In our family we had a saying, “We’re doing the best we can, and so is Mama.”. It was something we repeated frequently to each other throughout my Mama’s journey through dementia. Mama’s care was a family affair. It took my husband, my sister and I all working together in order to navigate the shoals of this difficult journey called dementia.
Starting Friday, June 21st, the longest day of the year AND The Longest Day as celebrated in honor of those who have Alzheimer’s or other dementia or who have lost their lives to this always fatal disease, several AlzAuthors will be discounting their books so you will want to fill your shelves – virtual or otherwise – with several excellent sources of support.
One of my favorite childhood memories is of my Grandpa and I standing under his delightful Juneberry tree eating the delicious berries. I loved them. Juneberries look similar to a blueberry, only more burgundy than blue. They have a distinct taste – rather somewhere between the sweetness of a blueberry and the tartness of a raspberry.
Relationships with pets go far deeper than we understand – even if the pet doesn’t belong to the person.
Squirrels aren’t quite as ‘squirrelly’ as you might think. In fact, research conducted at the University of Exeter has shown that their memory for the locations of hidden nuts is excellent. My granddaughter agrees. She loves squirrels. We were watching a couple of them racing, chasing and hiding nuts in our backyard one day. I remarked that it must be hard for them to remember where all they hid them. She assured me that the little grey guys actually have very good memories. She is 11 now, but if she wishes to attend college in the UK, perhaps the University of Exeter would be a good choice.
Abilities changed over time as dementia robbed the bits and pieces of Mama’s brain. We had to be strategic, patient and choose our battles. If she didn’t feel like singing, that was okay, but wearing shoes was a requirement.
In this modern, computerized society of ours, warnings and advice about backing up computers and tablets have become fairly common. I had to learn the value of backing up my photos and documents the hard way. It happened back in the 90s when personal computers were becoming more and more popular. I can still remember…
As it happens, happiness is that easy. The takeaway here is that smiles might just be the best resolution you can make and keep all year long…and best of all, they’re free!
Once friends or loved-ones begin their journey down the path of dementia, gift giving becomes much more difficult. Previous interests change or fall away. Abilities diminish, concentration and focus shorten as senses dull. Warm socks, stretchy pants and button-up tops may make dressing easier, but finding something your loved one would enjoy can also make…
As we move closer to the end of the year, take a moment to consider and celebrate the contribution of friends and family members who care for loved-ones – not by a pat on the back, but in concrete ways. Family Caregivers are certainly heroes, but not ‘Superhero’s (meaning they can go on endlessly and never tire).