Aug 152014
 
Beauty and the Bread

When my mother Naomi was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010 at the age of 70, my father, Jack, actually started cooking for the first time in his life. Through the painful realization that we were losing our beloved mom and wife, we found humor in the situation. My father had actually entered the kitchen! This post is an excerpt from The Lost Kitchen: An Alzheimer’s Memoir and Cookbook, which chronicles the story of how my [...]

Jun 182014
 
Facing Alzheimer's With My Mother's Strength: Patti's Story

My mom has Alzheimer’s.  And it’s not easy. Patience is not a trait that runs in our family, and Alzheimer’s tries to take away your control. But I have learned that by educating myself about the disease and reaching out to others going through similar situations, my sisters and I can stay strong. I was born when my mom was 37 and my dad was 41.  They had already “finished” their family – my sisters [...]

Jun 142014
 
Go Big or Go Home: Advocating for Dad

Father’s Day – or any day, for that matter – is not a typical day for Jason. Jason is a teenage caregiver. While many young adults of 18 are thinking about final exams and high school graduation parties, Jason Hatke’s mind is looking much further into the future. At age 46, Jason’s father Mike was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Jason was only 13. There were signs in the years before Jason’s father was diagnosed. [...]

Feb 212014
 
A Caregiver's Decision to Participate in Clinical Trials

Volunteers – both with and without Alzheimer’s disease – are needed to participate in actively enrolling clinical trials about Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Recruiting and retaining trial participants is one of the greatest obstacles to developing the next generation of  treatments and possibly future cures for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. TrialMatch® is a free matching service that connects individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, caregivers, healthy volunteers and physicians with current clinical studies. With a [...]

Feb 142014
 
Creating Awareness during Black History Month

During Black History Month, the Alzheimer’s Association spoke with Dr. Monica Parker, an African-American family physician, caregiver and assistant professor of medicine about her passion for providing communities with local resources. The theme throughout all of her research and work in the field is simple: Education. Board certified since 1990, Dr. Parker has practiced primary care and geriatric medicine in rural Georgia and urban Atlanta. Since 1995, she has been practicing with Emory Healthcare, often [...]

Dec 232013
 
Missing Jim During the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I miss Jim so much during Christmas time. I miss our discussions about what to get the kids and our families. I miss sitting next to our tree, looking at the lights and sharing quiet time together. I miss feeling excited, wondering what thoughtful present he placed under the tree. I miss singing songs, watching movies and so much more. Jim still throws out a hum (actually, lots of hums) during Christmas songs, but it [...]

Dec 062013
 
When My World Became All Things Alzheimer's

“In all likelihood, you have mild cognitive impairment that will eventually lead to younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, especially with your family’s history.” With that brief pronouncement, my world, my husband’s world and our children’s world changed forever. My husband Jim was 48 when we heard those words. I was 40. Our daughter was 9 and our son was 6. I wasn’t exactly sure what it all meant. The more reading and research I did, the more depressed I became. [...]

Nov 252013
 
Five Tips to Help Caregivers Get Their Zzzs

When it comes to caring for a parent, spouse or other loved one, sleep is not for beauty. It is essential to maintain health and the energy needed to be a caregiver. Uninterrupted, restorative sleep (7 to 9 hours) is recommended by most experts. But for many of the nation’s 65 million family caregivers, sleep is an elusive luxury.  In fact, a National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) study on caregiver health risks found 87 percent of those [...]

Nov 142013
 
A Tribute to My Care Partner

Next month, Mary Margaret and I will have been together 50 years. She is a very positive gal, extremely caring and inclusive with her friends. I am not always a social animal. Mary, however, is very outgoing and makes new friends easily. These days, we are attached at the hip… but it wasn’t always this way. In 2009, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. After I received the diagnosis our lives changed. At the time, Mary [...]

Aug 302013
 
Why I Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Why do I Walk to End Alzheimer’s? Good question. I don’t do it for me. I walk because I have a husband who has younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I walk because my husband’s brother passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I walk because their Mom passed away from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease —and possibly their Grandmother and Uncle. My husband is 51. His brother was 52. I walk because I have two children, a 9-year-old son and [...]

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