I almost began this post with I haven’t written much in the last week or so, but that’s not really accurate. I’ve written a lot: agendas for meetings; e-mails announcing meetings and encouraging people to attend; copy for flyers, posters and the church website; more e-mails answering questions. Our church is hosting an area-wide ladies’ conference in January, and our pastor asked me to coordinate the event. If I could re-wind to that moment when I said Sure, why not, I might think again before answering.
Seriously, I’m enjoying the experience, and the response from people who are willing to help has been amazing, but it’s also amazing how much time and focus is required. Something else that is amazing is how, in spite of no longer being directly involved with Alzheimer’s and being totally focused on something other than my writings about caring for those with the disease, I am still faced with Alzheimer’s again and again. (more…)
As I typed “Part 10 of 10,” I felt a little like Johnny Carson as Carnac the Magnificent saying, “I hold in my hand the last envelope.” Unlike his audience, I hope my readers aren’t clapping and hurrahing at the end of a long, tedious series.
The last warning sign is changes in mood and personality. All of us, especially as we get older, develop specific ways of doing things, and we sometimes become irritable when a routine is disrupted. Once again, Alzheimer’s may cause people to carry this irritation to extremes: (more…)
Have you ever made a bad decision? What about that used car that the guy assured you was in mint condition, or those expensive designer shoes that hurt your feet just a little bit, or that boyfriend you forgave because he swore she was just a friend. Yeah, we’ve all had lapses in judgment from time to time, but people with Alzheimer’s take “decreased or poor judgment” to a whole new level: (more…)
I spent most of my working life in the business world. I started in the file department of the First National Bank in Dallas and ended as an account rep for a company that designs and manufactures furniture and equipment for the salon and spa industry. I had titles that included, among others, stenographer, secretary, executive secretary, administrative assistant, and office manager. The bottom line was that people paid me a lot of money to keep them organized, to find what they needed when they needed it, and I was very good at what I did. When I got home, however, I wasn’t always so organized. I’ve spent as much time as anyone searching for my lost keys, the misplaced remote control or the bill that’s due tomorrow and was right here a minute ago. But when it comes to warning sign #7, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, no one could match Mom for originality and creativity. The official definition of this sign is: (more…)
As a writer, I sometimes have trouble finding the right word for what I’m trying to say. Sometimes I refer to my Thesaurus, but I have to admit that sometimes I rewrite a sentence to use a word I can remember. I also have problems finding the correct word when I’m talking, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association, that’s a typical age-related change. If I start to have the following new problems with words in speaking or writing, then I have reason for concern: (more…)
Today’s warning sign may be a little harder to observe than some of the other signs. Sometimes the evidence that someone is having trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships is not as obvious as forgetting the name of a family member or thinking the year is 1985. The Alzheimer’s Association defines this warning sign as follows: (more…)
If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium is a movie released in the late 60s about a nine-country, eighteen-day bus trip from London to Rome. If you’ve ever been on one of those whirlwind tours, you know the disorienting feeling of waking up with no idea of where you are or what day it is. In fact, if you’re retired and are no longer tied to a work schedule, you may experience that in your own home from time to time. You may worry that this is a sign of the big “A,” but according to the Alzheimer’s Association, if by the time you’ve washed your face and had your first cup of coffee, the fog has lifted, you have nothing to worry about. The confusion of time or place that may be a warning sign is described like this: (more…)
Have you ever needed help – probably from a 10 year old – recording a television show or using your new microwave/convection oven? Have you ever made a wrong turn when trying to get somewhere you’d never been? If so, don’t worry. That kind of difficulty is not a warning sign of Alzheimer’s. Warning sign #3 involves more serious problems: “difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.” (more…)