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Alzheimer’s Month, the impending Alzheimer’s Tsunami –and a “salute” for old time’s sake.

September 12th, 2012  

Last blog was August 27th, 2012 —never has so much time gone by between entries.

We’ve had an emergency and are now dealing with the fallout.

My husband and I were supposed to be on Maui until September 6th but were forced to grab a flight back to Canada two weeks early. We were literally ripped from Sun and Ocean without our annual ritual of long-longing last looks and good-byes.

There was absolutely no transition from Maui’s Brilliant Blues and Gentle Greens to Mississauga’s Smog-Browns and Concrete-Grays.

Since arriving in Mississauga my time has been dominated by elder care almost 24/7. And when I do get relieved, my brain either wants to sleep or bugger-off-play. I simply can’t concentrate on one thing for any length of time.

It’s like my brain wants out!

Since 2009 as caregivers, we have had to battle cataracts, glaucoma, prostate cancer, hip replacement, colon cancer, wet macular degeneration (to a point of being legally blind), falls after falls after falls —and that’s just from the top of my head.

Now Alzheimer’s has kicked down both our doors.

And Alzheimer’s is a battle we won’t win.

I recall our family doctor warning us about Alzheimer’s —warned us that we all had to grow a thick skin and steel ourselves— steel ourselves because “in the end there’s only Tragedy.”

“In the end”? There’s fucking Tragedy now!

Over the last year I’ve made it a goal to learn all I can about Alzheimer’s. So let me help you. There is no better Alzheimer’s resource on the Internet than Bob DeMarco’s Alzheimer’s Reading Room at: www.alzheimersreadingroom.com. You need to go.

If you’re a quick study, DeMarco’s Alzheimer’s Reading Room is the website to start your research —and the place to stay! DeMarco isn’t just about conveying Knowledge about Alzheimer’s. He and his late mother Dotty have inspired and touched the hearts of thousands of his reader-caregivers.

I confess that when I’m at a total loss —emotional wreck, I visit Bob DeMarco’s mum, Dotty. I watch videos of her. You know, to remember what’s Important.

95 Year Old Dotty at the Pool March 18 (by Bob DeMarco)
*note: Dotty died just over a month later May 25, 2012 at 5 AM

(Click here to go directly to the clip on YouTube)

In a recent report a Johns Hopkins psychiatrist stated that Alzheimer’s is now ahead of cancer as the most feared disease. When you are sucked deep into Alzheimer’s World you too will understand why.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. The statistics are grim. The Alzheimer’s Association website states that “worldwide, 35 million people and their families are affected by dementia”.  That’s now.

Just imagine what happens when us-Boomers hit “prime time”…

Last, for readers expecting something political from me, I’ve got nothing.

No. Wait. Have enough energy for this cut-and-paste.


You know, a cut-and-paste —to remember what’s Important


UPDATE 12/09/13  Yesterday I experienced the most intense case of “sundowning” yet.

For those unfamiliar with the term, the Mayo Clinic states that sundowning “refers to a state of confusion at the end of the day and into the night. Sundowning isn’t a disease, but a symptom that often occurs in people with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The cause isn’t known.”

I suspect the sundowning trigger yesterday was a live-broadcast German vs Austria soccer game. It wasn’t long after it finished that my Alzheimer’s Elder called for his shoes and announced he had to go Home. Announce is usually all he does –call for us to pack up and talk about Home.

Usually I’m able to distract and redirect his attentions. Not this time.

Despite a left leg still injured from a fall, he put on his shoes, slowly “walker-ed” to the bedroom, put on a jacket, removed that to put on a nicer jacket, returned to the living-room and called for his cap. Throughout I followed right behind him making sure he was safe from another fall.

Cap on his head, he then sat down and demanded he be driven Home.

I asked if he wanted a chocolate cookie. He waved that off. That’s how bad this sundowning was.

So I turned on TV as a distraction. Flipping channels.

“TV is shit,” he said. I sure wasn’t about to argue that proclamation. Flipping through more I found a face I recognized —the CEO of Credit Valley Hospital (CVH) and she was talking about the merger of CVH with Trillium Health Care Centre.

“Oh, look! It’s Credit Valley Hospital on TV!” I said. “Remember what a terrific hospital it is? Boy are we lucky to live in a place that is so close to Credit Valley Hospital!”

Then there were vignettes featuring Credit Valley and Trillium staff talking about their programs and how they care for people.

“And Trillium Hospital fixed your shoulder when you fell from the tree, remember?” I offered.

“Boy are we lucky to live in a place that’s even closer to Trillium Hospital, huh? Two great hospitals so close together.”


The Sundowning Storm had passed.

By dinner, he was still in his shoes and jacket.

I told him he could wear his special jacket at the table because this was his home and he could bloody do whatever he wanted. But just to be careful not to spill anything on it. Without a word he removed it. And of course I assisted…

He had an excellent start this morning. Said he slept “very good” last night. Both are napping now.

For those new to sundowning, I’ve read that Alzheimer’s caregivers even go as far as driving the Sundowner around for a while and then return home.





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