Updated: Mar 16
By: Dr. Tomi Mitchell
Listen or subscribe for Free in your Favorite Podcast App
In this episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Marlow.
About our Guest
Bill is a Caregiver support group leader and Speaker, an Association volunteer, a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®, and the owner of Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants.
His loving and talented mother, Sheila, lost her home to Hurricane Katrina. Then, she lost her health, ability to create beautiful art, and, ultimately, her life due to Alzheimer's disease. For almost 10 years, Bill was her primary caregiver and advocate, not just her elder son.
Bill has completed multiple caregiving and aging courses through the Alzheimer's disease Association and the Society for Certified Senior Advisors™️, has a financial services and government background, and earned business degrees from Boston and Portland State Universities. He has lived in the Portland, Oregon area for almost 37 years with his wife of 41 years, Lori.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 0:07
Hello everyone, this is Dr. Mitchell, your host from the Mental Health and Wellness show. Today I have the pleasure of bringing back bill again, as you know he is a caregiver support group leader and speaker. He is an Alzheimer's Association volunteer, a certified senior advisor and the owner of Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants. His loving and talented mother Sheila lost her home to Hurricane Katrina. Then she lost her health ability to create beautiful art and ultimately her life due to Alzheimer's. For almost 10 years, Bill was her primary caregiver and advocate not just her elder son. Bill has completed multiple caregiving and aging courses to the Alzheimer's Association and the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. He has a financial services and government background and earn business degrees from Boston and Portland State University's. He has lived in the Portland, Oregon area for almost 37 years with his wife of 41 years Lori. Bill, thank you so much for being here. Okay Bill, your case was interesting. You as a caregiver for your mother, right? And most caregivers are traditionally women, daughters, in laws. How was that worry?
Bill Cohen 1:23
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 1:23
Yeah, why? Exactly. That would have been very different and difficult. Can you kind of explain to the listeners why it was a challenge?
Bill Cohen 1:31
For me personally?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 1:32
Bill Cohen 1:32
So well, I guess it, there was a question that I was going to step in and do it.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 1:37
Bill Cohen 1:38
No, this is my mother, ah you know, regardless of faith, or degrees or not, I mean, what's on of the commandments, Honor thy mother and thy father, she brought me into this world, and I was going to take care of her. A lot of people asked me Well, do you have any siblings? Well, it's probably better than my brother wasn't about. But we fortunately did have a, to a great extent, a team effort, even though I was the point first, I was the primary caregiver. But yes, there's definitely differences ah in approaches. It's interesting we just had the Alzheimer's Association's, your country, this society, macginty conference, it was one about male caregivers, they tend not to go to support groups, get counseling, reach out for support, I can handle it, I can do it, they look at it more of a task oriented thing, rather than the nurturing side of it, which women tend to go.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 2:27
And that's unfortunate, because being a caregiver is a huge role. Why do you think men are hassle hesitant? And how can we help them?
Unknown Speaker 2:34
Well, it goes back to the point that you spoke of that, generally, the caregiving, the nurturing, that side of things tends to fall upon women in the family, that's been a traditional role that roles as we know it, society, in general, are changing. So if there is a female involved, it tends to be the women who take on that role, become the main person. Sometimes I've heard even stories where you know, a wife or a sister or a daughter will say, Oh, yeah, and my brother, the prince will, you know, fly in? And oh, you know, well, we everything's happy, great, great to see where everything else and then fly out. And and he looks good. He's not doing the hard stuff and making mom mad. So it's sometimes I'm not saying that, that is why I'm just saying that's a great deal what happens.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 3:22
Bill Cohen 3:22
There are different kinds of caregiving role, or caregiving, families take on different formats. And it could be anywhere from teamwork, collaborative, it can be sequential or tag team, it could be solitary, which I was all three of those at some point. But there's also the kind of family members and that can be both genders, where they're at a distance, or make they're kind of playing they use a football analogy, Monday morning quarterback, they're questioning things and getting all kinds of advice, but they don't step in and help.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 3:51
Bill Cohen 3:52
Mm hmm, so those are some of the things I have always seen since I started attending a support group 16 years ago that I was definitely in the minority.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 4:01
Bill Cohen 4:01
Now, I can't answer the question really why other than, again, men tend not to take that role. They don't think it's their job, their work there or there. They don't feel comfortable doing the, the cleaning, or the bathing, the feeding , ah this is. They weren't raised that way, ah unless they somehow their mom was sick, and they had a younger, younger siblings, and they took on that role, but otherwise, and raising a child isn't necessarily the same thing. Now in my case, I didn't have any kids either.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 4:32
Bill Cohen 4:32
Have you ever heard the term dates, dual income no kids.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 4:36
Bill Cohen 4:37
Though ah, so we didn't even have training with that. Suddenly, I have 70 something year old parent on my hands exhibiting childlike behaviors.
So it's a, it's a tough call, in a atleast in the states, I've heard figure before we've gone from about one out of five Dementia Caregivers being male. Now it's about one out of three. And my most recent clients, most of them are men, interestingly, and sometimes they're the ones who are so to speak, herding the cats, herding the families to get together for meetings and to take care of the parents care, which is good. It's a good thing.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 5:14
Yes, No, that's awesome. Well, the next question might be kind of obvious, but I'm going to ask you anyway. So why did you become a caregiving consultant? And did you ever imagine that you become a caregiver, and then a volunteer, and then advisor for caregivers, because you took this like full circle, you'd erase everything?
Bill Cohen 5:32
Mm hmm. Again, if you told me 16, 17 years ago that I'd be doing what I'm doing now and it was said no way. Because all my work beforehand, although they were they have contribute to what I do now. My business degrees, customer service, helping people government work, financial work, all of it was totally unrelated to health care in your care, dementia care. So again, after mom passed away, my firt, my first thought to it, well, I'll keep going to the support group, and help others go through like others told me, I became the facilitator and as you said, volunteer, and the locked in Alzheimers and all these other things. And I still thought when I was going to retire, that I was just going to do more of that. But I came across this consultant right around this time, five years ago, did my research and said, I can do this. This is a natural extension. It's something I can do in my encore career, when I retire. There was some other things I was looking at. But I'm so glad he did this because those didn't feel feed my soul that didn't feed my passion. This does. And this is my encore career and everything. Even though I went as we were talking about the grieving process, everything I've done since has been in my mom's memory and her honor, including my fundraising. It's called Team Sheila after my mom, which is what we call it when we were caregiving for two.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 6:49
Wow, that's beautiful. I love it, how it is like lights, your soul, your passion. And that's what I believe it should be for all of us. Ideally, we should be authentic and really find do things that move us. And so often those things that move us are inspired by life events. And in your case, seeing your mom Sheila goes through this very tragic illness because Alzheimer's is cruel.
Bill Cohen 7:13
It is, it was, it was gut wrenching. It was emotional. It was challenging. But in the other hand, a lot of it was gratifying.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 7:19
Bill Cohen 7:20
It's also educational and amazing to watch as I learn things, to educate myself what to expect. Now this is happening. I wasn't totally surprised that a lot of it was expected, yeah the different stages, different behaviors, different as the disease took over her body and deteriorated her. And so that, that I think, Okay, what's next? What's next? I just took it that way. But again, it was very gratifying to you know, take care of her. And you know, another point going back to your earlier question is the nurturing side. I just wrote something about this. I don't think because of the relationship my mother and I had and the kind of person she was and the way she raised me brought out my loving my nurturing side.
And I, I sometimes referred to as my first female friends was like my female role model.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 8:10
Oh my gosh.
Bill Cohen 8:11
As she was.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 8:11
I'm sorry to interrupt Bill but honestly, something just came to mind to y'all all you mothers and fathers who are listening, the love and nurturing support that you give your children from birth to adult stages. We'll come back I believe it multiple fold. You might not see it when they're teenagers or when they're just being little brat. No at all.
Bill Cohen 8:32
I hate you. I hate you.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 8:33
I hate you. But honestly, like Bill isn't a wonderful example where that love that nurturing came out. And he wasn't like the traditional like, he's a guy we all raised in a generation where guys are really more macho than anything else. Guys don't have feelings. Guys don't cry. But there are these men do men have feelings. So parents remember there is some people. People joke about, you know, the adult children will pick their seniors home for their kids. It doesn't have to be that way. You know.
Bill Cohen 9:04
That's partly why they say that thing don't ever put me get blah, blah place because they're afraid when their kids are going to put them.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 9:11
I know are you hear that. Yeah you hear it so often. And you know what everything that's happened in the world this past two years, you, you hear it even more because there's a.
Bill Cohen 9:20
Unfortunately most people I have dealt with want to do the right thing. They want to find the right fit, they want to put their loved one in the right kind of environment where they're going to get air the activities.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 9:31
Bill Cohen 9:31
Loving and nurturing.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 9:32
And that is so important. Like to reach out and you know, be proactive, because let's face it, aging is a gift if we get to, you know, grow old and you know, have more great more salt and pepper and you know, change. It's a blessing. But ideally, we hope that we go through that process with our health and if we don't have health have family, right? Because Bill you will like a blanket of protection over your mom.
Bill Cohen 9:58
Mmm mm, right.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 9:59
Bill Cohen 9:59
And I know in a large part of your program is about health and wellness.
And even though and I could talk about this, my risk factors are different than my mom, I don't have her risk factors because of the things she was exposed to. And she did. I am very proactive about my health, and most of my family has lived has been living into their late 80s, if not 90ish, and they didn't take care of themselves, they ate horrible foods. And well, probably some extent, some things like fats and what have you, they didn't have as much awareness. But of course, they didn't eat as much processed foods.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 10:34
Bill Cohen 10:34
So yeah, two sides of that coin. So I fully expect by being proactive to live into well into my 90s. If not 100, I want to be one of those super agers. Supercentenarians, right?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 10:46
Yeah, definitely, I can see doing that just from what I'm a little bit I know about you. Number one, you're actively using your brain. So many people when they hit a magical age of 65, or whatever, they think, Oh, I'm retired, I'm going to go to my rocking chair. I'm sorry, that's one of the fastest ways to the grave, is to just pause not to, you know, share your value to the world. And then you mentioned the proactive wellness piece, hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for dementia. We want our blood pressure's ideally in our you know, 20s 30s 40s 50s the top number to be in ideally low teens or 120s. You know what, no 140s 150s, because that really impacts our brain. And unfortunately, in today's modern society, despite we can take people to the moon, wherever we haven't cured dementia, or Alzheimer's, there is no cure.
Bill Cohen 11:37
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 11:38
And for me, over the past decade of you know, practicing when a patient has the diagnosis of Alzheimer's, it's actually usually the family that comes and talks to me one of the first questions they ask are one of the supports, and inside my heart kind of sinks because really aren't that many, but you feel.
Bill Cohen 11:54
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 11:55
Right? So maybe Bill could you shed some light in the resources that you're aware of in the North American continent and outside if you're privy to that information.
Bill Cohen 12:04
Uhmm mmm, So and that is unfortunately, a sad state of most of the of our healthcare systems. And I think the states is even worse than your system, that people unfortunately, most of our primary care physicians have little or no geriatric or nutrition training that's sorely lacking. And even if they do, or they get to a geriatric physician, or a neurologist, they may not get any answers about here's where you can go, here's who you can talk to this is how you can get support. And how are you doing? Not just the the person with dementia or the mild cognitive impairment, the how are you doing? What do you need, and very little is offered. And this is what I hear all the time and my clients and in my sort of support groups, and it's really sad. So the first place I usually direct people, that is where I went was in the States, the Alzheimer's Association, and then Canada with the Alzheimer's Society. There are support groups, there's education, all kinds of things. I believe the Alzheimer society has something similar, the Alzheimer's Association, and I know you have listeners here, too. They have an 800 helpline, 24 hours, always staff somebody will answer and will provide support answers or direct you to where to go, which is really nice thing to have. I could provide that to you. And you can put it in the show notes, but go on in the States, ALZ.ORG and it's plastered all over the website. So and again, that was the first thing I did. And I highly recommend people, I went to the support group, it was a good experience. Again, if I had a bad experience, I probably wouldn't be sitting here I probably would have walked away after mom passed away. I would say I'm done. I did my thing. But it was a good experience. And it has continued to be that way. Because they're doing a lot of good work, not just on the local level national level blood research, fundraising. They're the largest non profit fundraiser for Alzheimer's research. And that's all kinds of dementia even though it's what's in their well known name. So that's the first part but also right around your areas. There are area aging agencies, government, a lot of support, subsidies, various programs, again, support groups, education, things like that. So check your local agencies, check your local nonprofits, many charitable and religious organizations have support groups or they may have things I'm pretty sure that Meals on Wheels is up there too, isn't it?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 12:24
Yeah, we have out here in Canada.
Bill Cohen 14:33
Right, right. So the senior centers look at progress put for yourself and that for a temporary state. If you find your once things open up even more, whether it's Meals on Wheels and senior centers, but also adult tasters, adult take care. These are marvelous places with activities and meals and socialization. These are things that are very important. They're very, they're sadly, very few of them, but we have one here and there are a few around our country and I think I've heard some in Canada, where it's both child care and adult care. And they combine them during the day, which is great, especially if the person with dementia, the elder loves kids and to have that activity and that that smiling and I remember when my mom and her care community, they didn't have a, that kind of service. But they brought kids in all the time from the local, a local Academy, and should all look at the little children, the beautiful she loved every second of them.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 15:27
Yeah, that's a beautiful program. My kids are in a daycare, which has a similar model. Well, again, pre COVID, the seniors and the daycare kids would mingle together because they're in the same building. And honestly, it melts my heart, especially my eldest one because she knows when someone is older with, you know, gray hair, she calls him grandpa, because that's what she calls her grandpa. So and it was just the sweetest thing, just seeing the seniors with these little tykes just reading together doing activities together, it melt my heart. And honestly, I think in Toronto, there's a really big center that has this model. But it needs to be spread more like it needs to be the norm. Because our older generation, our younger generation have so much to share. Most seniors regardless of their educational background, can read, a they can read those books and usually large print to start off with. Right so they can read to the child, right? Or when they bring their animals together and just seeing the mix, it melts my heart and this was kind of out of topic, but I definitely believe in this. And that's one of the reasons I picked the daycare my kids attend was because of that intergenerational blending.
Bill Cohen 16:36
Mm hmm. Do they bring in either a real animals like llamas? Do they, did you use any of the pet robotic pets?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 16:44
They've got they've had farm animals come and obviously the seniors pets so they have like little dogs and the kids like to play with them. But yeah, they they've had meals together with a Christmas or Valentine's like they do concerts where the little kids do concepts for the seniors? I don't know. It's just it melts my heart
Bill Cohen 17:04
And if they can bring a music therapist as well.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 17:06
Yes, exactly. Yes.
Bill Cohen 17:08
I collaborate with some of those as well.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 17:10
Yeah, it's so beautiful. It really like.
Bill Cohen 17:12
Like a good, can I tell you a quick story.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 17:13
Bill Cohen 17:14
An idea of how I can help people. I love this story because it's a great one of collaboration, how somebody really benefited. So again, I'm in Portland, Oregon. This gentleman was in his early to mid 80s. And early to mid stage Alzheimer's. He's in a care home or residential facilities small and his daughter's in Chicago. And she by collaborating with the caregivers in the home, a music therapist, a pet therapist, and myself, he didn't have anybody who's like him. He needed somebody to talk to, he needed companionship. He was also very anxious. He was trying to go back to his place of work and trying to escape. He wanted to go back there, he needed something to do. He didn't know anybody to talk to. He wanted a job. And so I spent time with him, I go on walks with him. I made up business cards, just like mine with his picture on it. His name is titled. And I would have him do invoices and supply, purchase orders, things like that and give him money in an envelope that the daughter gave me as his pay. And he felt like he had a job. He was less anxious. And then a couple times a week besides me, the other therapists would come in and play music farm or engage with the animals because he loved pets used to have cats. So he was missing them later on later stages. We reintroduced because he rejected before the robotic cats and dogs. And then he loved him because the advanced stages. So this not only helped him and helped the caregivers, but his daughter who is in Chicago working for 911 emergency. So you can imagine her stress level.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 18:51
Bill Cohen 18:52
Yeah, she had eyes and ears on the ground in Portland, so she could sleep better at night when her father wasn't blowing up her phone with messages.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 18:59
Yeah yeah thats another.
Bill Cohen 19:02
So yeah, that was that was a wonderful collaboration. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago, or a few months ago, I should say, due to his disease.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 19:11
Wow, perhaps you could share a little bit more about the clients that you help. And also where are they is it only in your local area? Or do you help people nationwide or North America why, please share though.
Bill Cohen 19:24
At the risk of sounding like a lawyer depends.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 19:27
Bill Cohen 19:29
So most Yes, is in the Pacific Northwest.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 19:32
Bill Cohen 19:32
However, I have helped people all over the country and I'm starting to talk to the people more in Canada due to my networking and collaboration with other professionals. I and that was a good example of helping somebody in Chicago. I have another client who is here in the Portland area. They're originally from Central America, mom and her siblings and aunt are in Florida. And so we get together on Zoom and talk about mom's issues and get her resources like a new physician and home health care, elder law attorney, things like that. And no, they can't fix mom's condition, but they can manage it better. And they can sleep better at night. So I can help people all over. Yes, I've helped anybody from like their early, like their 20s, because their parent has early onset, sadly, but also people in their 80s. But the majority of my clients and my social media bear this out the metrics is 35 to 65. Adult, children, mostly women, like 80 to 85% are women. And they're seeing those first signs of their family member, and they don't know where to turn, they don't know what resources are available as we're alluding to before, and how to manage the care, how to manage the behaviors, how to practice self care how to practice prevention, which we alluded too earlier. Yeah, stop eating crappy food and staff.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 20:50
Bill Cohen 20:53
The added salts and the sugars and the processed foods and things like that. Those are important not only for their loved one, but also for themselves. Because even for the person with dementia, if you catch it early enough to start taking action and introduce good nutrition, you can slow if not delayed the progression, along with the physical activity and the social activity very, very important. So this helps them give them the tools, given some answers, lowers their stress and helps them again, I keep saying it sleep better at night. We all need that because sleep is another risk factor.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 21:26
Yes, anyone doing shift work out there. All you fellow physicians, nurses, EMS, paramedic, firefighters, got to figure out how to get better sleep despite your crazy schedules. And, you know, Bill, this is a delicate topic that many families don't like to talk about it but it's real, the whole financial peace with Alzheimer's, right? Because I know you have a background in the financial services. And myself, I call myself a mama bear to my patients, and they're my cubs. I'm very weary and leery of people that may take advantage of them now that their mental cognitive status is declining, because I've seen it I've been seeing where like, there's two siblings, and one lies about the other and lies about being power of this and making just bad choices. What is, what are your words of wisdom, not necessarily asking you to get financial advice, but this is a topic that needs to be talked about.
Bill Cohen 22:22
And interestingly, there was just an article in our local paper today about.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 22:27
Bill Cohen 22:28
104 year old woman, not necessarily dementia, but she's in a care home sexually doing pretty well. And a family friend, who was a financial person that trustee was robbing or with hundreds of 1000s of dollars,
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 22:42
That makes me sick.
Bill Cohen 22:42
Too often, it is somebody that, you know, not ranger.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 22:46
Yes. 100%, 100% someone that you know.
Bill Cohen 22:49
And they're taking their opportunity, meeting a need, whether it's an addiction, or, or trying to just boost their own lifestyle, and they take him out, you know, they won't need it. What harm is gonna be do it, I needed more, I'm doing this work, I'm entitled to it. And unfortunately, that happens way too often. Part of the reason why I became a certified Senior Advisor CSA is it is a holistic approach a broader perspective. And most people along with senior care are financial people, insurance, real estate mortgages, and those areas, because it's not just about making a proper financial recommendation. It's about a Fiduciary Trust. It's about avoiding fraud, abuse, and predatory practices of our most vulnerable population.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 22:55
Bill Cohen 22:55
So the key would be to is communication, team meetings among the family. You don't have to agree on every little item or issue or minutiae, but you want to all be on the same page, communicate, document so that everybody can trust each other and do what's in the best interest of the person who needs the attention the care the most, as well as the caregiver, of course. And so it should start with a team of people who are watching, not just rolling about one and trusting them. Hmm. Like that example, I just use a team of an elder law attorney, a financial person, maybe investments, but also a person who does insurance, for instance, maybe they can handle long term care policies or annuities, and things like that. So because it, it, every case is different. It may need a trust, they may need some other vi, financial or legal vehicles that can help take care of the situation because, again, you've seen one case of Alzheimer's or aging using one case, there's common threads, but there's so many different other variables in terms of family dynamics, and distance and the finance, and the legal things, the assets so yeah.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 24:43
Yeah, that family dynamics is huge because, I for my own professional experience. I when situations like this happen when there's a crisis in health, the family disfunction often rears its ugly head. That's when you think this family has it all together. Everyone's smiling at the supper table and daa daa daa ah, and then bam, then you realize, oh, okay, huh a tests.
Bill Cohen 25:07
That's actually better if they just have have all those issues on the open least you know, it's there.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 25:12
Bill Cohen 25:13
Being talked about. They may not be it may not be fun but in kind of like in your face. I mean, some cultures are more that way others.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 25:20
Not so much.
Bill Cohen 25:21
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 25:22
Yeah, that's true. And some families don't really talk about their house. And it's really hard when now this, you know, the adult child caregiver is now stepping in and does not know that mom or dad has high blood pressure, if they had a little stroke or they had a little heart attack and kiss. People just didn't talk about those things.
Bill Cohen 25:41
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 25:42
And they don't have it. Right.
Bill Cohen 25:43
Right. And unfortunately, a lot of the stigma, especially around dementia is slowly coming away. It doesn't stop it. You can't catch it.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 25:51
Exactly, exactly. You can still hug them and not get dementia.
Bill Cohen 25:54
Exactly, exactly. So more we talk about it, raise awareness, educate people, inform people, especially your your family, your friends, neighbors who are not directly involved, let them know what's going on. Don't try to hide it. Don't stifle it. Let them know what's going on so they are not as afraid of it or afraid to say that or do the wrong thing. Get them on your team because the support team again can take so many different forms and ask for help. Don't be afraid to do so. I love to tell the story about in the last couple of weeks when mom was on hospital. It was unfortunately, a norovirus quarantine. And I got on Facebook when I was overnight and the first thing in the morning care community was wonderful coffee was horrible. And I said can somebody please bring me a mocha latte?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 26:45
Bill Cohen 26:46
Two different friends from two different stands showed up at the front door with my coffee.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 26:50
Bill Cohen 26:51
Because I asked.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 26:52
Bill Cohen 26:53
They may not know how to help but if you ask something specific, can you pick up my dry cleaning? Can you go pick up my, my farm the prescriptions, can you mow the lawn?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 27:03
Bill Cohen 27:04
Yeah, any one little thing that sometimes you need to ask because they don't know Patel I have friends who in the past had like minor surgery.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 27:12
Bill Cohen 27:13
And ask I just said I'm, I'm there's something at your door, you know, a dropped off a casserole or something? Is it because I wanted that happens? I was one less thing they'd have to worry about.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 27:22
Yes, that's beautiful. And asking is a very important. And it's a muscle you can practice from an early age. You know, don't wait till like you're at, you know, end stage or some illness less think about asking get used to it. And also not only asking be the giver too, right? Because you have to be comfortable to receive as well.
Bill Cohen 27:40
But so let's, let's practice kindness not just give it lip service.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 27:44
Exactly, exactly, practice. I know, it seems like whenever my furnace goes, which happened twice in the past 10 years, and it's usually when my well it's also my husband was not in town. And there's always one it was minus 30 minus 40. Right?
Bill Cohen 27:58
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 27:58
And I remember both times, leaving last year it happened it was it this no this early this year, and then just putting out like a SOS on the community Facebook page, like help. Now some people gave me technical advice. I said, you know, God bless you, thank you and understand how to do anything you just asked me to do. But others are more practical with blankets and space heaters and that for me like I remember this lady came in with blankets and space heaters I bawled because I was just like, oh my goodness, thank you like you really are just showing kindness.
Bill Cohen 28:30
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 28:31
Angels. Yeah. Don't ask me about pilot light and some vent and some light. No, no, no, no, I understand that. I have a medical degree, I don't understand any of that.
Bill Cohen 28:44
Unfortunately, my unfortunately, I one of the thing about my family is my father had a lot of traditional roles, but one of them was he was not very mechanical. So I did learn much. My mom was really good cook, I became a good cook.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 28:57
Oh, there you go, Hey, you got that nurturing. Um, I always say food is love when I cook for somebody. And I know this is not like mac and cheese does not cooking in my books this is like when you take the time to really make it right. Like it's a process that is love. Because you don't want my cookie when it's just like thrown together. My husband will attest to that.
Bill Cohen 29:23
And I didn't, I didn't marry my wife for her domestic skills.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 29:26
Oh really, so you are the cook?
Bill Cohen 29:29
Exactly, I'll tell you a quick story and it actually relates a little bit to dementia, but also a story about my mom and the cooking and then after she passed away if we have time for this.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 29:38
Yeah, for sure.
Bill Cohen 29:39
And so yeah, I actually I learned some basics, but when I got into college, my first apartment I got some of my mom's recipes and I'm talking about some fancy dishes like Veal Marsala things like that. And so when there was a running joke with us that she when I would told mom when the dementia was starting to take over and as a good example how tastebuds and other senses smells change. I just did a post about this, that I'd make a dish and she say, did you put garlic in it? Again, they said that it's not my dish. She forgot that she used to put garlic in a bit over a period of time because of her taste and smell changing. She didn't like garlic anymore, which was amazing. She loved like Julia Child New York Times Cookbook Joy of Cooking French, Italian. And so her taste buds and smelled changed now going forward after she passed away, and we had a celebration of life as a family comes in have the immediate family over for dinner and me three of her dishes.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 30:41
Bill Cohen 30:42
My brother said to me afterwards, Bill, you nailed it, because he would know.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 30:46
Bill Cohen 30:46
And I made a definitely made it with garlic.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 30:49
There you go, I love garlic. I, I have a big tub of my friends that's pre cut. So I have no excuse on it so just dumping. Oh, wow. That's amazing. Like, wow, that's making me hungry too.
Bill Cohen 31:06
So I'm gonna make you hungrier because I'm going to tell you a short version of one thing and this may be how we close. How about that?
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 31:12
Yes, for sure. Sounds great.
Bill Cohen 31:13
It's your show. Is that I like to say that my business is like New England Clam Chowder.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 31:20
Oh my goodness. That is that's the first thing I ever fed my van was boyfriend was clam chowder. No, I have a soft, Yes.
Bill Cohen 31:29
So it's not just because I'm from there being annoying with that native is because chowder is usually served at the beginning of a meal when your appetite for what's to come. Yeah, I help most caregivers at the beginning of their journey that help them ease into it and then I can help them through the rest of that journey. My chowder is on the stove may I serve you ate party bowl.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 31:53
Hmm, love it. delish.
Bill Cohen 31:56
Now you're really hungry.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 31:57
Oh yeah. Food is my as my youngest when she's was most doesn't say a whole lot because she's still pretty young. But she goes Mm Hmm (unaudible). Priceless (laughter) Relaxing my heart, well, Bill it's been a pleasure honestly, I could talk your ERA and I know we've been talking for over an hour now but it's been a blessing and to those listeners who've taken the time to listen I, I know you found benefit from this whether it's for your immediate family or someone that you know, you know, be there be a giver and also be able to receive ask for help take care of your health and bill if anyone is maybe I know they connected with you but want to learn more about your services or just chat in general how can they reach you?
Bill Cohen 32:47
So like most of us are a good place to start is my website. Cohen that cohencaregivingsupport.com. And my ways to connect and how I get paid how I work? That's a good place to start.
Dr. Tomi Mitchell 33:02
Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Um, did you say November's national caregivers month or Okay, all right. Awesome. So with that being said, everyone, thank you so much. This is Dr. Mitchell and Bill from the Mental Health and Wellness show. Take care.