Snowbirds and Dementia

Are you familiar with the term “snowbirds?” If not, as a Florida resident let me inform you that this is how we refer to our winter dwellers. In other words, when people spend their summers up north and their winters in our warm Florida climate, they become snowbirds.

For our snowbird families that include a person or persons living with dementia, what was once a pleasant way of life can quickly deteriorate and become quite complex. Relocating twice a year with this loved one will, more likely than not, generate a whole slew of behavioral problems.

Once the disease advances into the moderate stage or even further, these back and forth travels become extremely difficult to deal with. The time will come to put personal plans aside and face the sad fact that things just cannot be like they used to be. Sacrifices have to be made.

Recently, I was approached by a man who told me that his wife doesn’t recognize what house she’s in anymore. Kindly but firmly, I explained that the time has come to make a life altering decision; where is it that they want to spend their remaining years?

This judgment shouldn’t be based solely on the weather. Instead, it should be determined by where there is the most support. Whether it’s family or friends, up north or down south, go where there are people who sincerely want to help, and I mean for the long haul. As the caregiver, making certain that assistance is in place should be your first priority. It’s a difficult thing but, as human beings, sometimes we need to put our pride aside and face the fact that we can’t do everything ourselves.

Changing doctors is another thing that is very difficult for the patient. Finding healthcare professionals that truly understand dementia can be very difficult, so add this to your list of priorities when choosing a place to put down your final roots.

Take a deep breath, step back and look at the big picture. Decide what’s best for both you and your loved one. The overall climate and where the best golf courses are should now be at the bottom of the list.

As you can see, dementia-related diseases and relocation, just don’t go well together. Weigh your choices and make the best decision you can. In the long run this will pay dividends when your loved one stays calm and peaceful.

This article will be appeared in the
Hernando Sun

Upcoming Speaking Events

Below is a listing of my 2017
seminars and training events.
If you love my writings, you’ll love my speaking events. I have learned it’s best to not only educate people on dementia through their minds, but through their hearts

Sunflower Springs Assisted Living
Dementia Care Training
8733 W. Yulee Drive
Homasassa, Florida
May 9th

Unity Point Health Finley Hospital
Alzheimer’s/Dementia Hospital Wristband
Training the Trainers Live Webinar
Dubuque, Iowa May 11th

Heron Club at Prestancia
Dementia Care Seminar
3749 Sarasota Sq. Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34238
May 17th 2:00 pm

Purple Angel Caregivers Conference
Sebring Christian Church
4514 Hammock Rd
Sebring, Florida 10:00 am

St. Augustine Plantation
Dementia Care Training
(Afternoon Class Open to the Public)
2507 Old St. Augustine Rd.
Tallahassee. Florida
May 31st

Halifax Health Living Center/YMCA
Dementia Care Seminar
500 Sterthaus Dr.
Ormond Beach, Florida
June 13th, 10:00 am

Grace Manor Assisted Living & Memory Care
Dementia Care Seminar
1321 Herbert St.
Port Orange, Fl.
June 13th 2:00 pm

Pasco County Sheriff’s Dept.
Dementia Awareness Class
15325 Alric Pottberg Road
Shady Hills, Florida
June 15th 10:30 am

Crystal River Health & Rehabilitation
Dementia Care Seminar
136 NE 12th Ave
Crystal River, Florida
June 22nd 2:00 pm

Available on Amazon
Managing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors
(Health Care Edition)



Also don’t forget to go to and check out our short amazing videos all done by those living with dementia and the rest of the website.

Stay strong everyone!
Gary Joseph LeBlanc

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