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Archive for the ‘Alzheimer’s’ Category

NFL star, Terrell Owens is grateful of his stardom and attributes fame to his grandmother. Because she raised Terrell, she was the one responsible for his love of the sport.

Alice Black was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease during Terrell’s first NFL season, 14 years ago. Mr. Owens stated, “It’s like she is dying a slow death.” Unfortunately, his grandmother will never know how he has thrived at the sport and  no longer recognizes her grandson.

Terrell spreads awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease by participating in Memory Walks to raise money for reasearch. He has also appeared in several public announcements regarding the disease. Several years ago he testified before Congress to increase  federal funding for research.

At the ago of 76, Alice Black is now residing in a nursing home down south, where her communication skills have diminished .

Terrell wishes very much his grandmother could share his achievements with him and to thank her.

Article by WebMD

An Afro-American Alzheimer Research Study is being conducted at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Keeping Memories Alive. They are looking for participants, click here.

If you would like a loved one honored on our Quilt of Remembrance, in full color print within Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Journal, please click here. We will gladly mail copies to you and your family.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. Journal

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The end of Alzheimer’s disease starts here. June 11th, 2011

Join the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s™ and unite in a movement to reclaim the future for millions. With more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and nearly 11 million more serving as caregivers, the time to act is now!

When you register for Walk to End Alzheimer’s, you’re joining an unstoppable force of thousands of people who are standing up to this devastating disease.

Our journey starts now. It’s easy to join our team:

Register. It takes just a few minutes online.

Start a team. Participating in Walk to End Alzheimer’s is even more fun with a group. Ask your co-workers, family and friends to walk as a team. You’ll be amazed at how many people want to help.

Fundraise. Every Walk to End Alzheimer’s participant is asked to raise money for the fight against Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s Association staff are ready to support you every step of the way with tips, tools and advice.
 
Get Creative. Raise money with our online tools, hold a fundraising event or ask for a donation when you’re face-to-face.
 
Walk! Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a unique experience. See the difference you can make as we walk to change the course of Alzheimer’s together.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Since 1989, this all age, all-ability walk has mobilized millions to join the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, raising more than $347 million for the cause. Events are held annually in the fall in nearly 600 communities nationwide.

All Walk to End Alzheimer’s donations benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has a two-year research study and needs your help, click here

Suggested foods may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal

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 Alzheimer’s Disease is on the rise with someone being diagnosed every 70 seconds. Families are choosing to keep loved ones at home, hiring in home care agencies to help or

choosing a reputable facility specializing in Alzheimer Care.

One of the top Alzheimer Care facilities in the Buffalo, NY area is Harris Hill Nursing Facility, not because of one of my family members resides here, but the various activities, parties and projects offered.

For Alzheimer patients who are aware of their surroundings and have the desire to feel needed, activities are crucial on a daily basis.

Activities range from tactile (papercrafting, repetitive projects), audio (singing, listening to story-telling or music), physical (gardening or house keeping). Depending on the patients level of function, there is an activity for them, even if for only a few minutes per day.

 

When I visit Harris Hill, one particular woman with Alzheimer’s Disease is always carrying her baby doll in her arms being so attentive with such love in her eyes.

 

The parties and events are long processes with staff moving very slow. It is not the destination it is the journey. High strung people like myself have to slow down and enjoy the talk, dance and smiles of the residents who think they have known you all of their lives.

 

Find out what kind of activities are offered when you are selecting your loved ones new home. The disease may bring out new personality traits and hidden talents, which are just a moment away of being revealed to you.

Alzheimer’s Disease facilities in the Piedmont Triad Area can schedule gardening activities with Diana Digs Dirt

of papercrafting projects with Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal

We are looking for a monthly papercrafting location in the Greensboro, NC for a workshop to meet on the 3rd Friday of the month from 5-11PM. This would be added exposure for your facility where workshops will be photographed and posted on Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal’s Blog. The workshops will reach out to community members wanting to learn how to compose keepsakes of loved ones, pets or baby’s gone too soon in the form of journal books, scrapbooks, collages, cards and more.

Email- Diana (@) justacloudaway.com to schedule activities

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Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of demetia in people 65 years and older and every 70 seconds, someone is diagnosed with the disease. 5.3 million American’s and their families are touched by Alzheimer’s Disease.

1. Dark Chocolate

  • Brain Food Facts:Studies carried out by Norwegian researchers found that the flavonoids in cocoa increase blood flow to the brain and may help to protect against conditions with reduced cerebral blood flow like dementia and stroke. To get the most benefits, buy chocolates with low sugar but high cocoa content (70% or more is the best like these 80% organic extra dark chocolates from Vital Choice).However, while cocoa is rich in beneficial compounds, it’s also high in saturated fats. Many times, it’s also paired with high-fat ingredients like full cream in desserts. So it’s best to keep dark chocolate to a small once-a-week treat.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Flavonoids can be found in practically all fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. A good rule of thumb is that the more colorful a fruit or vegetable is, the higher the levels of flavonoids. Some flavonoid-rich foods that have been studied intensively include red wine, green tea and cherries which will be discussed in detail below.

2. Red Wine

  • Brain Food Facts:The same Norwegian study on dark chocolate also credited modest wine drinking for conferring protective effect on cognitive function and decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This is due to the high levels of flavonoids and possibly other polyphenolics such as resveratrol that are presence in red wine.However, alcohol is a double-edged sword that should be used with caution. Because, ironically, many studies have also found that excessive alcohol intake can lead to dementia as well as a host of other serious health conditions such as cancer by triggering chronic inflammation. So if you do drink, limit yourself to no more than one glass a day.It’s also important to note that in the first few hours after drinking wine, alcohol may actually slow thinking and interfere with the memory temporarily. If you’re preparing for an important test or going to sit for an examination, drinking wine is probably not the way to boost your performance.Alternative Foods for the Brain:

    Green tea is rich in a type of flavonoid known as catechins which can reach as high as 1 gram in a single cup. Numerous studies have attest to the health beneficial properties of green tea including its ability to cut the risk of cancer as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Its ability to keep weight in check also makes green tea a popular choice in many health promoting diets.

3. Clam

  • Brain Food Facts:Researchers in the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging (OPTIMA) found that elderly adults with low vitamin B12 levels had more than four times the usual risk of Alzheimer’s. It’s thought that when vitamin B12 levels are low, blood levels of homocysteine will raise, significantly increasing the risk for dementia, heart attack ad other ailments. To get a healthy dose of vitamin B12, look no further than clams. This shellfish packs a whopping 98.9mcg of vitamin B12 in just 100g serving, or 1648% of the RDA.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Rich sources of vitamin B12 are found in seafood and animal sources including oysters, mussels, fish, shrimps, scallops, liver of most animals and beef. Lower levels of vitamin B12 can also be found in seaweeds, yeasts and fermented foods like miso and tempeh.

4. Asparagus

  • Brain Food Facts:A Korean study published in 2008 found that individuals who were folate deficient were 3.5 times more likely to develop dementia. What’s more surprising is that those who were not folate deficient but had low folate measures were also at significantly increased dementia risk. To make sure you get sufficient folate, make asparagus a frequent addition to your meals since one cup of these green spears will fulfill nearly 66% of your daily folate needs.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Other great sources of folate include citrus fruits, beans (be sure to sprout them to maximize their nutrients and enhance absorption by the body), broccoli, cauliflower, beets, lentils and leafy green vegetables such as spinach and turnip greens.

5. Wild Salmon

  • Brain Food Facts:According to a study conducted by Tufts University in Boston, subjects who consumed an average of three servings of oily fish a week had almost 50 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These individuals had significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid in the blood than those who took less fish in their diets. And salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids as well as other important nutrients such as vitamin D and B12 that can help to prevent neurodegenerative disorders.But, as wild caught salmons, frozen or canned, generally contain more omega-3, less omega-6 and fewer toxins, you’re better off buying the wild version whenever possible. Aim to eat at least two to three servings of oily fish each week to supply your body with inflammation-fighting compounds. If you’re concerned about environmental toxins such as PCB in seafood, you can also consider taking whole fish oil supplement derived from wild salmon.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Anchovies and sardines are also very good sources of omega-3 fats. For people who don’t eat fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and dark green leafy vegetables are rich in plant-based omega-3 precursor, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). But they lack eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the two primary omega-3’s. Although technically ALA is converted by the body to EPA and DHA, in reality, the conversion rate is very low (only about one to two percent) and is further reduced if your omega-6 intake is high. So relying solely on walnuts, flaxseeds and dark green leafy vegetables may not provide your body with adequate omega-3 fats. In this case, you can boost your omega-3 intake either by selecting more EPA and DHA-fortified foods, take vegan omega-3 supplements, or both.

6. Walnut

  • Brain Food Facts:Research by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging suggested that a moderate, but not high, diet of walnuts helped improve motor and cognitive skills in older rodents. The experts believed that a combination of polyphenols, omega-3 fats and other bioactive substances in walnut is responsible for this beneficial effect.But more is not necessarily good. The study discovered that mice fed on a walnut diet equivalent to a human eating more than 1 ounce of walnuts, or about seven to nine walnuts, a day actually displayed lower long-term memory skills.This may be due to the high omega-6 content of walnut. Although this brain-like nut is high in alpha-linolenic acid, it’s even richer in linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid. Linoleic acid could lead to more inflammatory compounds being created and less anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats in the body when the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is out of balanced.Alternative Foods for the Brain:

    Though the exact mechanism of how walnut improves cognitive function is unclear, most doctors and nutritionists recommend eating a wide range of food, including nuts. So don’t stop at walnuts. Each day, grab and enjoy a handful of mixed nuts, dried fruits and seeds — like hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, raisins, dried cranberries and blueberries — to get a spectrum of health-boosting nutrients each day.

7. Cherry

  • Brain Food Facts:Scientists found that the antioxidant compounds, anthocyanins, which give cherries their bright red color possess anti-inflammatory properties that could work like pain medications such as Vioxx and Celebrex, but without the nasty side effects. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs can cause adverse effects, some of which are severe like stomach bleeding and heart attack, especially among the elderly. But cherries do not irritate the stomach the way manufactured drugs do and they also contain compounds that keep platelets in the blood from clumping together.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Berries like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are jam-packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that help to reduce brain inflammation and brain oxidative stress, both of which have been associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

8. Turmeric

  • Brain Food Facts:Plaques in the brain are thought to contribute to the degradation of brain cells and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. A study found that curcumin in turmeric is an effective substance that removes plagues from the brain. Turmeric, a top anti-inflammatory food used since ancient times, is commonly used as a spice in curry dishes. Countries with populations that eat curry regularly, such as India, have been observed to report lower rates of dementia. Add this inexpensive, versatile spice into your meals at least once a week to cool inflammation and ward off dementia.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Ginger is a close cousin of turmeric with similar anti-inflammatory properties. Though study on its effect on the brain is limited, ginger’s ability to reduce inflammation may also confer some inhibitory effect on dementia indirectly.

9. Apple

  • Brain Food Facts:There are now even more reasons to take an apple a day. Quercetin, found in abundance in the skins of apples, has been found to protect the brain from damages associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders in studies conducted by Cornell University. Other studies have also suggested that eating apples may also help reduce the risk of cancer.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Capers, a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, lovage and red onion are also excellent sources of quercetin. Berries like cherries, raspberries and cranberries also contain some but lower amounts of this flavonoid. Article by The Conscious Life

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An Afro-American research study on Alzheimer’s Disease is underway at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

The study is being promoted as Keeping Memories Alive. This 2 year, national education and awareness campaign proposes to educate, and motivate to action, more than 12 million Americans through, multiple media outlets and grassroots community-based efforts. By combining the resources and talents of the Alzheimer’s Association, AARP, and research partners, the Keeping Memories Alive Alzheimer’s Project will become an effective model for translating scientific information to the public.

The Keeping Memories Alive Alzheimer’s Project team envisions a proactive and “brain-healthier” world.

African-Americans have a greater risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. To participate in the research study, you must be

  • African-American
  • 60 years of age or older
  • Male or Female
  • With or without memory problems

Finding genes that cause Alzheimer’s Disease and leaning how they interact with factors such as diet and the environment will lead to improved tools for diagnosis and better treatments for the disease.

To enroll, please call the Alzheimer’s Study Coordinators toll free at 1-888-248-2808 or 1-877-686-6444

What are the study facts

  • Participation is voluntary
  • All information is confidential
  • There is no cost to you
  • Your current healthcare or insurance will not be affected
  • Travel is not necessary
  • One may withdraw at any time
  • Research progress will be sent to study participants in periodic newsletters

Additional resources

 

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The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 51 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 71 posts. There were 377 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 105mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was November 8th with 90 views. The most popular post that day was My Grandmother Didn’t Remember Me.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, shivere.wordpress.com, en.wordpress.com, mail.yahoo.com, and justacloudaway.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for angelversary poems, funeral photography, infant loss photography, infant death photography, and funeral flowers.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

My Grandmother Didn’t Remember Me November 2010
5 comments

2

Funeral or Memorial Service for a Baby January 2010

3

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Photography January 2010
1 comment

4

Funeral Flowers February 2010

5

Helleborus Memory Garden Plant December 2009
1 comment

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The home had the typical and comforting scent of any Grandparents house, cottage-like. The room was warm and cozy with Joe reclined in the corner chair wearing a flannel and covered with a fuzzy fleece blanket. He was awake, talkative and in a jovial mood.

 Joe and Evelyn

Joe and Margaret Davis just celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary with her knowing the past 5 years her husband had Alzheimer’s disease. Margaret noticed signs of the disease more than 8 years ago and decided to keep her husband at home. Margaret is still in good health and with the assistance of an in-home care agency to help with cooking (for both), cleaning, companionship and looking after Joe, they can live together. The agency reminds Margaret that hurtful words Joe would occasionally speak is the disease talking and being in the military (long-term memory) may contribute to other comments.

 

Joe was also emotional this day and held Margaret’s hand saying,” When I was 18, I loved this woman and I can’t remember her name.” Margaret stated her and Joe always held hands and still pray together, with Joe remembering most of the Lord’s Prayer. While Joe was still awake and in good spirits, Margaret decided to play a song on the piano while the rest of us tried to sing. Amazing Grace was the selection and Joe was very moved by the music by letting go of a few tears and squeezing Evelyn’s hand.

 Joe and Margaret

Margaret is able to treasure lasting memory’s within the walls of their home, especially with the love and support of their daughter Millie. Millie checks on them regularly and communicates directly with the in-home care agency regarding concerns or issues needing to be addressed, including the 90 day assessments.

 Margaret plays Amazing Grace

As we left, Margaret was sure to show us all the photographs of them together through the years, with every picture having a detailed story. Joe said good-bye to us and that Margaret knew everything and is a beautiful woman he would never forget.

Evelyn Yalung of Options for Senior America takes on new clients, however, considers them an extended part of her family with frequent visits, phone calls and gift giving. Most of her clients are spouses wanting to keep loved ones at home. For those with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, Options for Senior America provides 24 hour in-home care. This is due to the patient needing constant care. Those with the disease may wander and put themselves in danger. Evelyn knows that families with loved ones diagnosed with the disease are overwhelmed. She offers a listening ear and literature to walk families through the transitions forthcoming. In-home care provides Margaret with a peace of mind and someone to talk to when matters are too much to handle by herself.

Read a daughter’s perspective

Read a granddaughter’s perspective 

Free Supplies, tools and materials for monthly papercrafting workshop to honor loved ones and remember those who have passed.

Emerald Event Center

2000 East Wendover

January 21st Friday Night

from 5-11pm

RSVP Diana@justacloudaway.com

 

Sponsored by

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 Just a Cloud Away Inc. ™ Journal will be presenting a brief talk on the various ways art is incorporated into the healing process, for Caregivers and those with Alzheimer’s Disease. Art is an alternative way to communicate.

 Remember & Honor Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s,

“The Way They Were & the Way They Are Now”

 Thursday November 18th

12-1:30pm

Emerald Event Center 2000 East Wendover Avenue

Create a Cake Catering providing lunch for $13.00

 November is Alzheimer Awareness Month

 Topics to be discussed:

  • Creating a tribute, honoring the life of a loved one with Alzheimer’s-video montages, poetry

  • Benefits of incorporating art therapy in the lives of Alzheimer’s patients. Parts of their brain that deal with colors and composition can still be used and developed and even people with advanced Alzheimer’s disease can continue to create art. A study showed that patients receive pleasure and satisfaction after creating artwork.

Below is a self portrait of an American artist William Utermohlen, 1967

Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1995.

Below is his last self portrait in 2000.

A Papercrafting Workshop will be held at the same location December 3rd, Friday evening from 5-11pm to share and create keepsakes for/of our loved ones. More information here. Please RSVP to Diana@justacloudaway.com

My personal story of the day Gram forgot me.

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After 12 years with Alzheimer’s Disease, this was the year Gram didn’t remember me when I visited her at the nursing home. My father said, “Mom, do you remember this girl?” She looked at me and said no. The toughest part was enduring her playful laugh as I sobbed in my hands. She was confused and amused as to why this strange girl was crying. I had a feeling this would be the dreaded moment because the instant we locked eyes, there was no spark of love, memories or the faintest feeling of familiarity. I was just another face.

Gram and I were close because I lived in her upstairs apartment, while she resided in the lower flat, for a few years. This was a symbiotic relationship because Gramps passed, leaving her alone and this gave me an opportunity to experienced some independence.

We spent a great deal of time together and became friends. She would often invite me to lunch (on her) and after some time, were regulars at Albert’s, Denny’s and Casa de Pizza.

When Gramps entered the nursing home, my Grandmother rearranged her schedule to care for him and he was not the easiest husband. She would help anyone who needed it and sincerely would give you the shirt off her back.

I loved living with her because she was never in a bad mood (or pretended). She would yell up to me, “Diana, do you want a cup of coffee?” Instant was her favorite, probably because she did not want to remember how to work a coffee maker. It was a nasty cup of coffee, but the company was great. Whenever I am offered an instant cup of coffee now, I gladly accept and memories of Gram flood my brain and the cup is savory and tolerable.

Gram always slipped me some “gas” money, bought  jewelry from the local department store or cooked hot meals for me, a poor college student. I miss those days and there will be nothing that comes close to replacing them.

I wear her jewelry with pride and share the story of her when these gems are questioned and admired.

Gram is a beautiful person inside and out.

 I sometimes think she is now living the life she should have all along, because of how Alzheimer’s has changed her. Unfortunately, Gram had a few regrets in life and would have never been caught dead wearing the hat below. I think Alzheimer’s Disease has given her a bit of freedom and playfulness she never felt comfortable expressing without the disease.

10 years ago, Gram was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease during our wedding. I know she was a bit confused, but looked lovely. She knew how to play it off by saying, “Hi honey” or “Yes, Yes, I remember you”, but never did state their name.

If in the triad area, we will informally gather to papercraft memories, more info here

I created an Alzheimer’s Awareness Ribbon (magnet) for my grandmother. The ribbon color is purple, hence the purple cording around the edges and the purple paper in the background.

There are so many ways to create meaningful keepsakes of those we love dearly.

I love you Gram…..

Read my mother’s perspective…

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A Personal Story of a Daughter’s Love

by Rose Mecca

I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to be a Caregiver for my mom, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  She lived with us for almost 8 years.  But I would have NEVER been able to do so without a caring, loving husband who was more of a son than a son-in-law to mom.  Generous siblings greatly aided us in her care by allowing down time by taking mom out for dinners.

 If a person is alone in this process called Care giving, the days seem never-ending.  I can’t imagine the trials and tribulations of the adventure without help.

 When mom first came to live with us, she had not been diagnosed with her illness.  Within 3 months, the unimaginable became reality.  My husband and I accepted the facts as they were and began making changes in our schedules and that of our mother.

 

I think one of the biggest mistakes in the beginning months was not asking for more help from family members and not expressing our frustrations and anxieties dealing with mom.  When we asked for help and were more open, the help was there.  The Alzheimer’s Association was also great in making us aware of the resources available to us.

 

Mom was still volunteering at our local hospital in the beginning, but over time became more and more difficult for her.  She could not remember the directions even with visual aids.  She could no longer follow simple directions at volunteering and had to be monitored constantly.  We suggested that she discontinue her volunteering and she agreed.  She was aware of her memory problems and it was so sad to see.  They loved her at the hospital and to this day tell us how much they miss her smiling face.

This move robbed her freedom while putting more responsibility on us to provide continual activity for her.  She has always had lots of energy but now it was in overdrive.  My husband devised activities for her such as, stringing beads, making 100 piece puzzles or sweeping the sidewalk around our house.  We simply could not find enough to keep her busy.  We were the ones getting exhausted while she never seemed to tire.  She then started to ‘shadow’ us so that when one of us left her vision, she wanted to know where we were. 

After 8 years, placement in a nursing home became necessary.  I cried and still cry when I think of that day when we placed her in her new ‘home’.  I know in my head it was right, but my heart cannot accept that fact.

For anyone in this situation, I would suggest communicating immediately with other family members and taking full advantage of help available for Caregivers.  The Alzheimer’s Association is a wonderful and helpful agency.  Don’t attempt to do it alone and never let your own health suffer while Care giving. 

Looking back, I never regret those years with mom.  Life is more peaceful now for us and for mom.  We do not worry about her.  She is still loved and believes that she is a volunteer in her new home and we all visit her very often.

Granddaughter speaks on Alzheimer’s

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