a weekly column, and more. Co-owning a father-and-son bookstore with his father served as a catalyst of sorts. First, their closeness helped him recognize his father's struggles sooner than later. Second, his foresight to compile a decade of lessons has created a vessel of hope and help to thousands.
LeBlanc believes some people stop visiting loved ones with Alzheimer's because of a lack of knowledge about how to approach them. As the disease advances, it becomes increasingly difficult to communicate through ordinary methods. He encourages family and friends to “be creative; do whatever it takes to keep them engaged. Whether it's playing cards with them or having a sing-a-long, if you find something that works, stick with it for as long as possible."
Join us for this unprecedented hour with an Alzheimer's expert who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.
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