All posts by Nicole Scheidl

About Nicole Scheidl

As one of the founders and creative minds behind Fit Minds Inc., Nicole has been creating cognitive stimulation therapy programming since 2010. An experienced curriculum developer, teacher and coach, she brings a wealth of experience to creating and teaching the Fit Minds Program.

Nicole has trained hundreds of professional and family caregivers who have touched the lives of thousands of individuals living with a cognitive impairment. Nicole also holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, a Master’s in Law from Queen’s University specializing in Negotiations and is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging.

When Major Decisions Need to Be Made

One of the most difficult parts of dementia is losing the ability to make decisions. Not only is there confusion but often, decision-making opportunities are taken away from the individual when they receive a dementia diagnosis.

Loss of decision-making impacts self-esteem and self-confidence. A lack of self-confidence can lead to withdrawal and a downward spiral for the individual. Thus, it is important to try and include the individual in as many decisions as possible for as long as possible. Continue reading

When Mom or Dad Hoards

I know a woman who collected things – her entire basement was filled with things. Ceiling to floor with a small pathway through was the only way to navigate her basement. The front porch was full of newspapers. Ceiling to floor with no place to sit. This caused a lot of angst for her family, and really limited her full enjoyment of her living space.

This is an obvious case of hoarding. But what to do and how to handle it? Continue reading

8 Reasons Why Mom or Dad Pace or Walk Constantly

Some individuals with dementia are inclined to pace or walk constantly. There seems to be a certain restlessness to this behavior. Determining the underlying causes and creating a framework for the walking can turn a negative behavior into a positive one.

If you observe restless walking or pacing behavior, start keeping track of when it occurs. See if there are common triggers or events that occur before the walking begins. Continue reading

Dealing with Repetitive Behaviour

Your mom or dad may repeat the same actions over and over. Mom may ask the same questions. Dad may continuously tap his leg or pace the room. They may repeat actions or questions without realizing that they had done the same thing moments before.

Behaviour like this can be frustrating for the caregiver. After you have answered the same questions multiple times, your patience can wear thin. It is important, however, to remember that disease is causing this behaviour not individual choice. Your mom is not repeating questions just to get under your skin. Continue reading

Coping After the Diagnosis of Dementia – Six Questions to Ask Yourself

When someone you love receives a diagnosis of dementia, it is common to feel anxious and stressed. One of the biggest challenges is to know how much care to provide at the early states. Your mom or dad may still be very independent. They may be working, driving, and taking care of their physical needs. They may still be autonomous and you want to help them stay there for as long as possible. Continue reading

Why This Behaviour? 12 Tips for Reducing Outbursts or Difficult Behaviour

When behaviour is so different from the norm, caregivers are often left scratching their heads. What should they do? How should they react? What is going on in their loved one’s head?

The cause for outbursts may not always be obvious but often it is due to discomfort or pain, anxiety or insecurity, or a dislike or upset with the caregiver. Layer on top of that a reduction in language ability so that communication is difficult and you have created the perfect storm. Continue reading