Follow-up to Part 1. Change occurs rapidly and unexpectedly, and is discombobulating to everyone.
Just about the time things fall into a routine, the disease changes it for everybody.
There’s a term for one of the feelings caregivers suffer while their loved one is still alive—Ambiguous Loss.* Caregivers for people with dementia suffer the painful paradox of living with a person who is physically present but sometimes psychologically absent. The rollercoaster ride of good days and bad days exacerbates the ambiguity of the loss.
Connections are important in life, and I was pleased to learn my friend and PRSA colleague Gregg Shields had gone to work at UTSW Medical School. Gregg called me to tell me he was excited to be assigned to the Neurology Clinic, and especially the Alzheimer's Center. I told him how great the doctors and … Continue reading Sharing the word about the Alzheimer’s Association
My last post about the Medic Alert bracelet apparently caught the attention of a reporter who worked with the Dallas chapter of the Alzheimer's Association on an article about wandering. It's a pretty good article, but I'm a little disappointed at one small omission. While talking to Bill the reporter asked him about his wandering adventure … Continue reading Coping with Loved Ones who may Wander
Edited 12/1/2013 According to the Alzheimer's Association, six of ten people with dementia will wander. We've all seen the lighted highway signs: "Missing Elderly" with a license number and description of the car. As I write this Hal Ticknor is still missing, last seen October 11 driving his Chevy out of his driveway, was found … Continue reading Peace of mind in a MedicAlert bracelet.
How a cake revealed my husband was still driving after I took away the car keys.
Everybody keeps telling me I need to take care of myself. I've even mentioned it in previous blog posts. But I didn't realize how vulnerable I was until Tuesday, August 20. I was enjoying a very short break between teaching a demanding summer class and what will be a tough, long fall semester with a full … Continue reading A Wakeup Call if you’re a caregiver….
On Tuesday we ventured back down to UTSW Medical School in Dallas, specifically to the Memory Clinic, for another evaluation for Bill. A year ago when we made this trip he drove, and I was holding out hope the problems with his memory and confusion were normal pressure hydrocephalus. After an MRI, blood tests, neuropsychological testing and a thorough evaluation … Continue reading The Less He Remembers, the More I Know
Last night I joined a couple hundred ladies for a short “women’s conference” at my church. I really didn’t want to be there—I’m still grading papers, even at the end of spring break, laundry is undone and the house is a shambles—but the title was “Mary or Martha? Responding to Christ in Your Life.” I had … Continue reading Warm Fruit Soup and The Better Part