11.01.17 Dora and the Explorers – Some Things I Learned About Dementia – Being a Caregiver published 02.06.15

November 1, 2017 – Being a caregiver is sometimes thankless, and sometimes a blessing. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade taking care of my mama near the end of her life with Alzheimer’s for anything. While we were in the middle of it, it was overwhelming and all consuming. The patient depends on you for their well being and happiness. Learning as much as you can from other caregivers helps more than anything else. That is what today’s blog is all about!

10487357_585077591629240_5788441004434810833_nOriginal Blog: In today’s post I am sharing “Stories from Caregivers.” Every caregivers story is as different as every Alzheimer’s patient’s story. These are just a few stories with many more out there on the internet for your to search for and review. These types of stories allowed me a look into the future of what care giving held for me when mama was with us. They also gave me such comfort that I was not alone and there were people I could reach out to that really understood. I hope today’s edition will give you that same comfort.

curley dividers

Ann Napoletan lost her mother to Alzheimer’s in 2012 and blogs about her experience as a caregiver. In particular, about the cruelty and helplessness this disease brings.

http://alzjourney.com/.

curley dividers

Lori La Bey, a family caregiver to her mother and the founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks, has been blogging about her story since 2009. She knows firsthand the challenges of caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s and being a working parent herself.

https://alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com/stories/.

curley dividers

Living with Alzheimer’s, A Day in the life of Ralph Hergert:

http://radioboston.wbur.org/2011/10/21/living-with-alzheimers-part-four

curley dividers

A Day in the Life of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver by Blake Butler
http://www.vice.com/read/the-daily-life-of-an-alzheimers-caregiver

curley dividers

Growing up in a close family, Michele DeSocio learned about the power of love at a very young 10930100_578167418986924_1409882668985377249_nage and still maintains that she is happiest when with her loved ones. In 1999, she became caregiver to her mom Jean DelCampo. Michele found her voice as an advocate volunteering for Memory People, an online support and awareness group for dementia.

http://www.agingcare.com/Blogger/Michele-DeSocio

curley dividers

A link to several caregiver and family member stories on alz.org (Alzheimer’s Association):

http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_10236.asp

curley dividers

Bert’s blog “Had a Dad” is about her father’s 1253-day journey through Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and her feelings about it.

http://alzheimersdad.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2014-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&updated-max=2015-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&max-results=5

curley dividers

Quotes about Alzheimer’s from the”Had a Dad” website:

10407058_10153007783151718_8439821164716253461_n“The cost of Alzheimer’s? Everything you ever owned, everything you ever thought you would get, and things you never even thought about.”

“It’s a long, slow slide into oblivion, with no brakes.”

“If this was a paper journal, the ink would be running with tears.”

“Imagine a really beautiful, perfect statue, left out in the wind and rain for centuries, to be worn away, until it’s only retained the shape of a person, not any of the individuality. That’s what Alzheimer’s did to my father. It wore him away, all the sharp edges and crisp points that made him Bob, who loved his family and his pets and his raspberry bushes, and turned him into a fearful person with a vague and confused stare.”

“It’s a nasty disease, surrounded by shadows and small, largely unseen tragedies.”–Terry Pratchett

curley dividersMy medical update:

On Tuesday of this week I gave six vials of blood for the numerous blood tests my brain doctor ordered to see if I have deficiencies in any vitamins and minerals that may be causing my brain atrophy. I’ve also been able to obtain MRI from North Oaks Hospitals as far back as 1994 and will bring them to the doctor when I see him next week. He’ll be able to compare them as time went along and also to the newest MRIs. I’ll let you guys know after that visit what he comes up with.

Until next time,

ephesians

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published every Wednesday

 

Advertisements

11.02.17 Our first two+ weeks at home in Amite, Louisiana

Thursday, November 2, 2017 – What have we been up to since arriving home in Amite, Louisiana??? I realized we have taken very few photos since we arrived home. None of our time with family. Guess we were having too good of a time catching up with them to snap some shots!

We were visited by Chip’s family a couple of times the weekend we got home.  It was so amazing to hug them and get loved on by them.  Chip, Misty, Kallie and Madisyn, it is wonderful to be home with you all! God is so good to all of us.  Misty, Madisyn and I painted rocks which made me, Grannie, very happy!  Misty’s artistic talent is awesome, the girl knows how to paint a rock!!

We had dinner with our oldest son’s family for his oldest daughter’s birthday.  Again God is so good to all of us.  Their children are so precious, loving and sweet.  I brought each of them a rock and they loved it!  Dinner and fellowship was so special!

It was truly wonderful to be back in church at Trinity Baptist Church.  This was the first time since our new pastor was called to serve at our church that we’ve seen him in person preaching.  It was a wonderful morning seeing friends again and hearing Rev. Avery Dixon preach.  He’s preaching in Romans 8 for the last few weeks and if you know that chapter in the Bible you know it is a very challenging one.  His preaching is very clear and I look forward to learning from him.  It is wonderful to see so many new people in church also. I have lots of new folks to meet in the upcoming weeks! The new folks probably think we’re visitors!

We’re catching up on doctor’s visits.  Roy and I both saw Dr. Greiner, our eye doctor yesterday.  We learned that Roy’s cataracts are now at the stage where they should be removed.  We’ll be scheduling those surgeries in the next few weeks.  He’ll get one done and then the other done a couple of weeks later.  Next week on Thursday is my visit with the new neurologist.  I am really looking forward to that.  My medical records relating to my brain are being sent to her now so hopefully she will look through them before the visit.

We purchased several metal art objects while we were on the road and last week at the Vintage Marketplace Days in Amite.  Chip’s family gave us the big metal flower, I love it! Getting to put them on our fence and in the garden has been fun. Roy put together the wind mill he bought for my birthday in September and it’s in the center of the garden.

All of the big rocks we collected this trip were labeled including the year and the wording on older ones was refreshed with the year adding so the row of rocks in front of our flower garden is now complete!  These photos below can be clicked to enlarge if you’d like to see this cuteness up close!!

When we are traveling in our RV the kitchen and bedroom drawers fly open and fly shut when we make turns or drive on curvy roads.  This is not good for the drawers especially the one under our refrigerator that holds our canned goods.  It also causes us both to turn around to make sure nothing broke each time that happens while driving. We always try to keep in mind that we are living in a home that travels down highways and backroads and things bump, click, open, close and many other things.  Try as we do when preparing to travel to secure everything the drawers had a mind of their own and my honey Roy has taken care of that!!

Roy did a lot of research and found a system that when put in place will lock all the drawers when the motorhome’s engine ignition is turned on.  It unlocks the doors when the ignition is turned off.  Roy ordered one of these and installed it on the canned goods drawer and we tested it the last month we were on the road.  It worked perfectly!  Roy ordered 10 more for the rest of the drawers and they were waiting for us when we returned home.  To say this was an enormous project would be an understatement.

The wiring for the system involved having to remove the toilet in the bathroom to get to the wiring channels that go through the bathroom to the bedroom.  Roy spent most of the day Saturday on  his stomach on the floor in the bathroom trying to get the bolt lose.  After hours of doing this and a trip to the hardware to try other tools to do this he resorted to sawing off the bolt.  This man of mine is so McGyver like in times like this.   He has big cuts on his arms and elbow and big bruises that make him look like he was beaten.  He had to stop before completing the system because we’ve been busy with church, doctors and doctors and now we have a day of rain.  The last part he needs to do is to build latches on the bottom of the drawers. We’re taking the toilet out today as part of finishing up the project.  I get to scrub it really good and the floor in the bathroom before it gets put back in.  That is the absolute least desirable thing I could plan today but if he can lay on his stomach in the bathroom I can scrub the toilet outside.

Remember the rocks we got from the creek in Arkansas.  This is them on the patio at home. That’s our neighbors dachshund, Snookie in the pictures.

The water in our pond is down pretty much right now.   When we left the water came up to the top of the culvert and now the entry to the culvert is totally dry.  

I now have a new table outside where I do my rock painting.  Lots of rocks were painted pumpkin orange and hid around this area! I’m working on Thanksgiving rocks now.  Lots of things to give thanks for!  We ate at LaCaretta in Amite last week and hid some rocks there (like we do everywhere we go!).  One of the rocks “Always Be Kind” was found and made it’s way to Disneyworld in the Alice in Wonderland area. 

I picked up a bunch of travel brochures when we stopped at the Louisiana Welcome Center on our way home.  We haven’t done much sightseeing in our own state so that will be our focus now.  If you’ve traveled to interesting places in Louisiana and think we might want to go there please let us know at rosalyn@selu.edu.

We’ve watched the Houston Astros play the Atlanta Braves so many times in the past.  They are in different leagues now.  It was really nice to watch the Astros win the World Series last night for the first time in their history.  Especially nice to see Brian McCann (ex Braves catcher) get to play on a team that won.  Congratulations House Astros!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

 

 

 

10.29.17 Dora and the Explorers – Some Things I Learned About Dementia published 01.23.15

Sunday, October 29, 2017 – Wow, when I first put this post together almost three years ago, it was to help others understand the dementia their loved one had from the patient’s point of view.  Now looking through the various stories and songs I provided links to below, I realize that things from each of their stories are now part of my little world having dementia myself. I wasn’t where they were at that time I originally put the post together but things have changed.

I truly hope you take the time to read the stories, poems, prayers and listen to the songs. Dementia is not just about losing your memory.  My balance while walking is pretty bad, I often have problems swallowing, putting a sentence together is quite a chore on occasion and planning things or making decisions have become difficult.  Being with people has always been something I thrived on, now I prefer to be alone with just Roy.  I can no longer drive and depend on Roy to go everywhere with me.  This and more are added to the memory loss which is growing all the time.  I think that reading these first person stories about people living with dementia will help you see what I mean about it’s not just losing your memory.

The original blog:

10460724_539323889537944_4082775068952904086_nThis week I want to share about Alzheimer’s from the patient’s standpoint.

“I’m Still Here” is a song about dementia, written from the patient’s point of view. It can be a helpless feeling after you get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, and the support of your loved ones can help ease the stress that this disease causes. Click on the photo below to watch this short video!

i am still here graphic to go with song

1d-5

ALZHEIMER’S PATIENT’S PRAYER BY CAROLYN HAYNELI

Pray for me, I was once like you. Be kind and loving to me, that’s how I would have treated you. Remember I was once someone’s parent or spouse. I had a life and a dream for the future.

Speak to me, I can hear you even if I don’t understand what you are saying. Speak to me of things in my past of which I can still relate.

Be considerate of me, my days are such a struggle. Think of my feelings because I still have them and can feel pain. Treat me with respect because I would have treated you that way.

Think of how I was before I got Alzheimer’s. I was full of life, I had a life, laughed and loved you. Think of how I am now, my disease destroyed my thinking, my feelings, and my ability to respond, but I still love you even if I can’t tell you. Think about my future because I used to.

Remember I was full of hope for the future just like you are now. Think how it would be to have things locked in your mind and can’t let them out. I need you to understand and not blame me, but Alzheimer’s. I still need the compassion and the touching and most of all I still need you to love me.

Keep me in your prayers because I am between life and death. The love you give will be a blessing from God and both of us will live forever.

How you live and what you do today will always be remembered in the heart of the Alzheimer’s Patient.

1d-510 REQUESTS1d-5

The following links are to stories from Alzheimer’s patients. Spending some time reading each one of these stories told in a way that only they can:

108Norman Mc Namara, diagnosed with dementia five years ago aged just 50yrs old.

http://tdaa.co.uk/norms-pages/

108Interview with Alzheimer sufferer Richard Taylor: ‘You turn into a person you don’t know any more.’

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/interview-with-alzheimer-sufferer-you-turn-into-a-person-you-don-t-know-anymore-a-688049.html

108

Leah, a 58 year old former elementary school teacher, was recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. This blog is her way of reaching out to family members and caregivers of others with dementia and Alzheimer’s who want to know what life for their loved ones is like.

http://www.healthcentral.com/alzheimers/day-in-the-life.html

108Harry Urban has lived with Alzheimer’s disease for seven years

http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/alzheimers-patients-share-their-experiences-153702.htm

1d-5guilt.

1d-5Please come back next time when I’ll share several links to stories written by Alzheimer’s caregivers. 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,

psalm 26 73

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published every Wednesday

 

10.28.17 Dora and the Explorers – Wacky Wonderful Saturday

BEAUTIFUL PLACES AROUND GOD’S AMAZING WORLD

KALYAZIN, RUSSIA

KAKWA FALLS, ALBERTA, CANADA

GUNMA, JAPAN

GRAND CANYON, ARIZONAGOTHENBURG, SWEDEN

Image may contain: textTuesday rolling in and things may be looking big & hard & a bit impossible right now.

But there’s this: “Jesus replied, ‘You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.'” John 13:7

When it looks overwhelming, understand that He stands in the midst doing something that you’ll understand someday.

When it’s hard to understand His ways, stand on His promises.

When it’s hard to trace His hand — trust His heart.

Your days are unfolding in His hands, He’s got you, He’s got a plan, He understands you, upholds you, & underneath everything today – are His everlasting arms.

And in everything there is this:

We only think we might write the story different because we don’t know the same things the Storyteller knows.

Who knows why the Storyteller allows heartbreak, but the answer must be important enough, because the Storyteller allows His heart to break too.

And this heals a bit of our hearts:

There is a Storyteller who writes Himself into the story and makes our souls well, because He walks with us until the story is finished in His perfect time, and His perfect way, for His perfect glory — so our souls are always well

By Ann Voskamp

TODAY’S FIVE FAVORITE PHOTOS

WHEN DADS ARE LEFT IN CHARGE OF THE KIDDOS!

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!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s published randomly

10.26.17 Dora and the Explorers – Some Things I Learned About Dementia published 1.16.15

October 26, 2017 – It’s hard to believe that the original blog below was written almost three years ago.  There are still questions I have that I hope will be answered when we visit the new neurologist on November 9th.

In the blog below I was taking Aricept

Aricept (donepezil) improves the function of nerve cells in the brain. It works by preventing the breakdown of a chemical called acetylcholine. People with dementia usually have lower levels of this chemical, which is important for the processes of memory, thinking, and reasoning.

I started taking it 6 years ago.  Namenda was added to the Aricept about one year ago.

Namenda (Memantine) is prescribed to improve memory, attention, reason, thinking, language and the ability to perform simple tasks.

About six months ago I began being very lightheaded several times during the day.  After getting off of several of my medicines including Aricept and Namenda it was determined that Aricept and Namenda were causing the lightheadedness.

My brain has changed so much that instead of the medicine helping, I started having this very debilitating side effect so I was taken off of them and put on Exelon Patches, tiny round patches that deliver the medicine through the skin.

After a few weeks on the Exelon Patches, the lightheadedness came back strong.  That was the end of that and as of right now my doctor is trying me on half of the original strength of Aricept to see if that will help without the lightheadedness.

Without the medicine the real condition of my dementia is showing quite a lot. I hope to have a couple of good weeks on the half strength of Aricept before I see the new neurologist so I’ll be able to let her know if that works or not.

rosalyn useI didn’t plan to publish a new post today. After Wednesday’s visit to my neurologist (I call him my brain doctor) I changed my mind.

I open my personal life on my personal blog but have only shared about my mama’s journey through Alzheimer’s on this one. I am sharing my story because it is different than someone with Alzheimer’s but it includes memory loss and thinking deficiencies you may see in a loved one. I’m hopeful that knowing my story may help someone and that’s my whole intent in anything I write about.

I’ve known for about three years now that I have many lesions in my brain (I call them little holes) caused by having multiple TIAs (Transient Ischemic Attacks – mini strokes ). I also knew that I had atrophy in my brain but the emphasis originally was placed on stopping the lesions from increasing in number, until now. Since the initial diagnosis and for quite a while before that, I realized my memory and thinking were not what they use to be. I have a high IQ and was always able to do multiple things at once and the decline in a couple of areas (short term memory and thinking) had become very noticeable to myself and my husband in the last 5 years or so.

Three years ago, after a series of psychological testing by Dr. Susan Andrews a neuropschologist followed by numerous dr-shamsniamedical brain tests by my neurologist Dr. Morteza Shamsnia, I learned about my circulatory problem, the lesions and some brain atropy. Dr. Shamsnia prescribed Plavix (a blood thinner) to prevent more TIAs and Aricept which you all probably know as a medicine for Dementia patients with mild to medium cases (early to middle stage) to improve memory. I am hopeful it will help improve my memory and thinking.

I was also told that I had to diligently use my CPAP for the sleep apnea which I have. I wasn’t good about using it until then and unfortunately the lack of oxygen may have opened the way for the multiple TIAs I’ve experienced. Since then I find I cannot sleep if it’s not on me. I see this as God’s way of pushing me to do this important thing to stop these TIAs.

rosalyn use 5At a visit a few weeks ago, my neurologist said he wanted a new MRI to submit with my request for Social Security Disability which I plan to pursue. I had the MRI shortly after that appointment and returned yesterday to see Dr. Shamsnia to get the results. The good news is that there are no new lesions so the Plavix seems to be doing its job. I brought him the computer chip out of my CPAP (it records every time I use it) and he could see I use it all the time. Yay for me finally listening to a doctor and doing what he tells me to do! He told me that because of the importance of this to my brain’s health, I should get a back up battery for it should we ever lose electricity at night.

Now that the increase in lesions is under control, the focus shifts to cerebral atrophy (shrinking brain). I haven’t followed up with as often as I should have or this focus wouldn’t have taken so long to come up. In his words, I have significant brain atrophy far more than someone my age should have. I have had it for a while but we don’t know how long and we also don’t know the cause of it.

Here’s a brief definition of Cerebral Atrophy I found at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website:

Cerebral atrophy is a common feature of many of the diseases that affect the brain. Atrophy of any tissue means loss of cells. In brain tissue, atrophy describes a loss of neurons and the connections between them. Atrophy can be generalized, which means that all of the brain has shrunk; or it can be focal, affecting only a limited area of the brain and resulting in a decrease of the functions that area of the brain controls. If the cerebral hemispheres (the two lobes of the brain that form the cerebrum) are affected, conscious thought and voluntary processes may be impaired.

I didn’t know this to ask whether mine is general or focal. I also didn’t think to ask him what percentage my brain has atrophied. I need to bring my husband for my next visit so all the questions are asked. Dr. Shamsnia didn’t mention Dementia and I have to admit that I was terrified to ask the question so I do not know if that is part of this but the definition of Dementia is filled with symptoms I have.

Dementia is characterized by a progressive impairment of memory and intellectual function that is severe enough to interfere with social and work skills. Memory, orientation, abstraction, ability to learn, visual-spatial perception, and higher executive functions such as planning, organizing, and sequencing may also be impaired.

I will have to work up the courage to ask about dementia at my next visit. You’d think I’d be comfortable asking about it rosalyn use 2since I write about it but since its me, my fear kicked in. I should have asked because then I could face it or scratch it off of my concerns. I know that God will cover me with his love and as always will walk with me through this storm as He always has.

The causes for cerebral atrophy are: 1-Stroke (he says mine were just mini strokes and wouldn’t cause the atrophy), 2 – Malnourished (ha! I definitely don’t look malnourished BUT a vitamin deficiency of some sort is in that and could be the cause), 3 – Brain injury (which I’ve never had that I know of).

Because the main probability for me is a deficiency of something, the next steps are to see what my family doctor does blood work for (I had a blood test Wednesday morning). If my normal test doesn’t include things that I could have a deficiency in (causing the atrophy) Dr Shamsnia will order those tests. Once we know those results, he will know what to address to start putting an end or slow down to the continuous atrophy. People my age normally have approximately a one percent brain size loss each year until they die. Mine is not a normal amount. I’m also to try to get copies of any brain MRIs I’ve had in years before 2011 to see what showed up then.

rosalyn use 0I have an inability to take care of two things at once any longer, much less 5 things. If I cannot focus on the one thing I’m doing or have any interruptions I don’t produce the quality of work I strive for. I still live quite independently but my Hero husband has learned to pick up the slack in our daily lives and helps me remember things all the time. Having a phone with a memo pad on it and Google calendar alarms help a lot!

Dr. Shamsnia says that me doing the research for, and compiling the three blogs I publish, is excellent for keeping my mind active. Oh, and spell check on the computer helps disguise the deficiency in my typing that has been very apparent in recent years. I can still type 100 wpm but my one mistake I’d make has changed to 10 mistakes. My brain just doesn’t tell my fingers the correct words but spell check saves the day! Our RV lifestyle is also good for it, since when we live on the road most of the real life responsibilities are greatly reduced. God has guided us through this life changing process and I am so thankful He is there every day with us.

Dr. Shamsnia is putting together a letter to Social Security detailing my journey and I’ll be applying online shortly. He feels that with his documentation I will be able to get it. I will share with you that journey as it maybe helpful to someone doing that for themselves or their parent with Alzheimer’s. Social Security disability is a mysterious world to me, so if anyone has any advice please share!

I’ll get back to sharing information about Alzheimer’s and will include, when I have them, updates on my brain atrophy. I have to admit I have a deep concern that some of the things I’ve shared about what Alzheimer’s does to someone, are the things I may face. There I’ve said it out loud. My son and husband already know that what I write to you all is also written to them in case I need them to know these things I find important for caregivers.

rosalyn use 1

Enough of that, ya’ll have a fabulous weekend!

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published every Wednesday

10.23.17 Dora and the Explorers – Some Things I Learned about Dementia published 1.02.15

October 23, 2017 – I’ve read so many articles about the amazing affects that music has on someone with Dementia. Like I said in the last blog post. I want a lot of music to listen to.  Like my sister did with mama, I hope my friends and family will sing to me.  That just sounds so weird but I hope by now you understand.  And I need a headphone, gotta put that on the list.  The info below about musics effect is really important to me.  Since I wrote a recent blog post about wanting my Bible in audio form, my darling Hubby Roy found something we think will be perfect.  We ordered two, one for me and one for him!  I’ll share what it is when we receive it and check it out!!

One thing not related to this blog’s topic is that my knowledge of proper grammar and sentence construction has declined to where I write things that are grammar incorrect and don’t realize it.  I apologize to those grammar police that I use to be one of you!

The original blog from January 2015

Happy News Years! I am hopeful that 2015 will be a great year for everyone! I appreciate each of you that have started reading my little Alzheimer’s blog.

????????????????????????Having shared with ya’ll previously about how Mama responded so positively to listening to Christian gospel music, I wanted to share two videos I found on blog.TheAlzheimersSite.com about how music reaches deep into the mind of an Alzheimer’s patient unlike most other interactions do. Seeing this happen is way better than me telling you it can happen so here it is!divider 6The uplifting new documentary “Alive Inside” has been described as “a joyous exploration into our relationship with music and how it can re-awaken our souls.” The film follows social worker Dan Cohen as he seeks to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and return a sense of self to those suffering from it. See heartwarming clips from the film in the trailer below! It will make you want to run out and do this now, it makes such a difference.

alive insidedivider 6The Alive Inside video above gave Dave the inspiration to do the same with his mother who’s living with Alzheimer’s.

Watch and compare the differences of Dave’s mother’s personality before and after she is given opportunity to listen to music. A folk choir director for years, music has been important to this mother and her family. This son’s inspiration to reach his mother’s soul will amaze you and give you hope that there still is a little bit of your loved one inside of them, despite their Alzheimer’s. In case you miss the quick blurb that shows on the screen briefly, Dave’s mom’s communication at this point was limited to just four words. Watch what listening to songs she knows does to her ability to speak.

mans mother with songdivider 6Right before I was ready to post this week’s blog I came across the following regarding music and Alzheimer’s patients and wanted to share it. Click on the title below to watch this wonderful video.

Meet A Choir of Alzheimer’s Patients Who Sing FROM MEMORY

divider 6Please come back next time when I’ll share some things from the Alzheimer’s patients viewpoint. If you want to get10473348_794838303907612_7424689563724033928_n 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,
isaiah 40 29

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published every Wednesday

 

 

 

 

10.21.17 Dora and the Explorers – Some Things I Learned about Dementia published 12.26.14

October 21, 2017 – This blog post from 2014 had very important information.  As time goes on I am trying to take care of things like these now while my brain isn’t totally gone. These are the two topics in the blog post below:

– Learning about your loved one’s younger lives before it’s too late

– How to use their passions from when life was good, to bring some joy into their current lives

I have created and am still working on a very long document of things I remember in my life, from birth until now.  A year or so ago I asked friends and family on Facebook to send me memories they have with me.  I am sending the document to both our sons for them to add things I haven’t already included. If you have memories you’d like to share, send me an email at rosalyn@selu.edu.

This document will be available for Roy, Chip and their families to use.  The more they know about my life the more they will know about to know if something I say is really about my younger life and not a hallucination.  This document can also be used to bring up good old memories to talk to me about.  They say old memories are accessible in someone who has dementia much easier than recent memories.

I am creating a “Memory Box” of happy times in my life that I hope our family will use to connect with me when they visit later in this journey.  I have over 100 photos in it and another 100 photos to send to Walgreen’s to print out.  I wrote on the back of each of the first 100 photos the names of people in the photo to help my family, help me.

I hope to also have in my Memory Box music, lots and lots of music.  I’m working on collecting music that I have loved throughout my life.  Hymns, gospel, contemporary Christian music, Choir specials and solos from Trinity Baptist (our church) Enya, The Cathedrals, The Gaithers, Gold City, Bruce Willis, Beatles, Monkeys, and others I can’t think of now.  We’re figuring out how best to put this together.

Old TV shows too like Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, Andy Griffith, Moonlighting, Bonanza, etc.  Those are shows I will relate to and may help me.

I LOVE READING so I also want my Bible on my Kindle to be in audio.  Can’t imagine having anything better to listen to than words from God. I’ve been shopping for that lately.  I like the idea of having children’s books to read when the time comes that my big girl books are too difficult to read.

Madisyn gives me little stuffed bears that I cherish, they will be in the box.

I want Christian songs, scripture and prayer to be a a big part of the environment I live in, just like we did for mama.

One of the things near the end is a video that I hope you will watch.  I will be like Gladys one day and my caretaker I hope will be just like Naomi.

I know this got long but this is my time to share with those I love what I hope they will do to help me through what’s ahead.

The original blog:

Merry Christmas to everybody from my husband Roy and I! relxmas1We really hope everyone had a blessed Christmas day!

Two things I want to share today:

  • Learning about your loved one’s younger lives before it’s too late

  • How to use their passions from when life was good, to bring some joy into their current lives

Sometimes Alzheimer’s patients respond to things from earlier in their life, when they don’t respond to anything in their current lives. One of the things I wish I had known was this. Not just that fact, but what I could have done earlier to be more helpful during Mama’s time with Alzheimer’s.

t081026-Through-W3648Mama would say and do things that I thought were hallucinations. When I shared these things with my sister, who is older than me and knew more of Mama’s younger years, she realized that they were remembrances from Mama’s younger years. I wish I had taken the time to listen when mama told stories of her younger years BEFORE SHE GOT ALZHEIMER’S. Especially if I asked questions back then to learn more of her younger years, I would have had more knowledge of the reality behind her ramblings and been better prepared to help her.

Of course, we can’t ask every question to be prepared for every memory they may have but the point is: Learn more about your parents or the elderly in your life. Not only may the things you learn help you help them later, but our parents generation’s experiences should be passed down from generation to generation, so their descendents will know about them.

mama wedding us
My sister Harriett, Mama (Josie Mae Blum Traylor) and myself on Mama’s wedding day to my step-dad Vivian Traylor. She was certainly a glowing bride! This was probably 20 years ago before she started showing any signs.

I was so involved in my own life with my little growing family (husband and two sons) that most of my interactions with Mama in my adult years were needing help from her with the boys, dropping them off, picking them up, enjoying the hot meals she’d cook every now and then for us to enjoy at home after our long day of work. Stopping by mama’s just to visit and let her talk happened rarely, but how I wish now that someone had stopped me and said:

LOOK GIRL, ONE DAY YOUR MOM IS GOING TO HAVE ALZHEIMER’S AND YOU BASICALLY WON’T HAVE HER ANY MORE, EVEN THOUGH SHE’LL BE PHYSICALLY HERE. LEARN ALL YOU CAN ABOUT HER LIFE SO THAT WHEN YOU ARE TAKING CARE OF HER YOU CAN BRING TO HER LITTLE BIZARRE WORLD SOME OF HER OLD MEMORIES.

That’s the first message I have for you today. If your loved ones breathe their dying breath and didn’t experience a moment of Alzheimer’s you will still have more and deeper memories of them to sustain you in their absence. But if your loved one breathes many breaths enduring the horrors of Alzheimer’s, you’ll be ready and better prepared.

gif-animata-decorazioni-natalizie_102gSecond topic today is how to create an environment, in their little bizarre world, that is helpful to them.

God is so important to me that He’s in all aspects of everything in my life. He was certainly the Rock I leaned on during my time as a caregiver.

Mama had a very deep love for the Lord and was very faithful to Him throughout her life. Because of this we tried to make Christian songs, scripture and prayer a big part of the environment we provided for Mama as often as possible. We reached out to friends who sent video tapes of the Gaithers, the Cathedrals and other Christian gospel groups. I often heard my sister singing to mama Jesus Love Me and other songs she knew Mama would recognize. Every day we read scripture to her and people who visited did the same and always had prayer with her. Even near the end, as far along as the day she went to live with God, we did these things.

We did not do this this next thing but I wish we had. Get children’s books with lots of pictures in them and big words that are easy for them to handle (just like they are for the little ones with clumsy fingers). A picture book Bible of stories they’ve known since childhood with thick pages can take the place of their own Bible with thin, hard to manage pages.

If your loved one had an interest or two that you can build a comfortable world for them, try it. They may love country music and old westerns, oldies music, old black and white movies, all things cajun, or they lived in the country and loved cows and pigs. Bring those things into their little world (maybe not live cows and pigs) and you’ll be surprised at how they will respond to it. Again, I’m not an expert, but doing this for Mama was such a positive light in an otherwise dark existence, that I can’t help but believe it would carry over to others.

Putting pictures of loved ones and happy memories near them (remember eye sight is poor), using their favorite quilt or blanket, putting a small Christmas tree by their bed and other seasonal things throughout the year will brighten their lives when they look at them. Providing something soft near them to fiddle with (and they do fiddle and fidget!) gives them something to do.

gif-animata-decorazioni-natalizie_102gHere’s a link to a video about giving comfort to them and you’ll see the response Gladys has when Naomi touches her cheek and sings songs to her. It’s amazing what that does to bring them out of their shell. Pay close attention to this, it says so much more about the effect of touching them and really connecting than I could ever say in words. This is powerful stuff!

gladys and naomigif-animata-decorazioni-natalizie_102gMy deepest desire is that everyone will know about Jesus Christ and come to know him as their Lord and Savior. If your loved one is not a Christian I urge you to share with them about Him early on in their diagnosis when they can still understand things. If your loved one dies without accepting Him as their Lord and Savior they will go to Hell. 1979591_10152828246216740_3022907898589698174_nNot something people like hearing or talking about. But it is a reality that when you die you will go to Heaven or to Hell. Since you love your family member or friend I’m thinking you’d want to know their eternal life will be spent in Heaven with Jesus rather than the alternative.

When Mama died we were with her, and what a comfort it was to all there to know that when she left us in this world, she immediately went to be with Her Father in Heaven. She is now dancing with the angels and happier and healthier than she’s ever been. God said He’s prepared a place for us and she is now very deservedly living in that place. We miss her and often wish we could have her back but I can picture her up there shaking her finger saying “No mam, I’m where I was meant to be.”gif-animata-decorazioni-natalizie_102gPlease come back next time when I’ll share another important aspect of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. 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,

1384380_771255282942704_8193626016559780599_n

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published randomly

10.24.17 Dora and the Explorers – Some Things I Learned about Dementia published 01.09.15

mama reindeer ears
Mama at Thanksgiving, a very good day for her with all her family around her. She loved these reindeer ears so we let her wear them. The dialog below occurred around this time.

October 24, 2017 – How I miss my mom.  Seeing this picture again brought back so many memories of her beautiful spirit and oh how I loved those eyes of hers!  Rereading the ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER WITH MAMA that originally occurred in 2007 is something I’m happy to share again for readers who didn’t read it the first time it was published. This was part of her “weird little world” that I refer to on occasion.  I hope sharing this will help others and my own family.

Roy and I are deep into constructing a new house which takes up lots of time. So for the next couple of months I’ll be posting this blog every other Friday. Once the house is finished I’ll go back to weekly publishing! Thanks for following our blog!

I planned to wait a bit before posting today’s dialog until you all knew my mom a bit better. When I was putting the finishing touches on the original blog for today I kept thinking about this and realized this is what I’m suppose to share today. Possibly someone out there needs to read it because their loved one is in this stage or nearing it. The dialog below was fairly typical of a lot of evenings with mama during the last stage of Alzheimer’s.

I believe these ramblings of mama’s will be very eye opening for some. When I’ve referred to “this bizarre little world they live in” this is that world. Sometimes these ramblings would go on for hours and skip a few days and then pick up day after day. Having a baby monitor handy to take with me wherever I went I was able to get away from the constant rambling but still be in touch so I could step in if she really needed me. If you have the money to buy a monitor with a video screen I’d say get that. I didn’t have that but feel it would be a valuable tool in caring for them.

Something I want add here is that even though she doesn’t say it in this piece below she began calling her bed her “rack”. Anytime she hollered out it would be something about getting her off “this rack”. Took a bit to make that connection but since she said it numerous times a day we figured it out! Here we go with:

fancydivider1ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER WITH MAMA

Sunday night November 18, 2007 – 9:35 p.m.

After me going into check on her twice when she’s called and Roy going in to check on her twice I went upstairs to our bedroom and I’ve been listening to mama talk through the baby monitor for about an hour now. Since I can’t go to sleep until she’s asleep I decided to type what she’s saying.

“Where is my chair. I can’t find my chair. Someone took my chair. They don’t have anything better to do than to take my chair.”

“I have so much to do and I never get finished. I have so much to do but I enjoy doing it. Sometimes I think I do too much but sometimes I enjoy it. Uhmmm… But I need to do it and I enjoy it. Uhmmm it hurts but I enjoy doing it. It hurts too.

10013906_10152873429361718_2039051400472671846_nIt hurts but I have to do a lot of stuff. But you know it’s good and you’re suppose to do it. But it’s hurting you when you have to do it. It hurts, because it’s something you’re suppose to do. You’re suppose to do it, you need to do it. You have to do so much. You need to do certain things. Whether you like it or want to do things but that’s the way it goes. Oh Lord help me to realize it. Certain things you got to do whether you like to or not. And it hurts whether you like to do it or not. Thank you Lord for giving me the common sense that things have to be done whether you want to or not. “

Long silence.

“So many things I need to get so many things off of my mind. And I need so badly to help and do things that I mainly would not like to do but Lord knows no I can’t do everything I want to. And I just can’t get everything done. NO and I can’t get everything done for everything. Ohhhh I know I can’t … but I gotta try. I need to try and I do try pretty hard sometimes. I do try. But it doesn’t always work out for me. It just doesn’t work for me. My mind just doesn’t work in that way for me. Ohhhhhh ……. I wish it didn’t. Lord Help Me. Oh I know the Lord would help me. I feel like I need to do. He knows what I need and I just can’t do it. And Lord you know I can only do so much and you know my feet and legs are just hurting so much. Help me please Lord, I can only do so much, ohhhhhhh. Help me Lord. Please help me.”

(I went downstairs to see if I could reassure her and if she needed something and she said “no, I’m fine” and then “thank you darling”. I go back upstairs.)

“Lord Help Me please, I’m so limited in what I can do. I can only do so much and then….. , help me please. Lord help me please, cause I’m limited in what I can do. Ohhhh. My girls love me and I know they do but I can’t help it. I can’t help but cry. I can’t help it. I deserve to cry. “

(I went back downstairs and told her I loved her and covered her back up. She hollered “I love you” as I was leaving and I told her “I love you too.”)

She blew her nose

“I can’t believe it. I can’t help but cry. My ….. just hurts hurts hurts. And I can’t help it. Uhmmmm. My behind hurts too. My stomach hurts so bad. I don’t know why. But it hurts. I don’t know why. Uhmmmm. “

Long silence – She blew her nose.- Long silence.

“It hurts my behind so badly. Long silence. Oh it hurts so bad. Uhmmmm. I try to keep it from hurting but I can’t help it sometimes. Uhmmmm. But I try and it doesn’t always help. I wish somebody could help me to do that. It doesn’t help me though. No it doesn’t help a bit. Uhmmmm. Silence. (It’s 9:54 now.)

It didn’t help, not a bit. No matter how much you try to help it just doesn’t help. No matter how much you …. for it, it doesn’t help. It doesn’t help a bit. Silence. I d10805619_570046056465727_6872502226160874895_non’t think so. But it seems like it doesn’t matter, matter how much you try to help it but sometimes it doesn’t seem like it does. Sometimes…… and then it seems like it hurts more and more. And hurts and more and more and hurts. (She’s getting quieter now with more silence in between sentences.) I can’t help it, it seems like. Hurts more and more. It seems to be worse and worse. Sometimes they get worse and worse. I guess I can’t do anything about it. Uhmmmm. My knees get worse and worse too. And the dog gone feet they get worse and worse and worse. And my feet do to and I don’t know what to do. I can’t get them any better, I don’t know why they won’t get better. Feels like they get worse and worse, instead of better. Uhmmmm. They are getting worse NOW. I can’t get any better. They don’t get any better. I can’t get them any better. ………………

Somebody could come and help me. Somebody could come and help me a little bit and all that pretty chair all over there you could come and help me a little bit. (She starts getting louder.) Come and help a little bit it won’t kill you, it might make you feel better for helping somebody. Somebody it wouldn’t hurt you. I don’t think it would. I don’t think it would hurt you at all. It certainly wouldn’t……… Uhmmmm. I don’t think it would. Uhmmmm. A little bit of … wouldn’t hurt anybody. Uhmmmm. Uhmmmm. It never hurt, might not make you happy but it wouldn’t hurt you. It wouldn’t hurt at all. It wouldn’t hurt at all, it might not help you any but it wouldn’t hurt. They’re never busy, they’re just blabbing, blabbing, blabbing.

Oh, I lost a shoe (she doesn’t have any shoes on, just socks). Don’t know where my shoe is, well heck another shoe lost. Another shoe gone. Another shoe gone (she starts to cry). Oh where is my shoe. Somebody took my shoe or I lost it. I lost my shoe. Oh dog gone I lost another shoe. Uhmmmm. It hurts when I lose another shoe. Uhmmmm. I lost my other shoe. Oh what am I do, what am I do. Oh, I lost another shoe. Dog gone. Somebody come help me find it. I lost another shoe. Uhm, I can’t find it. I can’t find it. Somebody help me. Somebody come help me, please. I can’t find it. I can’t find my shoe. Ohhhh, they are hard to find. I can’t find it. Somebody can come and help me find them. Could somebody come help me find them. I might not, I’m gonna try. If somebody would I sure would appreciate it. Silence. I can’t find it no where. I can’t find it no where. Noooooowhere. My feet and toes hurt soooo baaaad. I can’t find it and can’t feel them anywhere.

Oh I wish I could. Is there anybody in the room? Rosie? I thought maybe there was one of the girls in the room. Rosie? Shoot I thought it was one of the girls. My …. was hurting so bad I thought it was one of you all. I needed to know who it was. And I couldn’t see and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who it was and I just wanted to be sure. OHHHHH. I didn’t know who it was and I wanted to be sure.

(I go downstairs and peek in on her but she’s laying there smiling and quiet so I go back upstairs)

10897013_10152939097016740_8571813695345601818_nMy knees hurt so bad and I didn’t know who it was and I just wanted to be sure. I just wanted to be sure and my …… Somebody can help me if he can. Somebody will. Who is that touching on my feet (nobody). Is that somebody touching my feet? I hope it is somebody that is willing to help me for a few minutes. Why didn’t you answer me (sounds mad)? I don’t bite. Please somebody help me. Please somebody help me. Please somebody help me. I can’t get out of this rack. I can’t get out of this bed. Somebody please help me. Please. I can’t get out of this bed. I can’t get out of this bed. Somebody help me PLEASE. Don’t be so greedy. I’m not gonna hurt anybody.

I don’t hurt anybody and I don’t bite anybody and I’m not gonna hurt anybody but I would appreciate it if you would help me, just for a little few minutes.

(I went downstairs to see if there was really anything I could do and when I walked in and asked she said “no, I’m fine”. I said you were calling for help and she said “I was?” So I went back upstairs)

“I surely would appreciate it if somebody would help me. Rosalyn. Rosalyn. (She says calling me, loudly. I just went down there so I don’t go again.) Rosalyn. You don’t have but one mother in here calling for you. (Of course I go back down – her underpants and socks are off and she says she doesn’t know how that happened – I put new underpants and socks on her, tuck her in and tell her I’m going to go back upstairs and try to go back to sleep so maybe she’ll go to sleep.)

Never, never. ……. But it hurts and it hurts and it hurts. And you can’t do anything….. Uh hummmm. Nothing, 68191_540179176119082_3188283374700687354_nnothing, nothing. I tried so hard so many times. So many times. I’ve tried and tried so many times and it didn’t work. And I’ve tried and tried so many times and it didn’t work. It didn’t work, it didn’t work but I tried and tried and tried. But I really tried.”

Long Silence – sleep maybe?

“Who is it, who is it, who is it? Somebody say something. They’re taking the cover. We need it we need it cause it’s cold outside. We don’t need it, we need it rather because it’s getting colder outside, outside. Getting colder outside, outside all the time. It’s cold forever. …… somebody must have borrowed some of it. No somebody must have borrowed some of it. Somebody must have borrowed some of it cause some of it’s gone. Goodness sakes you never know, you never know.

Okay – enough typing – It’s 10:40 and she’s still talking so I’m going to bed and listen to her on the other monitor and pray she goes to sleep soon.

fancydivider1

The following is another brief ramble the next day.

Nap time on Monday – 1 p.m. Don’t turn it over like some people do. Please please please let people know you care about them. And when you can help somebody, they know it. And it means a lot to them. It hurts when you know. It burns some up when you don’t show that you care about them. It means a lot to them. You need to let them know…… I need to know. Somebody help me. Please somebody help me. I can’t get up.

fancydivider1

Please come back next time when I’ll share another aspect of Alzheimer’s to help you understand it better. 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,

psalm 34 18

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Dora and the Explorers published randomly

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published randomly

 

10.20.17 Dora – Some Things I Learned about Dementia published 12.19.14

October 20, 2017 – My only personal comment on this is to ask everyone in my little world to treat me like we tried to treat mama. Kindness, sweetness and loving actions and words. It says the following in the original blog below but I want to emphasize this here also.

So here it is: Love them, be kind to them, be sweet even childlike sweet. Always strive for patience and calmness. Pray often for these things. It may not be in your nature to love others, be kind to others or be sweet to others. If not, I beg that you try it during this time. Fake it if you must, but be loving, kind and sweet to them.

10609479_773060536095512_770022682920397739_nNothing in today’s blog is from any source other than our experience with Mama. She lived in our home during the final stages of Alzheimer’s. While we were moving from one house to another (and doing renovations on the new house) she lived in a local Assisted Living Home. Most of the main points I make below can, and I hope will be, used in your care giving. I’ll share what we did that seemed to work and you take it from there to fit your situation.

This week’s blog started out being about two other topics. However, as I collected information to share and writing pieces to add into these blogs, one thing keeps tugging at me to be shared first.

So here it is: Love them, be kind to them, be sweet even childlike sweet. Always strive for patience and calmness. Pray often for these things. It may not be in your nature to love others, be kind to others or be sweet to others. If not, I beg that you try it during this t0ime. Fake it if you must, but be loving, kind and sweet to them.

BE LOVINGAre caregivers saints?? No, but sometimes it will feel like everyone expects you to be one and you may feel heavily weighed down with this responsibility. My solace was knowing that God is my Savior, my King, my everything and He would never leave me alone as I cared for Mama. My pastor was a great comfort during that time. My husband was my hero loving Mama like she was his own Mama and allowing our household to be completely turned upside down for a long time.

Normal took on a new meaning and I can’t stress that enough. We learned to laugh a lot and be silly to break the stress that sometimes hung in the air. My sister was my primary relief and was wonderful about coming to stay with mama as often as I needed her to. She’s my only sister, so it fell on us to care for mama in her last years, as she10734192_10152473918576198_829463759479924163_n so willingly loved and cared for us during our childhood years and on into our adult years.

These Alzheimer’s patients (I’d like to call them victims) didn’t make the choice to lose themselves to this disease that eats away at their true being, a little piece at a time. They are very dependent on their caregivers for a lot during the middles stages and for everything during the final stage.

It is easy to say “They don’t know what’s what, so why even care?” Can I say strongly enough “Shut it”. Don’t even go there if you have a loved one in need of your care. Most likely they were one of your primary caregiver when you were a baby growing into a child and teenager and didn’t let go until you became an adult. They loved and cared for you then and now is your opportunity to return that love and care.

Making the decision to become the primary caregiver may not have been a choice you made. You may have gotten it by default or you were the only one available. Whatever the reason, you have in your hands the heart and well being of someone for the final years, months and days of their lives. It’s a lot like being a parent, only the roles are reversed now.

Near the latter stages of Alzheimer’s Mama didn’t always know either my sister or I was her daughter, whose house she was living in or even who she was. Then nearer the end she couldn’t speak, walk, or smile any longer.

She had the most beautiful smile, I just had to share that!

During this time I started calling mama “pretty girl”, touching her face lovingly with the back of my hand, and loved her like a child loves to be loved. No matter what was happening in the rest of the house or how many times she’d call me into her room for the same thing over and over I “tried” to always enter her room with a smile on my face. She responded with sweet smiles and if she had been agitated like they sometimes are, that would stop.

10606322_770140433054189_4461898516402014795_nWhen they leave the world of reality for their bizarre little world, creating peace and happiness in some form for them is key.

I had two little beanie babies that we gave Mama as her babies to pet and love, and she was so happy with them. Mama loved to be needed and be helpful to others. She took right to taking care of the babies in the same way she use to take care of us. We would talk to them and she’d tell me stories about them and the joy on her face during those times was so heartwarming.

When she’d tell me some absolute foolishness I’d go there with her and we’d have a grand old conversation.

Most people benefit from the touch of another person. These wonderful people are no exception. Mama often applied hand lotion to her hands pre-Alzheimer’s and her hands were always soft. She responded so well to having that done while living with Alzheimers that we made a regular practice of doing that. Just that simple act calmed and soothed her spirit. Don’t just stop with the hands and arms (and while doing that do it slowly so they enjoy it longer) every now and then do their feet and legs. The stimulation this gives them is so therapeutic to giving them another moment of light in their otherwise darkening world.

In one of next week’s topics I’ll share more about how we tried to provide a peaceful loving environment for Mama based on her love for the Lord.

Your Alzheimer’s patient isn’t my mom, so your choices will be different, but they all deserve all our love and kindness. You will see that message in my different forms throughout the weeks this blog is written.

index Please come back next time when I’ll share two topics: Learning about your loved ones lives before it’s too late and how to use their passions from when life was good to bring some joy into their current lives 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

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published every Wednesday