The Last Goodbye – A Tribute To My Mom

Goodbye Mom

My last goodbye to Mom was on 3-31-2020

 

They say Alzheimer’s is a series of goodbyes. And It’s true.  I have said goodbye to so many things I had with Mom. What has been a surprise is that the very last goodbye has been harder than I ever expected.

I said goodbye to Mom knowing who I was on my 51st birthday. Then I said goodbye to understanding her conversations late last year. Finally, I said goodbye to walking in the regional park, watching kids at the swimming pool, or even going out to eat.

What I didn’t expect, and surprisingly wasn’t ready for was to say goodbye on March 31st, 2020. Mom lived in the memory care residence for 3 years and 2 weeks. Both my sister and I thought she’d be there a lot longer. A whole lot longer.

Many people have asked me if she died from the Covid-19 virus. The answer to that is no. She died from Alzheimer’s disease. I have her death certificate and her official cause of death is not eating or drinking for 2 days caused by Alzheimer’s.

In this episode, you’ll hear from Laura (oldest grandkid), her Fading Memories son-in-law, and a really, long time friend. I hope you enjoy this special tribute.

Another episode about Mom

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Bonus – Akum – Research & fundraising

Fundraising

How could I resist when a young man who wants to cure Alzheimer’s wants help with his fundraising.

 

How could I resist a humble fundraising assistance request? When it comes from a young man that wants to cure Alzheimer’s, I couldn’t. Instead of just resharing posts on Instagram, we created this bonus episode.

In this bonus episode, I talk to Akum Dhillion. He is a young man who was inspired by his Grandmother to go into Alzheimer’s research. When he reached out to me to ask for assistance boosting his Instagram account, I asked if he would also like a bonus episode. Of course, he said yes.

I think you’ll really enjoy this short, heartwarming story about a young person wanting and succeeding at making a difference. At the tender age of 12, Akum decided he was going to cure Alzheimer’s.

What’s an Alzheimer’s podcast to do but help?

Your donation supports vital research, programs, and resources for those living with Alzheimer’s. Akum is working with the Virginia chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.   They are the world’s largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research.

Some of the things the Alzheimer’s Assoc. funds are: Care & Support. They work nationally & locally to provide care & support for those affected by Alzheimer’s & other dementias. As the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research. The association is committed to advancing vital research towards methods of treatment, prevention, and ultimately, a cure.

Finally, and this is where Akum & I play a part, The Association is the leading voice for Alzheimer’s disease advocacy. The Association advocates for critical Alzheimer’s research and care initiatives at the state and federal level

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Why We Walk – Alzheimer’s Fundraising

 

Feed Your Brain for Cognitive Health

Feeding brain image

Feeing Your Brain is crucial for keeping your cognitive health.

 

In general, being able to feed your brain is crucial to maintaining your cognitive health. Seemingly, everywhere I turn, every new guest I talk to, the subject turns to food. Specifically, it turns to the topic of healthy food and how it’s important for our total health.

In this episode, I talk to Mathew John. He is helping care for his Dad who has mid-stage Alzheimer’s. Taking the lemons of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and turning it into lemonade was how Matthew coped. Joining the Alzheimer’s Association and being an advocate for education was step one. Step two happened almost by accident.

Traveling to visit Matt, his parents experienced a long, exhausting day. His Dad suffered mentally and physically in ways most of us don’t experience. Looking for ways to help him overcome this travel exhaustion, Matt and his Mom did quite a bit of research.

Would it surprise anyone to realize that hydration and proper nutrition were high on the list of ways to help? Good food, water, and sleep. That’s what was needed. This research led him to look for ways to easily feed your brain in a healthy and simple way.

Reaching for bars or fast food is how many of us eat on-the-go.  Matts research led him to create RememBars. These are specifically designed to feed your brain, on-the-go, in a healthy way.

This is Your Brain on Nutrition

Remembars Website

Text a purple heart to 24365 for brain health information

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Caregiving Challenges In A Covid-19 World

Covid Caregiving Challenges

Covid-19 is causing caregiving challenges that none of us expected.

Caregiving has enough challenges. Adding in our new challenges due to the Covid-19 virus is almost too much. I’ve been checking in with past guests to see how they’re coping. This episode is with Richard Creighton. He was one of two guests on the Caregiver Grief episode.

Richard is caring for his wife Kate. Our conversation details how the Shetler-in-place mandates are affecting their daily life. Both he and Kate are handling the changes well, However, drastic changes in daily life for someone living with Alzheimer’s isn’t ideal.

Kate has had changes that may or may not be related to the changes they’re experiencing. Kate is in the very advanced stages of Alzheimer’s so it’s impossible to know what changes are related to the disease and which are to changes in daily life.

Even when this crazy time of sheltering-in-place and social distancing is over, these techniques will still be relevant. Caregivers need as many strategies as possible whether it’s normal day-to-day caring or caring during this Covid-19 crisis.

Useful Episode on Caregiver Stress-Reducing Techniques (they worked!)

Richards Blog (Great reading!)

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Choosing Joy – A Book of Alzheimer’s Hope

 

Choosing Joy book cover

Choosing Joy shows us that there is hope even with Alzheimer’s.

Choosing Joy. Is it even possible? Most see a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s as the beginning of a sad journey. A journey that will be filled with frustration, sadness and possibly worse.  Finding positive stories is a challenge. But, what if, just by the way we approach caring, we can have a better outcome? If we’re really lucky, maybe we can slow their decline. Maybe they even can have improvements in some areas of their lives.

What would that journey look like and is it even possible? Reading Choosing Joy, an Alzheimer’s book of hope I saw what could be possible if we approach this diagnosis with a different frame of mind. While every person with Alzheimer’s is different, I present this episode of joy to you in the hope that you find a way to Choose Joy despite Alzheimer’s.

Living With Alzheimer’s

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I share more about my journey with Mom, stuff that’s going on in my own life and most importantly, cute dog photos and videos.

Also, check out our new YouTube channel where you can see us in action!