Our very first RV adventure blogging post!

091316-visited-states-map
As of September, 2016 we have finally visited all of the 48 connected states in the US!

The blog below was the first blog that started documenting our travels and the experiences we’ve had.  A lot has happened since this first blog.  We were such newbies in the RV world and over the past 5 years have gained so much experience not only with RV life but in our own lives.  God has been so good to us leading us through this journey.  Hope you will read through the various posts to learn about RV life and about the silly couple that are the Chauvins!


August, 2012 – Hello world! Welcome to my first blog about Roy, Rosalyn, Dora and Boots’ adventures exploring the United States. We won’t start exploring for a while, other than an occasional trip to locations around Louisiana and a Christmas trip to Disneyworld! At least, not until our sticks and bricks house is sold! Please someone buy it!

This lovely 2 story Acadian style home on one acre is for sale!!!
This lovely 2 story Acadian style home on one acre is for sale!!!

If you’re wondering who Dora and Boots are, no they’re not our new grandchildren! They are TV characters our granddaughter Madisyn loves and consequently we’ve seen many episodes of Dora. In her show, Dora is an explorer and we learn all sorts of things through her exploring. Since our RV adventures will take us exploring throughout the United States, we thought it fitting to name our RV “Dora”. Our truck we are towing behind the RV is now named Boots, Dora’s trusty side kick who follows her everywhere! Our Dodge Dakota truck that we will tow is called our “toad”, in RV lingo. That means Boots is our toad!

I am married to my best friend, Roy Chauvin! Roy and I are a regular every day Southern Baptist Christian couple living in Hammond, Louisiana. I am a young 58 years old, born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana. Roy is a slightly older 63 year old who just turned the Social Security retirement age in January, 2013 and was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana right outside of New Orleans. We met in 1971 and were married in 1972. Our first son Chad was born in 1979 followed by his brother Chip in 1981. They are both grown men now with wives and children of their own. All that’s a story for another day but we wanted you to know a little about the folks going on this journey. We moved to Hammond, Louisiana 25+ years ago and have lived here since. It’s a small college town between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. We both currently work at Southeastern Louisiana University. Roy is the Computer Fix It Guru (of course not his official title) and I am the Telephone Billing/Work Order Coordinator which is my official title. We are die-hard New Orleans Saints fans. We’ve loved them since they became a team in our teen age years and have supported them faithfully ever since.

Our adventure began back in August of 2012. I started keeping notes as we began the journey, making the decision to undertake this total lifestyle change. Instead of a daily blog, at first it will be a monthly blog for the months August, September, October, November and December 2012. From here on out I’ll post as I have the opportunity to or when enough experiences have occurred to be interesting.

We hope anyone considering the full time RV lifestyle will learn a little from our experiences as we have learned so much from others experiences. Ask us questions if you want, if we’ve experienced it we’ll let you know what happened with us! If you’re experienced full timing RVers and you see we’re making mistakes please, please shout out to us and share your sage advice with us newbies! We’ve been so happy since we made this decision that we are hoping some of our family and friends will get the itch and come join Roy, Rosalyn, Dora and Boots on our great adventure!

The blogs below are in newest blog first order. If you’d like to read about our experiences in order start at the last one in the list from August and read up to the current date. You may have to click on OLDER POSTS to get to the August one. Please click the FOLLOW link on the right if you’d like to receive an email whenever a new blog is posted!

12.14.17 Grannie and Paw Paw flag, Roy’s eye surgery, Trinity Children’s Choir, Paddle boat, almost snowless and Christmas rocks!

Thursday, December 14. 2017 – Our sweet son and his wife gave Roy and I the most amazing and perfect wedding anniversary present.  It now has its place of honor in our front flower garden!  I know, all you grandparents are jealous of us with our sign that Grandkids Spoiled Here – Grannie and Paw Paw Chauvin!!!!

Roy’s first cataract surgery, on his right eye, was Tuesday the 12th.  One down, and the other one coming up in a couple of weeks.  Here he is ready to make it happen!  The day after surgery doctor’s visit with Dr. Greiner went well.  Roy’s vision is still a little blurry but it was better Wednesday than Tuesday so he’s on the right path to healing.  He’s already seeing whites as being whiter than before and colors as being more vibrant than before.  We go back on December 28 for his two week check up and to schedule the left eye surgery.

Trinity’s Children’s Choir put on a spectacular Christmas musical last night.   They sang beautifully and the acting was great! How they all managed to remember their lines is beyond me.  I was in one of the children’s musical as Mrs. Christmas so I know how much they put into this and how hard it is.  Roy and I still say “I do, I do” remembering that was one of my lines back then.  This is always one of my favorite events at our church each year!

 

We were in town the other day and passed by a parking lot with several old cars.  Not sure what these will be used for but we figure it’s for a movie.

 

This was must be the one people are driving/riding in since there was one just like it all rigged up with cameras to take video like them driving in it.

There is a paddle boat that has been at the other end of our pond for at least a year.  Roy knew that our next door neighbor owned it and asked him if we could buy it from him.  Daniel, our neighbor, said we could have it free!  It was quite full of algae and other icky things but Roy paddled it across the pond to our end.  He and Chip worked on cleaning it and it now looks much better.  Can’t wait to have some nice little warmer weather to get out in the pond in it!

The snow is almost gone as you can see in these photos.  It was very special for us to have the snow event we had last week!  So many people lost electricity but we didn’t!!!

Each time we go to Dr. Greiner’s office or surgery center we hide some of our painted rocks.  You may remember Bailey, at the doctor’s office, that really enjoys our rocks.  Wednesday I hid more when we were entering the building.  By the time we left she had found them all and put some of them under their Christmas tree!  I love it!

It is very cold right now and in the past days few here in Louisiana.  High today in the 50s.  It’s been in the 40s, 50s and very low 60 for the high.  We’ve had several nights where the low reached freezing or below, very unusual here.  It is sunshiney though so that makes it a perfect winter here in Southern Louisiana.

I finished the last of my Christmas shopping yesterday and bought all the ingredients to make butterscotch/peanut butter hay stacks and snowball round cookies (Christmas edible goodies) and homemade vegetable beef soup!  Today and tomorrow will be present wrapping, Christmas goodie and soup cooking! This retirement life at home is pretty great!!

Snowball cookies
Hay stacks

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

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12.12.17 Dora and the Explorers – Wacky Wonderful Tuesday

WHY IS JESUS BETTER THAN SANTA CLAUS??

Santa lives at the North Pole…
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh…
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year…
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies…
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited…
JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.

You have to wait in line to see Santa…
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap…
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl, what’s your name?”…
JESUS knew our name before we were born. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly…
JESUS has a heart full of love

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO…
JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says “You better not cry”…
JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”

Santa’s little helpers make toys…
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but…
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree…
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree…the cross.

We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

If you don’t know the lyrics and want to sing along with these amazing vocalists here they are:

I’d heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
Well, it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to the kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips, she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Well baby, I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
And love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Well, maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Songwriters: Leonard Cohen
Hallelujah lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE’S CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

Melania Trump did an amazing job with this year’s White House decorations

COPS ARRIVE AT WRONG HOUSE, SHOCKED BY CHRISTMAS TREE, By Sean Kelly

a christmas tree

Two Ohio police officers arrived at the wrong home while on the job and were shocked when they saw what was on the homeowner’s Christmas tree.

Ohio Going Blue shared the heartwarming story of the two officers’ visit to the home in a Facebook post.

“Partner and I accidentally went to the wrong address today on a run and stumbled across this beautiful tree,” one of the officers told the site. “The owner took the time to write down every Officer killed in the line of duty this year and place it on the tree. Not only did she do all the Humans but she included all the K9s on the small ornaments. She calls it the “Tree of Honor” guess our paths were meant to cross since she just finished it last night.”

Many readers applauded the homeowner for their tribute to fallen officers.

“Such a beautiful tribute it’s unfortunate we live in a world with so much hatred for law enforcement but seeing things like this tree makes be believe that they’re people in this world that do respect law enforcement,” another wrote.

“What a wonderful, heartwarming story; this wonderful woman is representative of the love and thankfulness of many people in this world; we just don’t hear any good news; however, this was one of the kindest acts I have heard about- May God Bless her,” one reader commented on Mad World News’ Facebook page.

“I don’t believe you went there accidentally, you were led there by our loving God that wanted you to see how there are still a lot of us that are fully behind you. We appreciate that you face danger every day to protect us. May God bless you all and keep you safe. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all, K9s also,” another wrote.
“It’s a good thing they went to the wrong house that day or this wonderful tree that this lady made would have never beed known about. What a sweet lady,” another added.

THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS

GREEN(ERY) DRESSES

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

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Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s published randomly

12.09.17 We just had our White Christmas….. in Southern Louisiana!!

Saturday, December 9, 2017 –  The weather report for Friday, December 8, 2017 was that we MAY see a few snow flakes over night.  When we woke up to snow blanketing everything we were overjoyed.  It continued all throughout the day.

It is now Saturday and the temperatures just rose to the 40s so slowly the snow is melting and falling off the trees.  The lawns, pastures and anywhere else that hasn’t been walked on are still white and so beautiful.

This is such an unusual event in Southern Louisiana that just about everything shut down and everyone was home building snowmen!!!  Last time we had this much snow was 9 years ago. We took almost 200 photos yesterday and I got it down to 50 photos for today’s blog post, so just a little warning before you start going down this page.

The photos are of our home and pond in Amite, the roads between our home and Interstate 55, then down Interstate 55 and 12 into Hammond and some sights we saw there including our church and Camping World, our son Chip’s home in Ponchatoula and a few pictures this morning now that the snow is just beginning to melt.  The temperatures over night were only in the 20s so we got to wake up again to whiteness everywhere!

Down by our pond.  This is one of my favorite photos from yesterday!

The cows were running around all morning, quite a sight to see!

The Chauvin Rocks I’ve been working on!

Going down our road and on through Amite on Highway 16 to Interstate 55.

Our the back window of our truck!

Driving through downtown Amite.  City Hall, our bank Whitney and the railroad tracks

Interstate 55

Our church, first looking at the softball field out back

The house we lived in for almost 30 years when we first moved to Hammond

Leaving Highway 16 on the way home going down 445

You know you’re in the country when you see all the hay bales!

This morning when the snow started melting

Little Chihuahua and Dachshund foot prints!

Our granddaughter Kallie in Ponchatoula enjoying the snow!

Chip and Madisyn making the snowman!!Madisyn and their baseball snowman – notice the ballcap and the baseball eyes!!

We didn’t drive to Hammond just to see the snow there.  We had a doctor’s appointment that we didn’t know was cancelled until we reached the doctor’s office.  Not happy about that but the beautiful snow everywhere was such a blessing!  I thank our Lord for giving us this experience of playing in and enjoying the snow!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!!

 

12.08.17 Granddaughter Baptism, Ponchatoula town Christmas Lighting, Misty’s birthday, EEG/EKG, Doctor appointment, Washing house exterior, time with Chip!!!

Friday, December 8, 2017 – The last several days have been very busy for us.

Monday – We got up early and went to Dr. Greiner’s office (eye doctor) for an appointment that wasn’t Monday but was Wednesday!  We made use of our sudden free time to do some Christmas shopping and rock shopping.

Tuesday – Juliette with Alliance Neurodiagnostics put 25 sensors on my head to get the EEG and EKG started.  It took two hours for her to do that and when she left I just flat out looked weird.

Wednesday – Roy had his surgery scheduling and eye measurement appointment for his cataract removal surgery with Dr. Greiner.  Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday December 12, 2017 at 6:45 am.  We got the price for the lens implants that will allow him to see near and far without any glasses.  After we passed out they scooped us up and we signed on the dotted line!

We did some Christmas light shopping and a visit to Hobby Lobby where the lines were so long I didn’t get the things I picked out.  We went to Chip and Misty’s to rest before going out with them for the evening celebrating our daughter in law Misty’s birthday at Mi Patio in Ponchatoula.  Food and fellowship were both great!

 

Friday –  I wrapped up a 72 hour video ambulatory EEG and EKG to see if I am having seizures. The sensors recorded any electrical activity in my brain and I was videoed 24 hours a day for all three days when I was in the living room and in our bedroom. Hoping to get the results back soon.

Our granddaughter Madisyn sang in the 3rd grade chorus at Ponchatoula’s Christmas Lighting.  At various places along Ponchatoula’s main street groups from schools and churches have designated times to sing.  We couldn’t stop smiling listening to all the young  voices sing Christmas songs.  The whole town is lit up with Christmas lights and decorations and several locations serve cookies and hot chocolate.  Madisyn’s group sang at the Methodist Church.  Madisyn is very tall and is on the back row. You can see her better in the first picture.  What you see in the second photo is half of the choir.  There was no room for me to move around and get the whole choir.

We enjoyed some of the cookies and delicious hot chocolate (provided by the Methodist Church) after they sang. This is us in the line for the goodies!

 

Sunday our oldest granddaughter Kallie made her profession of faith public by being baptized at their church The Harbor in Hammond, Louisiana. Her church gave her a shirt that says “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”  Amen! The joy on Kallies face when she came up from under the water says it all!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

Image may contain: 1 person

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoor

If you are a Christian you understand that this is the most important decision Kallie will ever make.  If you are not a Christian and don’t understand what baptism is about here’s a summary of what making a profession of faith is about and what baptism is about.

While we believe in baptism, it does not save you, just like being a good person and doing kind helpful things does not save you.  Only giving your life to Jesus as your Lord and Savior because you believe He gave his life to save you from your sins. This is what we call a Profession of Faith.

Water baptism is a symbolic picture of what our Lord has done for us. As we are completely immersed in the water, we symbolize burial with our Lord; we are baptized into His death on the cross and are no longer slaves to self or sin (Romans 6:3–7). When we are raised out of the water, we are symbolically resurrected—raised to new life in Christ to be with Him forever, born into the family of our loving God (Romans 8:16). Water baptism also illustrates the spiritual cleansing we experience when we are saved; just as water cleanses the flesh, so the Holy Spirit cleanses our hearts when we trust Christ.

Some faiths believe in sprinkling water on the individual. Our faith believes that like Jesus and others in the Bible did, the proper form of baptism is full body immersion.

Our New Orleans Saints won Sunday’s game over the Carolina Panthers putting us at the top of the division.  We play the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.  That will be a great one!

Monday – Our sweet son Chip has been going nonstop for almost a week now. He took Monday off work to rest but when his dad said he was going to pressure wash the rental house today, Chip came to help him. Almost 4 hours of work which helped a Roy a lot. Hopefully Chip is back home now getting some rest. Thanks Chip, we love you!

Image may contain: house, tree, sky and outdoor

Image may contain: house, sky, tree, outdoor and nature

The weather started being very rainy and much colder on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (today).  We may have snow over night and in the morning.  That is quite unusual in Louisiana.  The temperature will drop to the low 20s the following night.  When we knew the weather was going to be this cold and wet we made a big pot of chicken, sausage, andouie gumbo, moved my rock painting inside and that’s where we’re staying until it gets nicer outside!

I’m wrapping this up on Friday and since early this morning it has been snowing quite heavily here!  I’m sure you know that the next blog post will be all about that white stuff visiting in Louisiana!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

12.10.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Four ways to respond when someone with dementia repeats questions published 01.10.17

dementia

Original blog 01.10.17 – People with Dementia may repeat things…a lot

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias cause problems with short-term memory. This can lead to repetitive behaviors, like asking the same question over and over again.

Your older adult isn’t doing it on purpose to annoy you, they truly have no memory of asking the first or twenty-third time.

You might be able to answer patiently the first few times, but after hearing the same thing a dozen times, it’s natural to lose your temper. That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with kind techniques that stop the flow of questions before you get too frustrated.

Why someone with Dementia is repeating questions

Repetitive behaviors are often caused by stress, anxiety, frustration, or fear. People with Alzheimer’s or dementia are often unsure of what’s happening, where they are, or what time or day it is. Those are pretty unsettling feelings.

Your senior isn’t repeating questions because they need the information. They’re asking because they’re feeling stressed or anxious and need reassurance.

1. Respond to the emotions, not the words
When your older adult starts to repeat a question over and over, try to guess what feelings might be causing the behavior. If they might be feeling anxious, giving a brief hug or hand squeeze while calmly answering the question may soothe them enough to stop their need to keep asking.

2. Keep your answers brief
It’s tempting to answer a question from a person with Alzheimer’s the same way you’d answer anybody else. But the shorter and simpler your answer, the better. It saves you time and energy and reduces your exasperation when you have to repeat it five more times.

3. Distract with an activity
Sometimes the only way to get your senior with dementia to stop repeating a question is to distract them with something they enjoy. Maybe that means offering a snack or favorite beverage.

Or, you could ask them a simple question to get them thinking about something else, like “The sky is blue today, isn’t it nice?” Another idea is to ask them to help you with a simple chore they’re still able to do, like folding laundry.

4. Escape for a few minutes
It’s tough to keep your cool and not snap at someone when you’ve been asked the same question for the twelfth time. Everyone’s patience runs out at some point, especially if this isn’t the first time it’s happened today.

Sometimes you just need to leave the room for a few minutes. Go to the bathroom, get a quick breath of fresh air, or check your Facebook feed. By the time you come back, you’ll have had some time to cool off and will be better able to handle your older adult’s behavior with kindness.

Bottom line

It’s challenging to answer a question that’s repeated over and over again without snapping or letting the frustration show in your voice. Do your best to stay calm and use these 4 tips to respond in ways that are more likely to make the questions stop.

And if you do lose your temper, it’s because you’re human. Forgive yourself, let them know you DO love them, and take a brief time out to help you stay calm.

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff

Additional articles on caring for your loved one with dementia can be found at Daily Caring at: http://dailycaring.com/.

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Please come back next time when I’ll share more topics about dementia from myself or from this source.  If you want to get an email whenever I post a blog (I write about other things, not just Alzheimer’s or Dementia), find the “FOLLOW” box which is usually to the right hand side somewhere, enter your email and respond when the confirmation email is sent to you.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself, in your role as a caregiver, or if you have any specific questions please send me a comment with whatever information you want to share or ask about. I’ll say again that I’m not expert, but I probably experienced with my mom a lot of things you’re going through and will try my best to help. If I don’t know the answer I will tell you I don’t know. I’ll never judge, I’ve been judged enough to last a life time and would never do that to someone else. My email address is rosalyn@selu.edu if that is an easier way to communicate.

Until next time,

margie-frog

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Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays  published every Wednesday

12.06.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD – Ways to Respond When Someone with Dementia Says I Want to Go Home published 01.05.17

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 – My new neurologist’s office called Monday to say that the test results from the EEG and EKG was not ready yet so my Monday appointment wasn’t needed. I’m disappointed but when they call again to say it’s ready we’ll schedule an appointment and go.

I say in the first couple of paragraphs in the original blog below, that I wish I had known this when caring for mama. I hope it helps you some in your care giving.
wantgohomehug690x400

ORIGINAL BLOG 01.05.17 – While I did not write this, we encountered this with mama almost everyday. Even when her home was with us she still wanted to go home. When living at the Assisted Living Center while we were rebuilding our house she’d have someone call us often saying she wanted to go home. I wish I had know this information at that time which is why I am sharing it with you all today.

There are several links (I changed the links to blue so they are easier to see) to other very helpful information in this blog post. I encourage you to check them out also. You’ll miss helpful information if you don’t.  I bolded the last sentence in this blog post since that, to me, is extremely important.

Hearing seniors say “I want to go home” over and over again is something Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers often deal with. It’s especially frustrating to hear when they’re already home.

The big question is how to respond in a way that calms them down and helps them let go of the idea. First, it helps to understand why they’re saying this and what they really mean. Next, do your best to not take it personally so you can stay calm too.

3 ways to respond to “I want to go home”

Use these three methods to respond when you hear “I want to go home.” They’re soothing and help you avoid big fights.

These suggestions will put you on the right track, but be prepared to get creative. Not everything you try will work the first time. And even if something works once, it might not work every time. Don’t get discouraged! This gets easier with practice.

1. Reassure and comfort

Approach your older adult with a calm, soothing, and relaxed manner. They’ll pick up on your body language and tone of voice and will subconsciously start to match you. If you’re calm, they’ll get calmer too.

Sometimes saying “I want to go home” is how your senior tells you they’re tense, anxious, or scared and need extra comfort. If they like hugs, this is a good time for a big one. Others may prefer gentle touching or stroking on their arm or shoulder or simply having you sit with them.

Another way of giving extra comfort and reassurance is to give them a soft blanket or stuffed animal to cuddle.

2. Avoid reasoning and explanations

Don’t try to explain that they’re in their own home, assisted living is now their home, or they voluntarily moved in with you 3 years ago.

Trying to use reason and logic with someone who has a brain disease will only make them more insistent, agitated, and distressed. They won’t be able to process that information and will only sense that you’re preventing them from doing something they feel strongly about.

3. Agree, then redirect and distract

This is a challenging technique, so don’t beat yourself up if the first few attempts don’t work perfectly. Being able to redirect and distract is a skill that improves with practice.

First, agree
Agree by saying something like “Ok, we’ll go soon.” or “That’s a good idea. We’ll go as soon as I clean up these dishes.”

Then, redirect and distract
After agreeing, subtly redirect their attention. This redirection should lead into pleasant and distracting activities that take their minds away from wanting to go home.

For example, you could gently take their elbow while saying “Ok, we’ll go soon” and walk down the hall together to a big window or to the kitchen. Point out some of the beautiful birds and flowers outside or offer a snack or drink they’ll like. Later, casually shift to another activity that’s part of their daily routine.

Another example is saying “Ok, let’s get your sweater so you won’t be cold when we go outside.” Then, while you’re both walking and chatting about something pleasant, stop for a cup of tea or get involved in an activity they enjoy.

Or, ask them to tell you about their home. After a while, guide the conversation to a neutral topic. Asking about their home validates their feelings, encourages them to share positive memories, and distracts them from the original goal of going home.

Open questions that encourage them to share their thoughts work well. For example:

  • Your home sounds lovely, tell me more about it.
  • What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get home?

If nothing is working…

Sometimes, your older adult will be stubborn and refuse to let go of the idea of going home no matter how much you try to soothe or redirect.

If that happens, you might want to take them on a brief car ride. Experiment with how far and how long you need to drive before you can go back to where they live without protest. Or, suggest a stop at the ice cream parlor for a nice (distracting) treat!

Even if it’s not possible to actually take them out or get into the car, the actions of getting ready to leave can be soothing because it shows that you believe them and are helping to achieve their goal. Meanwhile, the activities of getting ready give you more chances to redirect to something else.

Bottom line

“I want to go home” is usually a request for comfort rather than asking to go somewhere. When responding, the goal is to reduce your older adult’s anxiety and fear so they can let go of the idea.

This terrible disease forces seniors to live in their brain’s version of reality. The best thing you can do is step into that reality, focus on comfort and reassurance, and respond to the emotions behind their request.

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff

Additional articles on caring for your loved one with dementia can be found at Daily Caring can be found at: http://dailycaring.com/

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Please come back next time when I’ll share more topics about dementia from this source. If you want to get an email whenever I post a blog (I write about other things, not just Alzheimer’s) find the “FOLLOW” box which is usually to the right hand side somewhere, enter your email and respond when the confirmation email is sent to you.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself, in your role as a caregiver, or if you have any specific questions please send me a comment with whatever information you want to share or ask about. I’ll say again that I’m not expert, but I probably experienced with my mom a lot of things you’re going through and will try my best to help. If I don’t know the answer I will tell you I don’t know. I’ll never judge, I’ve been judged enough to last a life time and would never do that to someone else. My email address is rosalyn@selu.edu if that is an easier way to communicate.

Until next time,

10616237_10152505699331961_4740052752099689312_n

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

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12.04.17 My Video Ambulatory EEG and EKG

Monday, December 4, 2017 – I just had a 72 hour Video Ambulatory EEG. Since I had never heard about that before, I looked up some information to share with others that haven’t heard of it either.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test to detect problems in the electrical activity of the brain. Video Ambulatory EEG is considered to be the Gold Standard for EEG testing. This allows the doctor to see any kind of events that you may have while you are conducting some of your normal activities and during sleep. The ambulatory EEG device will be worn for a specific amount of time that your doctor believes will give him/her the best chance to find what they are looking for, usually 72 hours in most cases.

An EEG is used to help diagnose the presence and type of seizure disorders, to look for causes of confusion or periods of unconsciousness, and to evaluate head injures, tumors, infections, degenerative diseases and metabolic disturbances that affect the brain.The ambulatory EEG is video monitored to observe activities of daily living, including sleep, and correlates event data.

This is not my head but since I have too much hair to even see the probes I found this one to show what it looks like with all these things glued to my head!

They also include three small electrodes attached to your chest to do an Electrocardiogram (EKG) It is used to look for and record irregular heartbeats that come and go or happen during certain activities. The test is designed to find out what is causing chest pain, dizziness, confusion or fainting.

Alliance Neurodiagnostics is the company that handled my in-home ambulatory EEG and EKG. A different company monitored the video and data collected from the EEG and EKG.

Okay that’s what it’s all about, so this now is my personal account of having both an ambulatory EKG and EEG.

On Tuesday morning Juliette with Alliance Neurodiagnostics arrived at our motorhome with all her equipment. She asked lots of questions and took lots of notes. She went over with me lots of paperwork and things for me to sign.

She laid out all of the items she would need to hook me up.

We brought a chair inside from outside so she could get to my head from all directions. 21 sensors were glued to various specific locations around my head, two on my forehead and two on my chest.

My head was then wrapped with gauze, the wires all taped together

We had some errands to run and Misty’s birthday dinner to attend so I wrapped my head in a scarf.

This is the camera and computer set up in the living room.

The camera in our bedroom.

We can see when the monitoring service signs in because the computer screen comes on and we (and they) can see what they are seeing on the cameras.

I was very thankful when this contraption was removed from my head and I could bathe and wash my hair. They use some kind of putty glue to make the sensors stick to my scalp. To remove them I wrapped my head in a warm wet towel for 10 minutes to loosen them sensors.

The thing I liked the very least was being seen on camera 24 hours a day. Our bathroom was the only place we could not be seen! If some information is gathered by all of this, it will be worth it!

We go to see Dr. Morgan at 4 pm today to find out what the test results are. I’ll write about that when we get home.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

11.30.17 Dora and the Explorers – Wacky Wonderful Thursday

Our teacher asked what my favorite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.”

She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everyone else laughed. My parents told me to always tell the truth. I did. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my dad what happened, and he said my teacher was probably a member of PETA. He said they love animals very much. I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef.

Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principal’s office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.

The next day in class, my teacher asked me what my favorite live animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why, so I told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken. She sent me back to the principal’s office. He laughed, and told me not to do it again.

I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am. Today, my teacher asked me to tell her what famous person I admired most.

I told her, “Colonel Sanders.”

Guess where I am now …

AMAZING PLACES AROUND GOD’S BEAUTIFUL WORLD
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
WILD HORSE BUTTE, UTAHVALLEY OF FUNES DOLOMITESTRYOL IN ITALY VICTORIA FALLS – ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and textWhat is praise? It is adoration, thanksgiving, appreciation, and worship of our Lord and Savior. Praise flows from a relationship of love and devotion from us to the Lord. Praise brings us closer to Him.

It changes us and helps us grow in our faith. Praise reminds us of who God is. A life filled with praise places us in a position to receive God’s blessings.

C.S. Lewis said, “Only in acts of worship and praise can a person learn to believe in the goodness and the greatness of God. God wants us to praise Him not because He needs or craves in any sense our flattery, but because He knows that praise creates joy and thankfulness.”

Praise is not something that we do for God. Nor is it something that we do in order to get God’s approval so that He will grant our desires. When we praise God, we are changed — even if our circumstances are not. While God is present everywhere, all the time, He is present in a special way when His people praise Him.

Words are the expressions of our hearts. The Bible says, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).
What happens to the person who continually complains about the problems and challenges of life? If he only focuses on those things, he will lose sight of his eternal destiny. He may become pessimistic, even depressed.

We all have tiring days, minor setbacks, and unexpected expenses. As believers, we can choose to find strength by praising God rather than sinking into despair.

Regardless of our problems or difficulties, when we praise God, our focus shifts. We become aware, once again, of who He is and His love for us. Why wait? Praise God now and experience His power, which is capable of handling anything you might face.

By: Peaceful Moments for Women
THIS WEEK’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS
NUTS, NUTS, NUTS!!!

Reach out to someone in need this week!

Let others see Jesus in you this week!

Be His light in the darkness this week!

Have a Blessed Week!

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11.29.17 Dora and the Explorers – STILAD, Getting a dementia diagnosis and getting medical records from Dr. Shamsnia published 4.24.15

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 – If you suspect that you or a loved one has dementia this post is important for you to read.  So many people have asked me how I found out that what I was experiencing was dementia so here it is.

The first step is to make an appointment with a neuropsychologist to have a day or two of neuropsych testing done. My primary care physician referred me to the two doctors below but I don’t think you have to have a referral to see them.

I’ve seen both Dr. Susan Andrews and Dr. Melissa Aubert and would recommend either of them.  They are both in the same office in Metairie. Dr. Andrews had a second office in Covington when I saw her but I could not confirm that she still has that office now.

Office Location: 3925 N. I-10 Service Rd. West, Suite 201-A, Metairie, Louisiana 70002 Phone: 504-455-0109

Dr. Aubert’s E-mail: maubertphd@nolaneuropsych.com

Dr. Andrews E-mail:  srandrews.office@gmail.comm – This was the email she communicated with me years ago but I don’t know for sure it is still active.

I’m not getting any kickback from these doctors for referring people, I just know my experience was great with both of them and want to help ya’ll know where to get started.

The neuropsych tests that they do will show where your brain deficiencies are, if any.  If they find deficiencies they will recommend a neurologist for you to see and will send their testing results to that doctor.  The neurologist does the medical testing and diagnosis.  The neurologist, having the neuropsych testing information, can help them narrow down what medical tests to do.  I’ve had at least seven different medical tests.

Lots of people think they have dementia but if you haven’t taken neuropsych tests and/or the medical tests you really don’t have a true diagnosis.  If you have good insurance it will not cost you anything, so why not know for sure and get what little help is available for specifically what you have.

I don’t know for sure that Dr. Patricia Morgan will be my new neurologist but when I saw her she had her assistant do a few of the neuropsych tests before meeting her.  Questions that I found easy on the original and second neuropsych testing years ago were difficult now. I didn’t know what the date was (I got the month wrong). She told me three words and told me to remember them.  I tried to keep saying them over and over in my mind because I knew  she was going to ask me them again but I could only remember the first of the three words.  She asked me to walk one foot in front of the other which I’ve always done fine.  This time I looked like a drunk taking a test on the side of the road.  That’s from my balance being bad now.  Another test had me close my eyes and put my arm out to the side then trying to touch the end of my nose with it.  I didn’t make it to the tip of my nose but somewhere around my nose.  I think there was something else I didn’t do well but don’t remember now.

I realize that some of what I just wrote is also written below in the original blog from 2015 but I’ve gotten very frustrated trying to know how to make it flow right so I hope you can at least get something out of this.

Finally, currently I’m on day two of a three day at home EEG test to see if I’m having seizures.  I’m sure it’s necessary but it’s a pain to do.  And my head is completely wrapped up in gauze making me look like I had brain surgery.

We are heading to Hammond in a bit for the eye doctor’s appointment we mistakenly went to on Monday.  Hopefully we’ll get Roy’s cataract surgery scheduled for the first eye.

Original Blog – April 24, 2015 –

8756_415836921865239_221735958_nSince I have very little Alzheimer’s info to share and am creeping along in my own dementia journey, I’ve changed the name of the blog to Some Things I Learned About Dementia.

If you, or a loved one, is experiencing mental decline, today’s post may help you find where to start to get help.  I can’t say this is THE ONLY path but it is the one I know so I hope you can learn from this.  I don’t mind opening my life up if it will help someone else struggling and searching for help.

Also, I pulled up my big girl panties and went to Dr. Shamsnia’s office to make a stab (not not at him!) at getting my medical records and my MRIs.  More on that further down!

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10703805_824649437580941_2651549357672239530_nOn Tuesday I traveled to Metairie, Louisiana to see Dr. Melissa Aubert.  She is a Neuropsychologist in practice with Dr. Susan Andrews, who I saw 3-4 years ago.  Dr. Andrews no longer takes my insurance, but Dr. Aubert does.

She was wonderful.  We spent an hour together covering everything I could think of from the last time I saw Dr. Andrews until now.  She asked many questions about my current mental capabilities which allowed me to open up and really talk about what’s going on in that little space up there called my brain!   What a relief that was to have the words coming out of my mouth to someone who understands.

Due to the lack of information I was getting from Dr. Shamsnia I decided to pursue having a new neuropsych test done before leaving town for this years journey to the Northeast.  The10801589_855311604510077_5207705261697921312_n previous neuropsych test results showed specific areas of deficits, specifically learning new things and short term memory.  Having the retesting done will provide a comparison between where I was then to my current capabilities.  I handle things better the more knowledge I have about it.  The unknown worries me more than knowing.

The testing is a day (sometimes more than a day) long series of paper tests designed to show strengths and weaknesses.  Most of the tests involve answering questions or performing tasks. You may be taking some of the tests on a computer, using pencil and paper, or using other objects.

Doctors use a wide variety of tests for neuropsychological testing. In most cases you will take a series of tests, rather than a single test. The tests you take will depend on the particular brain functions that your doctor wants to check. The tests are meant to test your limits, so don’t be discouraged if they seem hard.

The tests I took in 2011 were:

The testing was very interesting the last time I did it in 2011, and I am happy to say they were able to schedule the next one for next Wednesday, April 29th!!!  The testing in 2015 included the following:

I can’t recommend strongly enough how beneficial this testing can be if you have any question about your memory or your mental capabilities declining.  It’s worth a day of your time to have these answers.

Once the testing is done, the Neuropsychologist reviews all the information and her notes from our visit to come up with her final report.

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When I left Dr. Aubert’s office I drove a few streets over to Dr. Shamsnia’s office.  I prayed before I got out of my car and said to myself “Girl you’ve got this!” I walked into the elevator and up to his office.

923515_10151922468590806_2082669326_n Seeing that there were no patients in the waiting room I breathed a sign of relief and walked up to the window.  The nice young lady and the nurse recognized me and I explained to them that I would like to have my medical records including the MRIs which I had been told were sitting on his desk.  They explained that normally they needed a form signed and it took 7 to 10 working days to have the files copied but they would go see what they could do.

I sat down, prepared to wait a while and who gets off the elevator but Dr. Shamsnia.  He looked at me briefly and said hello and went down the hall.  Whew, no face to face encounter!!  The ladies came back only five minutes later with a manilla envelope and my two most recent MRIs on disk.

I asked about the old MRIs and they said they didn’t see them.  I now firmly believe the office has lost my MRIs since several efforts to find them have been made by several different people.  How they could lose big old MRIs I have no idea, but they have.

I thanked them for always being nice and walked out.  The relief that washed over me from knowing I didn’t have to 9808_1100980976594842_8340971622499789430_ngo back there again was overwhelming.  When I got in my car I prayed prayers of Thanksgiving to God for seeing me through this dark time and bringing me out safely on the other side.  Not having to deal with the stress and frustration of working with that doctor eliminates so much of a burden from my life.  Only God will walk through all dark times with us and use it to strengthen our lives.  Only God.

I’ll bring my records to Dr. Vales, my primary care doctor, for safekeeping, until I can find a new neurologist when we return to town next year!  North Oaks Hospital Radiology told me they have duplicate copies of the MRIs that Dr. Shamsnia can’t find so I’ll be having those sent to the neurologist at the appropriate time.

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I just got word from North Oaks Sleep Lab that they have an opening for me to have my sleep apnea test redone TOMORROW NIGHT!!!!  Whoop whoop!  When I originally called to make an appointment they didn’t have anything open for weeks until after we left.  This is again another blessing from God!  I love how He cares for me!

Okay, now on to living life!

Isaiah-41-10

 

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Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays  published randomly