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 [...]

Jan 222014
 
Making Plans for the Future After an Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Two years ago, at the age of 69, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Shortly after receiving the diagnosis, I began to think a lot about the future. The more I thought about the future, the more I realized that I needed to implement plans for the inevitable progression of the disease while I had the ability to do so. This also seemed much more proactive than just sitting around worrying about having Alzheimer’s. Prior [...]

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 102013
 
Coasting for the Cause to #ENDALZ

I love participating in the annual Walks to End Alzheimer’s, but let’s face it – walking can be boring. For my first Walk to End Alzheimer’s in 2012, I raised more than $1,500. One year later, my donations netted nearly $9,000 for my local Alzheimer’s Association through a fun and creative tribute to my brother, Kevin. Prior to the summer of 2013, my summer hobby became the campaign “Bobbleheads United to End Alzheimer’s.” I collected my [...]

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 [...]

Sep 242013
 
There Are Many Reasons I Walk to End Alzheimer's

The first change I noticed in my dad was his inability to write out checks.  I stopped by his office one day, and he was sitting at his desk with the checkbook open.  Several balled-up checks were scattered on his desk. He was slow to speak, but finally admitted that he could not write out the check correctly. On one check, he had transposed the numbers for the amount to be paid.  On another check, [...]

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 [...]

Aug 232013
 
Alzheimer’s, Nana and Me

I was 9 when I saw my mom and my Da crying, and I thought my Nana must be sick.  When I asked no one would tell me anything. Then one weekend, when Nana and I were going to watch movies all night and eat popcorn, I asked her if she was sick.  She explained to me that her body was not sick, but her brain was. It was the first time I had ever [...]

Jun 242013
 
300 Miles to Remember

When my friend Kim and I first heard about The Longest Day last year, we immediately knew what activity we wanted to do: Run! We both had been running and participating in road races for several years and the event seemed like a perfect opportunity to use our hobby to raise funds for an important cause.  For the second year in a row, we ran during the entire 16 hours of daylight as a two-person [...]

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