Everyone has their own story of how they discovered a loved one was experiencing memory loss. One of my girlfriends tells the story of a family friend who picked her daughter up from school and said she thought the weather was cooling and it would be a perfect night to make chili for dinner. So they went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients and went home to enjoy a dinner of chili. The next night the Mom picked up her daughter from school and again said the weather was cooling and she thought it would be a good night to make chili for dinner. She forgot they had chili the previous night. When this happened a third time, the family began to compare notes and realized something was not right.
The Alzheimer's Association offers many wonderful educational programs to help seniors and family members understand how to best deal with this disease - knowledge is power, especially when you have the luxury of early diagnosis.
The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease, courtesy of the Alzheimer's Association:
1) Memory loss
2) Difficulty performing familiar tasks
3) Problems with language
4) Disorientation to time and place
5) Poor or decreased judgment
6) Problems with abstract thinking
7) Misplacing things
8) Changes in mood or behavior
9) Changes in personality
10) Loss of initiative
senior, caregiving, AlzheimersDisease seniorcare, care, <a rel="tag" href="http://www.caregiverlist.com/blog/julie/memoryloss>memoryloss
Regardless of your political choice for president, you can share in the sadness of Barack Obama's Grandmother passing away just a day before the election. Madelyn Payne Dunham, 86, died peacefully in her Honolulu home on Sunday night, after battling cancer. She chose to stay at home with care provided by a caregiver.
Hospice training teaches that emotionally, it is easier to go through the process of grieving when you are able to plan for the death and say goodbye ahead of time. Barack learned this, he said, when he did not make it to his Mother's side before she passed away. As he did not want that to happen again, he took time off from his historic campaign to visit his Grandmother a couple of weeks ago.
Still, death of a loved one is never convenient or easy, even with knowing ahead of time. While visiting France one summer, I went to dinner at a small country restaurant. The owners were a married couple who made the rounds to all the tables to chat with their guests. Upon learning that I worked in senior care, they told me to be sure to visit the bathroom before I left. There was a mural painted on the bathroom wall that included the 17th Century Nun's Prayer. I later had my Mother write it in calligraphy and framed it for my Senior Care Agency's office wall. Many caregivers who passed through the doors asked about it and requested a copy and now it is included as a resource on Caregiverlist.
senior, care, caregiving hospice, caregiver, eldercare