November 8, 2014 2 comments

Hello, dear readers and friends.  Over the last couple of years, I have been amazed by the number of people who follow my words through subscription.  The WordPress site keeps statistics on where my readers come from, among other things, and it has flattered me greatly to see that people in  Singapore, South Africa, France, to name a few.

Well, I see today that the number of my followers is up to 96.  An incredible number indeed, but let’s see if we can get that number a little higher.  Can we get it to 100?

The 100th person who follows this website will be awarded with a book from my own collection.  If you do happen to notice that you are the 100th subscriber, please drop me a line through the comments function, and give me your  e-mail address (I promise that I will delete it as soon as I see it, for purposes of privacy.)  Also please tell me if you’re a person with dementia, a caregiver, a professional, or something else.  That will determine my choice of your prize.

Thanks, and good luck!

Categories: Uncategorized

You Stink Nice

December 12, 2014 Leave a comment

badsmellI’ve been doing a lot of reading this morning on how different scents trigger memories in persons with dementia.  This time of year, there are many stimulating aromas that can cause a person to recall an episode from the past, or just cause them to be a little more alert to the environment around them.  These can include Christmas trees, a pie just out of the oven, homemade bread, and so on.  It’s possible to find candles which simulate the fragrance of chocolate-chip cookies, apple pies, lemons, and so on.

This morning, I came across a website devoted to the construction of therapeutic landscapes, or scent gardens.  For those who enjoy gardening, this would be a wonderful activity to share between a person with dementia and his/her caregiver.  Not only could it trigger scent memories, but could also very likely tap into procedural memory (if this is something that he/she enjoyed), not to mention the benefits of getting out in the open air and doing something with someone you care about.  And enjoying the fruits of one’s labors can’t be discounted, either. Read more…

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Paying It Forward

December 11, 2014 Leave a comment

Image courtesy Boians Cho Joo @ http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

I was spending some time at my local library today, and found myself browsing through the stacks looking for books on Alzheimer’s Disease and related topics.  I did find a couple I wasn’t familiar with, and I was delighted to see that Dr. Ruth Westheimer has recently put out a book of advice for caregivers.  Years ago, I fell in love with this feisty senior citizen, when she would appear on television giving out advice on marital problems and other issues.  So, I had to check out Dr. Ruth’s Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver, subtitled How to Care for Your Loved One without Getting Overwhelmed . .  and without Doing It All Yourself. Read more…

Categories: Caregivers, Resources

Making Holiday Meal Safer for those with Swallowing Difficulties

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Many persons who have dementia, especially those in the latter stages, have difficulty swallowing certain kinds of foods.  They often need a modified diet, and many actually be forced to refrain from some of their favorite foods.  The holidays can be especially troubling for these people and their caregivers, as they may not be able to understand why everyone else is enjoying a big plate of turkey and all the fixings, and they are stuck with two or three globs of pureed mess.

Here is a thoughtful and informative article written by a speech pathologist, offering suggestions for dealing with this problem.  (Written better than I could myself.)  Please follow this link and check it out.)

Making Holiday Meal Safer for those with Swallowing Difficulties.

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More on Lyme Disease

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Recently, one of my readers asked me a question about the relationship between Lyme disease and Alzheimer’s disease.  I had previously written an article about Lyme disease and dementia (read it here), but went on the web to do a little more research.  I happened to find an article published in August of this year by the journal of the American Medical Association, which gave a rather definitive answer to that question.  After studying records of persons diagnosed with both Lyme Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as analyzing the parts of the country in which they resided, they came to the conclusion that there was no direct correlation between the two conditions.  Some people who get Lyme disease do show cognitive symptoms, including memory loss, but these symptoms usually go away with time. Read more…

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Brain 101: What is a Concussion?

November 5, 2014 Leave a comment

I found this charming, but informative, clip while cruising around the internet.  I hope you enjoy it, and also get something out of it.

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Top three things NOT to say to someone visiting their loved one in a nursing home

November 5, 2014 Leave a comment


Wow! This article taught me a few things. Very powerful words here.

Originally posted on life on wry:


There have been numerous occasions when I have returned to my car in a furious state after a visit to see Mom (Little Red Riding Hood) at her senior living facility when a staff member said the wrong thing.

I don’t think anyone ever intentionally means to say the wrong thing. Honestly, I don’t think most staff members in these facilities realize the impact that their comments can have when every emotion we have is running at full tilt.

These unintentional slips happened much more often before I started volunteering at Mom’s place every Thursday afternoon to facilitate a Memories in the Making watercolor art class. Volunteering regularly has helped me get to know the caregivers and to be much more zen during my visits. However these slips still happen once in a while, and they still make me want to scream.

Top three worst things to say to someone visiting their loved one in a nursing home:

View original 624 more words

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