What does it mean when someone is said to have dementia? For some people, the word conjures up scary images of “crazy” behavior and loss of control. In fact, the word dementia describes a group of symptoms that includes short-term memory loss, confusion, the inability to problem-solve, the inability to complete multi-step activities such as preparing a meal or balancing a checkbook, and, sometimes, personality changes or unusual behavior.
“Hello, I must be going…” read the note addressed to me and taped to the door of Allan Reiff's office in the Philosophy/Humanities Department at our local community college. The year was 1983, and little did I know then, the dark truth hidden in those seemingly light-hearted words; the man I would eventually marry would be taken from me all too soon by the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
For the past 15 years my mother and I have been under the tutelage of Alzheimer’s Disease, a malevolent force which has actually been with her much longer than that but I was too obtuse, and she was too confused, to comprehend. She will turn 101 this November, still a strikingly beautiful woman. Our family is just the two of us and our fat cat, Velcro, who cares for us both.
My name is Lisa. I’m a baby boomer and so was my childhood sweetheart. We met at 15, and dated until we were married in 1966, just turning 20 years old. We were born in August, and chose that month to marry as well. A lot of celebrating for two Leos.
Our life began rather simply. Living and working in San Francisco, but wanting to start a family, we decided to buy a home in the burbs.
Tips to help caregivers move or transfer a loved one with mobility limitations
Learn proper body mechanics. Ask for a Physical Therapy referral from your physician to teach you how to use your body so you don’t get hurt.
Save your back. If you feel a strain, get help; don’t do it alone. This is for your safety and the safety of the person you are trying to move. If you hurt your back, you aren’t going to be able to care for someone else.
Tips for caregivers of loved ones with dementia, who are concerned with providing the proper nutrition:
Avoid food fights. Make mealtime as pleasant as possible. Encourage someone to eat but don’t demand, cajole or threaten.
Someone with dementia may not know what he/she wants to eat. If giving choices, give only two things to choose between. Even if a choice is made, the person may not want it when it is presented. Don’t take it personally. If you know his/her favorite foods, have them available for back up. Favorite foods might change.
The 2013 winners, chosen at the close of last year, are described below. The organizations are expected to receive their awards from Family Caregiver Alliance and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation this week at the American Society on Aging's Aging in American Conference held all this week, March 11-15, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt inSan Diego.
Thank you for your interest in the Gilbert Awards. The application period for 2014 submissions has ended; though we are no longer accepting applications for this past year, do visit this page again for next year's application. Thank you!
My husband disguised it well, but I knew. I had known for the last seven or eight years. He was sixty-five and I was forty-seven. We had been married for sixteen years. The eighteen years between us never made a difference.