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 [...]

Jun 212013
 
With Hope and Strength for Margie

My wife of 32 years, Margie, started showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s at age 50. Three years later, we met with her primary care physician who ran down the list of warning signs. He was sure it wasn’t Alzheimer’s because “she was way too young for that.” He was wrong. Now at age 57, Margie is in the late stages of younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Margie’s mother died of Alzheimer’s in 2010 and her sister, now in her [...]

Jun 212013
 
Fighting to Remember for My Dad With Early-Onset Alzheimer's

Today is all about motion.  There has already been hiking – and there will be boating, golfing and biking.  Together with my sister and two wonderful friends, I am participating in Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day, which involves 16-hours of activity to honor those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. My father was diagnosed with early-onset (also called younger-onset) Alzheimer’s late last year. There is a hereditary mutated gene that runs in our family that has [...]

Jun 132013
 
A Recipe to Remember: A Daughter Honors Her Father's Memory

It was a perfect summer evening.  The sun was just starting to go down and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  I was home from college on a visit to introduce my parents to my new boyfriend (my now husband).  We sat on our patio, enjoying our evening together. My father, Giovanni, summoned me into the kitchen through the window overlooking the patio.  I excused myself, assuming he wanted some help in preparing the [...]

May 302013
 
Taking Care of You – Dealing with Caregiver Guilt

Caregiving can be extremely rewarding, but all caregivers will eventually feel some degree of frustration, anger and guilt. These are all normal emotional responses to an incredibly emotional journey. As a caregiver, you may feel frustrated and angry at your chaotic life, or your lack of control over the disease’s progression. Anger often evolves into guilt. You may feel like there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel, and have the guilty thought, “how much [...]

May 172013
 
Grieving My Mom Twice

This past holiday season, I had the pleasure of appearing as Mrs. Cratchit in “A Christmas Carol” at The Goodman Theatre. On several occasions I thought how much my mother would have loved to see me in it. Before I met my husband, my mother was my biggest fan. When I say my mother would have loved to see the show, I mean the mother who raised me and was always there for me in [...]

Mar 082013
 
Caregiving Conversation Between Your Heart and Your Head

I recently attended a salon event hosted by The Judy Fund, an Alzheimer’s Association donor sponsored effort created by Marshall Gelfand and his family now lead by daughter Elizabeth Gelfand-Stearns who lost both her grandmother and her mother, Judy (the fund’s namesake), to Alzheimer’s disease.  Elizabeth’s heartfelt passion is finding a cure for the disease that took her loved ones. To date, the family has raised almost $5 million to fund research and advocacy efforts [...]

Feb 132013
 
Music as Therapy: A 5-Note Plan for Caregiver Calm

Celebrating the Grammy Awards earlier this week brought to mind the power of music to heal us.  Numerous studies have shown the therapeutic effects of music for those with everything from Alzheimer’s disease to autism. Anecdotally, Kim Campbell, who is now caregiver to her husband, country music icon Glen Campbell (who was diagnosed last year with Alzheimer’s), has said in several interviews that music has helped her 75-year-old husband continue to do what he loves [...]

Jan 092013
 
The Caregiver Solution to New Year’s Resolutions

One of the things I hate about New Year’s Resolutions is they seem to be about taking away something rather than giving yourself something.  I suppose one could argue if you lose weight with more exercise and eating more nutritiously you are giving yourself a longer, healthier life.  But when our brains think of resolutions as punishment rather than pleasure, it’s hard to maintain them. For caregivers, resolutions are even harder since you are typically [...]

Alz.org main site  |  Research  |  Advocacy  |  Care and support  |  Message boards  |  Disclaimer  |  Donate  |  Contact us  |  Sign up for e-news
© 2011 Alzheimer's Association | Blog Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha