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Texting Elderly

An elderly couple had just learned how to send text messages on their cellphones. The wife was a romantic type, the husband was more of a no-nonsense guy. One afternoon the wife went out to  meet a friend for coffee. She decided to send her husband a romantic text message, so she wrote: “If you are sleeping, send me your dreams. If you are laughing, send me your smile. If you are eating, send me a bit. If you are drinking, send me a sip. If you are crying, send me your tears. I love you.” The husband texted back to her: “I’m using the bathroom. Please advise.”

3 Kinds of Alzheimer’s

 

Until now, Alzheimer’s was thought to be a single disease. Advanced research is redefining Alzheimer’s, showing three distinct sub-types. Find out the differences.


Alzheimer’s disease, long thought to be a single disease, really consists of three distinct subtypes, according to a UCLA study.

The finding could lead to more highly targeted research and, eventually, new treatments for the debilitating neurological disorder, which robs people of their memories.

The study further found that one of the three variations, the cortical subtype, appears to be fundamentally a different condition than the other two, said Dr. Dale Bredesen, the study’s author, a UCLA professor of neurology and member of the Easton Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Disease Research.

“Because the presentation varies from person to person, there has been suspicion for years that Alzheimer’s represents more than one illness,” said Bredesen, who also is the founding president of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. “When laboratory tests go beyond the usual tests, we find these three distinct subtypes.

“The important implications of this are that the optimal treatment may be different for each group, there may be different causes, and, for future clinical trials, it may be helpful to study specific groups separately.”

The subtypes are:

  1. Inflammatory, in which markers such as C-reactive protein and serum albumin to globulin ratios are increased.
  2. Non-inflammatory, in which these markers are not increased but other metabolic abnormalities are present.
  3. Cortical, which affects relatively young individuals and appears more widely distributed across the brain than the other subtypes of Alzheimer’s. It typically does not seem to cause memory loss at first, but people with this subtype of the disease tend to lose language skills. It is often misdiagnosed, typically affects people who do not have an Alzheimer’s-related gene and is associated with a significant zinc deficiency.

The findings of the two-year study, which involved metabolic testing of 50 people, appear in the current issue of the peer-reviewed journal Aging.

No effective therapy for Alzheimer’s exists. And scientists have yet to completely identify the cause, although multiple studies have pointed to metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance, hormonal deficiencies and hyperhomocysteinemia, a condition characterized by an abnormally high level of an amino acid in the blood.

In an earlier paper, Bredesen showed that making lifestyle, exercise and diet changes designed to improve the body’s metabolism reversed cognitive decline in nine out of 10 patients with early Alzheimer’s disease or its precursors.

The current finding grew out of an extensive evaluation of the data from last year’s study, and it could eventually help scientists pinpoint more precise targets for treatments — the same approach that has led to major advances in treating other diseases.

For example, Bredesen explained, researchers have recently been able to develop precise treatments for cancer by sequencing tumor genomes and comparing them to the patients’ genomes to better understand what drives the formation and growth of tumors.

“However, in Alzheimer’s disease, there is no tumor to biopsy,” Bredesen said. “So how do we get an idea about what is driving the process? The approach we took was to use the underlying metabolic mechanisms of the disease process to guide the establishment of an extensive set of laboratory tests, such as fasting insulin, copper-to-zinc ratio and dozens of others.”

Going forward, Bredesen and his team will seek to determine whether the subtypes have different underlying causes, and whether they respond differently to potential treatments.

The need for a new approach to treat Alzheimer’s is urgent. It is the most common age-related dementia, and the number of people with the disease in the U.S. is expected to increase to 15 million in 2050, from nearly 6 million today. The cost to treat people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is expected to be $226 billion in 2015 alone, and could reach $1.1 trillion in 2050.

How to Stay Sane and Healthy as a Caregiver Spouse

by DALE on JUNE 13, 2017

 

As caregiver spouse for my husband (with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body dementia),  I want to share a few of my key “lessons learned.”  I wrote this “still relevant” list in another blogpost 2 years ago.  Amazing how timeless these lessons are.

  1. As a caregiver, recognize that you will ride an emotional roller-coaster. There were moments of feeling blessed for receiving an early diagnosis and then times of despair as I realized that our future had changed forever.
  2. Recognize that while there may be no cure for a loved one’s diagnosis, we each can choose our response to the situation. I’ve always been an action-oriented advocate.  Know there is a time for that BUT there is also a time for just being present with your loved one.   There is great healing in your presence, even just sitting in silence.
  3. Certainly educate yourself and your family members about the illness and prognosis. But recognize that each family member will process the situation differently and in their own time.  My daughter told me she could not bring herself to read the info I sent her, but one night she watched a Netflix show, “The Boss”, in which the lead character has Lewy Body.  She told me she sat, riveted to the show, and finally was able to understand what was happening to her father.
  4. Ensure you build and maintain a circle of support for your loved one and for you. My husband’s “twice a week” CAREgiver is a vital part of his life.  He tells me that she patiently helps him, shares in his interests and even plays the piano for him.  As for me, a colleague convinced me to take a much needed birthday getaway weekend with a childhood friend while my son took my husband to see his sister. Sometimes it seems that all the planning to do special events is just too much trouble and expense, but it is critical for your well-being.
  5. One thing I struggled with even before being a caregiver was getting enough sleep and fitting in workouts. This is not just important.  It is vital to your physical and emotional health.  Set a bedtime and get at least 7 hours of sleep.  I choose to do my workout in early morning.  It doesn’t matter when you exercise, meditate or take time for yourself.  The key is actually doing it!
  6. And, finally, recognize you are on your own unique journey. There is no right or wrong way to do things.  So much is out of your control.  If you act out of love, compassion and the humility that you need others, you will be doing the best you can for your loved one and yourself.

Thanks to all the many local friends and colleagues who support me each day as well as some of the most amazing virtual colleagues.  It is from your wisdom and insight that I have been able to craft my caregiving philosophy and all I do.  I love each of you, Viki Kind, Gary LeBlanc, PK Beville, Susan Baida, and so many more.

Talking About Death and Dying are Good for us

A few authors and publications have helped make thinking and talking about death and dying much easier for me this past year, for which I am very grateful.

One significant health book for me wasBeing Mortalby surgeon and author Atul Gawande. He describes in vivid, heart-wrenching detail the final days of patients who are often in such denial of their imminent deaths that they, or their families, demand futile lifesaving measures. Meanwhile, his own profession treats aging, frailty and death as if they are simply clinical problems to solve or delay. I also wrote about Gawande’s article in the New Yorker concerning health care directives, another favorite topic of mine this year. Gawande recommends creating these documents to avoid the avalanche of unnecessary medical care that can harm patients both physically and financially.

In addition to Gawande, it was Oliver Sacks who most riveted my attention on these issues this year. A neurologist, he is the author of many books, including “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.” In Febuary 2015, I posted the text of the op-ed piece he wrote in the New York Times after learning his cancer had metastasized. Later, I wrote about his memoir “On the Move,” in which he discusses for the first time his struggles coming to terms with his homosexuality. Here’s one quote from the author:

“Although it’s up to me as a neurologist to diagnose the disease and to think in therapeutic terms, I always want to address the person as much as the disease, and I’m very glad my own doctor feels similarly. I’m not just a case to him, I’m a person responding to the situation. So I somehow sit between the biology and the humanist point of view.”

Sacks has inspired me to look for care providers who take this approach.

Talking About Death Can Make You Happy

A friend recently sent me a BBC report on how people in Bhutan, which is rated as one of the happiest countries in the world, believe that talking about death at least once a day will generate happiness. Instead of avoiding the topic of death altogether, embracing its inevitability and mentally preparing for “the moment we cease to exist” may help us focus on leading happier, richer lives. Although it seems counterintuitive at first glance, this make sense to me.

I figure I’m likely to make my own final exit in the next year or two. If and when my Parkinson’s disease brings me close to being fully immobilized, I plan to arrange my own final exit. Similarly, if I should join the 50 percent or more of Parkinson’s patients who develop some form of dementia (which seems increasingly likely), I again plan to arrange an early exit timed to occur when I’m on the verge of no longer being able to communicate as John Schappi.

So, the end of life will continue to be a major topic for me throughout this year. This is my own way of coming to terms with my circumstances and sharing my musings.

Another Inspiring Text

Throughout my posts in 2016, I predict you’ll also hear lots of references to a book that is now only in draft version. The tentative title is “Choose life! Sharing an Unexpected Cancer Journey with a Long-Lost Friend.”

I am privileged to have been given access to this draft, which is based on an extensive email exchange shared between two of my closest friends. One, Loene Trubkin, had been an outside (i.e. non-employee) member of the former Bureau of National Affairs’ (BNA) board of directors. She has been battling cancer for years and has undergone extensive chemotherapy treatments. The other correspondent, Hugh Yarrington, had an interesting career with BNA as well. Hugh had always enjoyed excellent health and was stunned when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and told he could expect to live only 12 to 18 more months.

7 Clocks for Dementia

Helpful Technology:

REMEMBERING TIME is difficult in dementia. Innocently, people with dementia ask repeatedly, “What time is it?” and “What day is today?” It’s disorienting for them and frustrating for the people they are with. DEMENTIA CLOCKS are convenient, look good and have endless patience. Check out these 7 options.


For people with dementia, a calendar-clock is more than a convenience; it is an anchor. In early stages of dementia, it’s easy to lose track of time. In the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, a loved one may frequently drift into the past.

A well-placed clock-calendar keeps a person with dementia oriented and in the present.

Serious memory loss can result in the repeated asking of, “What time is it?” or “What day is today?“. Calendar-clocks always have the answer. They are patient and ever-convenient, no matter how quickly and no matter how often a person forgets.

Calendar Clocks

Calendar-clocks prominently display the month, day, date and time. Some also add the year, which can be helpful when a loved one gets lost in the past.

Are calendar-clocks too complicated for a person with dementia? More elaborate calendar-clocks may add weather and other information. Though this provides an extra connection to the outside world, too much information can be more confusing than helpful.

A healthy balance between simplicity and thoroughness can be found in calendar-clocks like the one to the right. It prominently displays the more important time and day in large letters and numbers, while providing the less important, but relevant, month, day and year in small letters and numbers. It uses no abbreviations and can be set to any of eight languages. The language feature is particularly important in dementia, where a person’s childhood mother-tongue language tends to be retained the longest and is easiest to work with.

Keep in mind that digital clocks became common in the 1970s. People born before then will sometimes be more comfortable with a traditional “analog” clock, with two hands and 12 numbers.

The “analog” clock to the left was designed to be a simple and effective dementia clock. It has the traditional 12-hour analog clock face. A 12-hour clock can confuse people with dementia because the clock does not indicate if it is AM or PM, night or day, early or late. To prevent such confusion, this clock has a rotating graphics display. It displays sky blue background, clouds & sun during the day, while showing a dark blue sky, stars & moon at night. It is a straightforward, non-obtrusive and attractive dementia clock that is quite popular.

Day Clocks

There are a variety of “Day Clocks” available which emphasize the day of the week. Some display the day of the week, while others also tell you whether it is morning, afternoon, evening or night, and still more combine the day of the week with the time of day. Here are illustrations of all 3 types:

Whatever you get, keep in mind to check the size of the display. A large-number display is easy to read from a distance. Having the month spelled out in letters instead of numbers can be an important advantage to many people. Bold, high-contrast letters and numbers can make a difference to the eye.

Figure out your needs and where you plan to place the clock. Some clocks run on battery and some need an outlet nearby. Ask yourself if you want to hang it on a wall or stand it on its own. Then choose the right clock and never lose track of time again.

Low-Cost Alternatives: Android Tablets

What if a caregiver did a one-time set-up of a calendar-clock app on a tablet? They could simply hang it on the wall or stand it on any little table. The person with dementia would not have to do a thing. It is an inexpensive way to get a full-featured personalized calendar-clock for under $50.

There are a wealth of free “clock-apps” in the Google Playstore, along with some rather inexpensive tablet displays. Though many of these apps display digital clocks, some artistic ones have good ol’ fashioned “analog” clock displays with 2 arms and 12 numbers in a bold circle.

Analog displays, with a round clock face and an hour & minute hands, are important to many elderly people who grew up with this style of telling time.

The bottom line? One can get a bright, beautiful, helpful calendar-clock for under $40, complete.

Here is a sampling of the best Android apps for people with dementia.

  1. Big Clock (It has a traditional clock face, but no year.)
  2. Simple Digital Clock
  3. Thousand Clock (For advanced users. You can choose from hundreds of designs, modify them, or even make your own with the upgraded version, “Make Your Clock“.)
  4. Super Clock Wallpaper (Free)
  5. Digi Clock

Apple iPad

Apple iPad users should be able to find these or similar apps. Click these images for some examples:


All these apps are free or cost less than $3. If you don’t have a spare tablet lying around to hang as a wall-clock, there are a wealth of cost-saving tablets to match every size, style and budget. The following are Amazon’s best values:

~ ~ ~
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”
Albert Einstein

Relief for Thousands Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Today, there are an estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. And while most people associate the disease with old age, the fact is there are 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 living with it today. As with all forms of the disease, early-onset Alzheimer’s is a progressive, terminal disease, which cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Since the onset can occur in people as early as in their 30s and 40s it often strikes during an individual’s prime working years, and as the disease progresses it prevents gainful employment. As a result, individuals are coming to grips with a devastating diagnosis all while losing employment and the salary and benefits that come with being employed. These individuals and their caregivers then must figure out how they will pay for their care.

Thankfully, since 2010 the Social Security Administration (SSA) has helped these individuals by adding Alzheimer’s disease to its Compassionate Allowances Initiative. The initiative identifies debilitating diseases and medical conditions that meet the SSA’s disability standards for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This allows for faster payment of Social Security benefits to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, mixed-dementia and Primary Progressive Aphasia.

The Alzheimer’s Association actively worked with the SSA for the inclusion of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and advocating on behalf of individuals with early-onset (younger-onset) Alzheimer’s disease. As the SSA was considering this decision, the Alzheimer’s Association provided comments to the administration and commissioner, held numerous meetings with SSA staff to advocate for the inclusion of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and Alzheimer’s Association CEO Harry Johns testified during the SSA’s public hearing about the inclusion of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Since then we have worked closely with the SSA in support of the implementation of this Initiative nationwide and to educate our community about this benefit.

And since its implementation it has had a profound impact on the Alzheimer’s community, helping thousands of families including Tom and Julie Allen. Tom was looking for a way to help manage the costs of Julie’s Alzheimer’s care, since his retirement and two part-time jobs were not enough to cover the large costs of Alzheimer’s disease. Through working with the Alzheimer’s Association and the SSA he was able to secure for Julie the SSDI benefit.

Social Security benefits are very important to individuals with early-onset who are unable to work and have no other source of income. At the Alzheimer’s Association we hear from family caregivers about the challenges they face paying for care. As was the case with Tom, the financial complications and solution finding falls to the caregiver. That is just one of the reasons why we celebrate November as National Family Caregiver Month and we take time  to honor the 15 million caregivers for those living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Coconut Fish Curry

Coconut Fish Curry

RECIPE:

“Brain foods” are neuroprotective, fighting Alzheimer’s by lowering risk and helping to resist cognitive decline. This flavorful dish combines 4 of the best “brain foods”: fish, coconut oil, curry and fenugreek. Enjoy its Indian flair.


INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat coconut oil in a non-stick pan and fry onions till soft and transparent.
  2. Add salt, red chili powder, curry powder and fry for a minute or two. Add in coconut milk, dried fenugreekand pieces, and cover cook for 15 – 20 minutes till is cooked through.
  3. Add a little water if desired.
  4. Add cherry tomatoes and let it cook for another 4 – 5 minutes till tomatoes become soft.
  5. Serve with warm plain rice and fresh cucumber slices.

The link Between Disrupted Sleep and Alzheimer’s Disease

Link between sleep disruption and Alzheimer's Disease

A longstanding belief is that Alzheimer’s Disease destroys one’s biological clock and leads to disrupted sleep. This theory is now being debunked by researchers out of Cambridge, Berkley and other prestigious universities. Researchers were admittedly not sure what caused the disruption but are now confident they have found the link. New information has been brought to light, literally, by studying the sleep patterns of glowing protein in fruit flies and beta amyloid build up in the brain. These breakthrough studies allow us to take the preventative measures that are most likely to be effective as well as bring us closer to finding a cure to Alzheimer.

Cambridge’s Link Between Sleep, Beta Amyloid and Alzheimer’s

  Researchers tracked the biological clock of fruit flies both with and without Alzheimer’s Disease by attaching a light emitting protein to another protein that forms the biological clock. They also tracked the sleep patterns of both groups of fruit flies using infrared beams. When the flies were awake the beam broke enabling them to track sleep patterns. What they found was that the sleep patterns tracked by the beams were extremely different between the healthy flies and the Alzheimer group, yet the glowing protein tracking the biological clock was the same. This showed that it is highly unlikely that Alzheimer’s damages the function of a human’s biological clock.

According to one of the authors of the study, Dr. Damian Crowther of Cambridge’s Department of Genetics, “Until now, the prevailing view was that Alzheimer’s destroyed the biological clock. What we have shown in flies with Alzheimer’s is that the clock is still ticking but is being ignored by other parts of the brain and body that govern behavior. If we can understand this, it could help us develop new therapies to tackle sleep disturbances in people with Alzheimer’s.”

So if Alzheimer’s does not impair the biological clock sleep/wake rhythms, then what does? The answer lies in a protein called beta amyloid. Berkley researchers studied the sleep patters of participants finding that quality sleep helps to cleanse the brain of the harmful beta amyloid buildup that causes poor memory and memory loss. Senior author of the study explains the problem of the finding saying, “The more beta-amyloid you have in certain parts of your brain, the less deep sleep you get and, consequently, the worse your memory. Additionally, the less deep sleep you have, the less effective you are at clearing out this bad protein. It’s a vicious cycle.”

What does this mean for Alzheimer’s Disease? 

It’s very suggestive that there is indeed a link and if we proactively improve sleep there is a chance that chain can be broken. Researches are in the process of conducting a five year study on a new set of participants. They will be tracking sleep and beta amyloid protein build up in the brain. Researchers say they are optimistic that if they can intervene by improving sleep, they just may be able to break the cycle. These studies allow us to be informed on the latest research so that we are able to best care for our loved ones and take preventative measures ourselves such as making sure we are getting a good nights sleep. Unfortunately, as of today Alzheimer’s Disease can attack even those of us who seem to do everything right. The raw truth is that we don’t have one magic answer to prevent or cure this disease. What we do have, however, is more information than ever before on ways we can take care of ourselves in efforts to prevent and the slow down progression of memory loss.

Are you getting a good nights sleep? Talk to your doctor if you or a loved one experiences sleep disruption or battle daily fatigue.

The Caregiver Bill of Rights

I have the right…to take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capability of taking better care of my relative.

I have the right…to seek help from others even though my relatives may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.

I have the right…to maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can for this person, and I have the right to do some things just for myself.

I have the right…to get angry, be depressed, and express other difficult feelings occasionally.

I have the right… to reject any attempts by my relative (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt and/or depression.

I have the right…to receive consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance from my loved one for what I do, for as long as I offer these qualities in return.

I have the right…to take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has sometimes taken to meet the needs of my relative.

I have the right…to protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in the time when my relative no longer needs my full-time help.

I have the right…to expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid physically and mentally impaired persons in our country, similar strides will be made towards aiding and supporting caregivers.

Adapted from the book, CareGiving: Helping an Aging Loved One, by Jo Horne, published in 1985 by the American Association of Retired Persons.

Emergency Plans are Crucial for Caregivers

Something happened recently that really has worn on me. My wife was deathly sick. She has suffered with a disease since she was 17 years old and experiences flare-ups from time to time.

We have dealt with them for years now, but last weekend she was worse than usual. That is what it seemed to me at least. When someone you love is sick or injured, you feel helpless. You try to do everything you can for them.

I also found out something that my own disease causes; I literally felt useless. What could I do? I told her Friday evening that if she didn’t improve, we were headed to the emergency room first thing Saturday morning.

She wasn’t any better on Saturday. In fact, she was probably worse. But she assured me she would be alright and just needed to stay in bed and sleep. We did what we always do when this happens: make sure she gets additional medications she needs and let this run its course.

Normally, I understand what this is, and I realize that this has happened many times over the years, but this time, for whatever reason, was very difficult for me.But last weekend was very scary for me. As a dementia patient, I felt firsthand how helpless I was. I think I may have slept two hours all weekend. I checked on her constantly, and spent a great deal of time sitting in our front room just wondering what to do.

I wanted to share this experience to point out that, in some cases, when the spouse or family member of a dementia patient becomes ill, try to pay special attention to the one they care for as well.

I thought very long and hard before writing about this. I have thought about it, and many times thought this sounds very inconsiderate of me to be worried about what I was going through when she was as sick as she was.

But it is indeed a very, very scary thing for the dementia patient when their primary caregiver is incapacitated. Phyllis June was much better Sunday night, but I was just as scared then as I was on Friday night.

I knew we were close to having her hospitalized, which has happened in the past as well. But the very thought of this scenario had me scared to death. We seldom think of what to do in situations like this, when a spouse or whoever becomes sick, is injured in a car accident, or somehow incapacitated to where they are unable to do what they normally do for the patient.

I am pretty self-supportive so far. I don’t need someone looking after me around the clock, but the mere fact that she wasn’t able to tell me what day it is, what time it is, what I was supposed to be doing, etc., was horrible.

As a patient, I can tell you that we depend on someone, even if we don’t communicate that. I talk all the time about routines and how important it is that patients stick to their daily schedule, even if you don’t realize they have one.

My main routine is the most important thing to me—more important than each breath I take. My wife is my routine, and I cannot fathom life without her. We all feel this way about our spouse, parents, kids, etc.

But once again, what we just went through with Phyllis June being so sick was a real eye opener for me for some reason. I found myself sitting around worrying about what I was going to do. I have never put myself before my wife before. This disease did that. It had me so concerned about what I was to do for her, and anxious over whether she needed to be hospitalized. I thought I was being self-centered, which is something I never have been.

Phyllis June is back to normal as of last night. This will no doubt happen again. In addition to our normal care plan, we will need to have some sort of emergency plan in place regarding actions I need to take when this does occur again.

And then, of course, we’ll probably need to have another plan at the ready. There is always a considerable likelihood that your Plan A will not work in these scenarios. This is something I hope each of you think and talk about before something like this happens in your immediate family.

No doubt, when this happens again, I will not remember the fear I went through the last time, nor will I realize that things will be alright. Dementia does this. I will not recall that things always get better when she has these flare-ups. I will only know that I cannot do anything to help and have that same helpless feeling again.

Be sure you have a plan in case, for whatever reason, you are not able to care for your loved one, be it for just a day, a week, or however long. Life happens. But as I have said many times, we are not capable of living in your world anymore. Family members and caregivers must live in ours. As selfish as this may sound, we need to have things kept as normal as possible, even when things are indeed chaotic.

Comfort Objects Can Help Console Dementia Patients

When my mother was very small, her best friend was Edward Bear. Apparently she talked to him constantly.

By the time I came along, the old bear was pretty battered. His eyes were long gone, and his hind paws were unstuffed and unravelling.

For most of my childhood, he lived in the toy box with a moth-eaten golliwog, an inane knitted monkey and a pile of plastic dolls.

Occasionally my siblings and I threw building blocks on top of Mum’s bear, but mostly we ignored him.

Miraculously, Edward Bear survived.

Several years ago, when our elderly parents had moved to rest homes, we began the daunting task of sorting out the house and readying it for sale. Someone found Edward Bear snoozing at the back of a wardrobe. We brought him up north where he lived quietly for a couple of years on a shelf at my sister’s house.

Several months ago, Mum spied Edward Bear and asked to take him to the rest home with her.

I’ve never heard Mum talking to him, but she tells me she does. All the time.

According to Mum, Edward Bear doesn’t say much, but he knows how to listen. He likes physical contact too—apparently a kiss on the nose is the thing.

“Have you said hello to Edward Bear?” asks Mum. So I kiss him.

“He doesn’t like it when people ignore him,” says Mum. “When they’re gone, he growls.”

Mum reckons that getting Edward Bear back is the best thing that’s happened since she moved out of her home.

Naturally, this week’s move back to her previous rest home was quite an event. “Does he know what’s happening?” I asked in the days leading up to it.

“Of course,” said Mum. “He’s feeling quite unsettled.”

On the day of the move, we worked all morning shifting Mum’s stuff.

We packed up and we drove to the new rest home. We unpacked and we tested the bed.

We talked about where to hang her pictures, and then we opened the last box.

There was Edward Bear, lying on top of a nest of scarves. He was wearing a slightly imperious expression.

Where to put him? Mum looked around for a while, then sat him gently on the corner of the tallboy. “I like this room,” she said. “It has a very nice outlook.”

Then she looked at Edward Bear. “I think he approves.”

A comfort object, transitional object, or security blanket is an item used to provide psychological comfort, especially in unusual or unique situations, or at bedtime for small children. Among toddlers, comfort objects may take the form of a blanket, a stuffed animal, or a favorite toy.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you or your loved one to experience the difference of Alzheimer’s Solutions and Senior Home Care Solutions at 315-469-1000, visit http://www.SyracuseSenior.com or email us at http://www.info@syracusesenior.com with any questions you might have. You can follow us on Twitter at @SyracuseSenior and @AlzSolutions.
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