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Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundaiton’

Love Is All Around Us, Just Waiting For Us To Find It!

Love Is All Around Us,

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Just Waiting For Us To Find It!

Some days as we walk our path into the world of dementia, the road can feel bumpy and hard; not knowing where we are going or how the next moment will roll out.

But during my journey

I have learned one very important lesson.

You find only

what you are willing to see. 

heart_in_skyIf we focus on the past and what we feel we have lost, we don’t allow gratitude to enter our life. The pleasure of appreciation for what we did have. 

If we focus on the scariness of the future and all the unknowns, we shut down the opportunity to create or allow brilliant moments to occur.

BUT…

When we live in the moment before us RIGHT NOW, we have the power to create and allow into our lives that which we crave… love, engagement, acceptance, comfort, peace… laughter.

heart_sunset_treeI wish for you this Valentines Day that you see and accept the promise of hope and love that surrounds you in every nano second of each day, especially when it it not obvious. I personally know how difficult this can be to do, but I also know it is well worth the effort.

It is our individual choice to decide what we want to focus on. What we want to believe.  What we want to create.  What we want to allow to in our life.  I encourage you to slow down and look at the rocks, the sky, the trees and all that surrounds you. You may be very surprised and the signs of hope and love you see in places you never imagined.

Look For The Signs

They will warm your heart and bring you peace

in the most difficult and loneliest of moments.

May you each have a blessed day wrapped in love knowing you are not alone.

Lori La Bey of Alzheimer's Speaks & Senior Lifestyle TrendsLori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks

For more resources on dementia and caregiving

check out Alzheimer’s Speaks below

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Brain Gymnastics: A Key to Alzheimer’s Prevention

Brain Gymnastics:

A Key to Alzheimer’s Prevention

Do you know why brain researchers use a person’s education level as a factor in their studies? Education improves your brain functions because learning new things increases the number of connections, or pathways, in the brain. Therefore, doing things you’ve never done before—such as learning a new language or a computer program—will improve your brain.

Whether you are of school age, working, or retired, performing new and different tasks improves your brain function. In fact, a number of experiments with pictures of the brain have proven that by using games, the number of brain cells increases and the brain itself actually grows in size.

Regular brain gymnastics exercises are also important. Studies have shown that when people engage in moderate, pleasant forms of mental exercise, the efficiency and power of their brains increases.

You can request or download ARPF’s Brain Aerobics brochure to learn many easy ways to exercise your brain while having fun. It’s available at this link. Begin Today.

Memory problems are not a normal part of aging. By taking the proper steps, such as those outlined in our articles on this site, you can build a stronger brain, and that will go a long way towards avoiding memory loss.

Everyone needs to focus on creating more brain power, we can all use it.

 

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

President and Medical Director

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For Additional Information on Dementia and Caregiving

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The 40/70 Rule:

Intergenerational Conversations

ARPF Board Member Carolyn Lucz wrote this article for those of us taking on the role of caretaker for our parents. We hope it is helpful for you.
There comes a time when children may need to take on the role of a parent. It can be prompted by a crisis in the family due to a death of one parent, or simply by the realization that a parent’s health is declining. It can be as minor as considering extra help in the home, or as life changing as selling the family home and looking for an assisted living facility.
Often, the time to broach touchy subjects seems to come suddenly; however, upon reflection, often there have been signs that should have prompted a discussion. Maybe you’ve noticed that your 78-year-old mother finds it hard to remember the names of her grandchildren, or forgets to feed her beloved pet. Perhaps she has been leaving the television and radio on night and day, and subscribes to the daily newspaper but can’t read it because of failing eyesight.
Fearing the loss of independence, a parent may reject any assistance out of hand. How do you talk with your mom and dad about driving, dating and financial matters? Here’s where the 40/70 Rule can open communication between baby boomers and their parents.
Dr. Jake Harwood, professor of communications at the University of Arizona, has developed a guide outlining seven tips to communication. The following suggestions can pave the way for better intergenerational communication and more fulfilling relationships.

Seven Tips to Help Boomer Children Communicate With Their Aging Parents

1. GET STARTED. If you’re 40 or your parents are 70, it’s time to start observing and gathering information carefully and thoughtfully. Don’t reach a conclusion from a single observation and decide on the best solution until you have gathered information with an open mind and talked to your parents.
2. TALK IT OUT. Approach your parents with conversation. Discuss what you’ve observed and ask your parents what they think is going on. If your parents acknowledge the situation, ask what they think would be good solutions. If your parents don’t recognize the problem, use concrete examples to support your case.
3. SOONER IS BETTER. Talk sooner rather than later when a crisis has occurred. If you know your loved one has poor eyesight or has trouble driving at night, begin to address those issues before a problem arises.
4. FORGET THE BABY TALK. Remember you are talking to an adult, not a child. Patronizing speech or baby talk will put older adults on the defensive and convey a lack of respect for them. Put yourself in your parents’ shoes and think of how you would want to be addressed in the situation.
5. MAXIMIZE INDEPENDENCE. Always try to move toward solutions that provide the maximum amount of independence for the older person. Look for answers that optimize strengths and compensate for problems. For instance, if your loved one needs help at home, look for tools that can help them maintain their strengths. Professional caregiving services provide assistance in a number of areas including meal preparation, light housekeeping or medication reminders. Or find friends that can help.
6. BE AWARE OF THE WHOLE SITUATION. If your dad dies and soon afterward your mom’s house seems to be in disarray, it’s probably not because she suddenly became ill. It’s much more likely to stem from a lack of social support and the loss of a life-long relationship. Make sure that your mom has friends and a social life.

7. ASK FOR HELP. Many of the issues of aging can be solved by providing parents with the support they need to continue to maintain their independence. Resources such as Area Agencies on Aging and local senior centers can help provide those solutions. If you are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, they can help with many resources.
Carolyn Lucz, Board Member

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Hi Everyone,

I wanted to update you on everything going on in my life.  You see there has been a big turn for myself and my family.  On December 21st, 2014 we put my Mother on hospice.  She was responding so well in fact, on Feb 21st, hospice had prepared me that mom most likely not be eligible for renewal.

At 4pm, Monday Feb 24th she got the flu.  By 11pm she had a 103 temperature.  At 7am Tuesday morning they suspected pneumonia.  We were able to get a few teaspoons of thickened juice in her, midday Tuesday.  Little did we know, that would be her last supper.

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Miracles Started to Appear in Our Lives

My brother Scott who lives in PA, was already en route home for a “surprise” visit when I called him, and a few hours later he walked in the door to be with mom.  Family members who had not talked in a couple of years spoke.  Ex-spouses came together to honor mom.  Even my ex-husband Tom and his new wife Maureen joined the vigil.  Maureen recited the Rosary and brought holy water to bless my mother.

We found out one of mom’s great granddaughters Aniah, who is three years old, had been talking about my mother for the past two weeks, saying she was going to heaven.  Another friend of mine, Jennifer could hear us singing “You Are My Sunshine,” to mom.  She said it was so loud in her ears, she didn’t know where it was coming from but she was instantly in a wonderful mood and felt energized, happy and peaceful. She too started singing the song in her own house.  Another friend, Mary, stayed the night with my mother.  This is a woman who had never met my mother! How beautiful and gracious she was.  I know not only did my mother appreciate her presence, but so did the whole family.

Three years ago when my mother was on hospice, my daughter Danielle, could not bear to let grandma go.  This time she was the lead horse – strong and compassionate taking on my role as I was not able to there.

Letting Go Without Being There

You see a few months ago, my mother started coming to me in dreams.  She told me she was getting ready to go.  She told me to start writing her obituary.  She told me to observe her getting her hair done and to watch her get a bath as I need both for training programs.  She told me I needed to be gone so she could bring the family together and I needed to continue to speak and be an advocate for the cause.

I had two speaking engagement in Arizona and had to leave on Wednesday the 26th.  Such a difficult time for me, yet I knew this is where she wanted me to be. You see I have been the one in many situations to be with loved ones when they pass. I of course wanted to be there for mom too.  I held strong to my faith in my mother and her plan.  So I got on that plane and left knowing I would most likely never see her again.

I Was Blessed With Miracles Throughout My Trip

Starting with my friend Judy who drove me to the airport and helped be stay calm and focused on my mother’s wishes.

To several close friends who were checking in on me: Chris, Amy, Cindy, Sue, Tre, Jennifer, Patty, Beth, Kelly, Anne, Diane, Marta, Janie, Joann, Eilon, roger, Carol, Nancy, Jonatha, Anita and so many others.

To getting a TSA pass to bypass screening at the airport.

To the stranger by the name of Webb, who became a welcomed friend sitting next to me on the plane. He too touched by dementia, his mother-in-law has it.

To my daughter Danielle, who thought to use FaceTime, so I could see my mother and say goodbye as she was taking yet another turn as I sat in the baggage claim area at the airport.  Danielle, your brilliance to use this technology made being away bearable.

To the woman who sat next me at baggage claim and handed me a Kleenex as she heard and saw me say goodbye to my mother, via FaceTime.  She too had lost her mother this past year to dementia.

To the wonderful technology of FaceTime which allowed me to actively participate in my mother’s last days.  Allowing me to guide and support my family as needed, to be able to see and talk to my mother, to be able to see our family rally together in honor of her.  As I write this now I’m in tears feeling so blessed to have been able to be involved at that level when I was from so far away.

To the warmth and beauty of the Arizona sunshine that filled my heart and soul which so badly needing filling.

To wonderful Mindy with the Mesa Alzheimer’s Association who so kindly picked me up from the airport, took me to get my rental car, drove me back to the hotel and then helped me with a dry run at the conference center where I would be speaking at on Friday.  Mindy, you are an exceptional meeting planner and human being.  I so deeply thank you.

To the hundreds of comments and likes on FaceBook from people all over the world sending prayers and love, hugs and scriptures, poems and pictures.  You have no idea what your support has meant to all of us.

To having a 6-plus hour virtual vigil via FaceTime with my whole family as my mother slowly slipped away.  This allowed me to actively participate in her dying process, something I thought I had to let go of, to be out of state.  I can’t tell you what a difference this made for me and I believe for my mother and other family members as well.  It was exceptionally beautiful.

To all the wonderful staff at the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation who so lovingly cared for me on Thursday.  Kirti Khalsa you are amazing! All those that worked so hard to coordinate my talk and to those who showed up for my presentation.  For the beautiful flowers in my room to the candle which I will be using in a ceremony to keep mom’s light alive.

To feeling my mother’s surge of energy enter me 5 minutes before going on stage for my ARPF talk.

To Kirti Khalsa, Tryn Rose, Conni Ingallina and Carolyn Sechler for a lovely dinner after our ARPF event.

To Tryn Rose for the beautiful card she snuck into my suitcase.

To the hundreds of people at the Alzheimer’s Association conference on Friday who loved my “chickens” and made me smile.  A special thanks again to the team of professionals who pulled off such an amazing event.

To Frank and Mary Granberg, who were so lovely to meet with and a special THANK YOU to Frank.  He made me a hand craved “Purple Angel” from wood.  I was a bit overwhelmed at his kind gesture and will be bringing this to the funeral as a symbol of the power of my mother’s advocacy for change in our dementia care

To the wonderful spiritual team who lifted us all throughout this very long week.

To my mother with her set plan in tact with miracle after miracle to keep us strong.  For her ability to let go and not wait for my return so the pain could come to an end for her and those that loved her so deeply.

On Friday February 28th, at 7:45pm my mother took her last breath and slipped into the heavens with my daughter Danielle at her side.

To Rita Anand who was with me at dinner and who so kindly allowed me to take the last distressed calls from my daughter who was watching her best friend and grandmother slip away before her; and who also shared seeing my mother’s last breath via FaceTime with me.  Rita, you were the perfect soul for me to be with at that very moment.  Thank you for making the connection for us to meet.

To Rita who also went home that evening and cleansed herself and then lit a candle in my mother’s honor as per India tradition, to carry on the light of my mother.

To all of those who were able to come back to say one last good bye to my mother or who were continuing to send us prayers of support through this difficult time.

To all of the wonderful and loving staff who cared for her over the past 13 years…our gratitude goes out to you.

May you rest in peace my lovely mother.  May you dance amongst the stars, giggle with each gentle breeze and love with the power of each ray of sunshine.  You have not only been a wonderful mother, but a good friend and amazing mentor to me.

May Your Legacy Live On

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I will continue to raise awareness by educating the public as we remove the fears and stigmas caused by this disease.  You have accomplished more than I ever could have imagined mom.  Thank you for letting me play a role in your grace-filled plan.  I know the struggle and pain you went through to help our global society have a better understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia and the additional supports so badly needed.  For that I am honored.  Know I will not quit.  I am committed to carry on your dream.

I pray you know how much you were loved and what an impact your have had around the world.

Your devoted daughter forever and ever

Lori

Click Here For Information on Mom’s Service

For additional information check out Alzheimer’s Speaks

which was started in my mother’s honor.

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