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Demented

What happens when you become your parent's parent? That's what longtime NPR journalist Kitty Eisele had to figure out when she became a full-time caregiver for her dad.

After moving back to her childhood home, she finds herself bewildered by the medical, legal, and emotional challenges of elder-care, to say nothing of the time her dad headed off on a 300-mile road trip without telling her. Kitty manages doctors' appointments and hospital stays, finds outpatient and assisted living options, and tries to keep her beloved dad safe and secure—all while figuring out how to pay for everything in a country that doesn't offer much support.

Through audio diaries and conversations with friends and experts, Demented explores how we help our loved ones live—and die—and what they mean to us.

The podcast gets its name from the feeling Kitty had when caring for her dad: He was experiencing cognitive decline, but she was the one losing her mind.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Support for this podcast comes from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and its Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Latest Episodes
  • Kitty asks her dad what he thinks about death and the afterlife, then turns to a hospice chaplain who has discussions like that for a living.
  • Kitty talks with another caregiver about keeping their parents socially connected, even as their social skills decline.
  • After moving in with her dad, Kitty discovers a long list of new responsibilities she needs to figure out, like personal grooming.
  • In search of support, Kitty calls a friend who cared for her husband with Parkinson's.
  • When her dad takes an impromptu road trip across the Midwest, Kitty is forced to reckon with his declining health.
  • When longtime NPR journalist Kitty Eisele unexpectedly becomes the full-time caregiver for her dad, she finds herself bewildered by the medical, legal, and logistical challenges of elder-care.To hear new episodes of Demented as soon as they come out, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast app.