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Tender Book Teaches Children about Alzheimer’s Disease

Trailblazing Teen Researcher

Wins Accolades for Best-Seller

 Tender Book Teaches Children

about Alzheimer’s Disease

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July 18, 2013, Boston, MA– At age five, Max Wallack learned to cope with his great-grandmother’s Alzheimer’s symptoms. Forgetfulness was the least of her problems: Max experienced her fears, episodes of irrational behavior, incontinence – even escape attempts. But Wallack didn’t just cope. He devoted himself to easing her suffering. By second grade, he had invented adaptive equipment to help her with mobility, and at age 12 he founded www.PuzzlesToRemember.org, a non-profit charity that distributes therapeutic puzzles at no cost to Alzheimer’s facilities worldwide.

Wallack continues to dedicate his life to improving the lives of those with Alzheimer’s, but his heart has longed to calm the fears of the disease’s youngest caregivers, like the one he once was, himself. With this goal in mind, the 17-year-old college junior reached out to his teacher and mentor, Carolyn Given, to co-author a book uniquely aimed at teaching caregiving and coping strategies to children. The result is a tender, poignant story of hope, love, and learning as seven year-old Julie navigates increasing lapses in Grandma’s behavior.

Amazon’s #3 best-selling children’s book throughout its June 29 release week (and currently a Top 100 best-seller), Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? shares easy-to-understand explanations of what happens inside the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and how to cope with memory loss, a missed holiday, or even a missing Grandma! This 40-page, fully illustrated children’s book lovingly shares strategies, scientific insights, and lessons of dignity to which children and adults can both relate, and from which caregivers of any age may richly benefit.

As is Max’s way, the bulk of all proceeds will benefit multiple Alzheimer’s causes.

 Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear In The Refrigerator? provides insight into what families around the world deal with on a day-to-day basis. Max’s easy-to-understand presentation makes it perfect to help teach children about Alzheimer’s disease.

 — Lori La Bey, CEO of Alzheimer’s Speaks

 You should buy this book for any child who has a relative facing Alzheimer’s Disease…. This book is an incredible inspiration. Thank you Max Wallack for sharing from your heart.

 — Cheryl Greene, co-founder, Dr. Greene.com

Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? should be required reading for every person that teaches, guides, or interacts directly with children (worldwide).

 — Bob DeMarco, founder, Alzheimer’s Reading Room

Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator?

 By Max Wallack and Carolyn Given

 $12.95

 Available at Amazon.com

The Authors:

WALLACKMax Wallack is a 17 year old junior at Boston University as well as a researcher in the Molecular Psychiatry in Aging Laboratory at Boston University School of Medicine. Max was a caregiver to his great grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease.  In 2008, he founded http://www.PuzzlesToRemember.org, a 501(c)3 organization that has supplied more than 23,000 puzzles to Alzheimer’s facilities around the world. A Max Wallcke cropped 2member of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, Max gives research presentations at national conferences and publishes articles in respected scientific journals. He has received numerous national awards for his work on behalf of Alzheimer’s patients, including the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award and the President’s Call to Service Medal. Max plans to become a geriatric psychiatrist, working with Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.

max wallack with grandma

Carolyn_GivenCarolyn Given is an experienced caregiver herself and an acclaimed middle and high school educator with particular interest in intergenerational programming. Prior to her teaching career, she served as her town’s Council on Aging Director and later became cover-story writer and editor of The Senior Advocate (now called the Fifty Plus Advocate Newspaper), a Massachusetts-based mature market publication. Most recently she was the recipient of an award from the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women. Wallack and Given have created a book that is a necessity for the 35.6 million families worldwide currently touched by this incurable disease.

For More Resources Check Our Alzheimer’s Speaks

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Once again we were honored to be acknowledged for our blog here at Alzheimer’s Speaks by Assisted Living Today.  This year the Alzheimer’s Reading Room was given the #1 spot.  Congratulations Bob DeMarco who does a fantastic job with his blog. If you aren’t familiar with Bob’s blog you should check it out.  Here at Alzheimer’s Speaks we place runner up. Below are some of the other finalists.

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Nominated Article Descriptions

The following is a full list of all nominees for the 2013 ALTY Awards for the “Best Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Care Articles” category.

Alzheimer’s Communication — Touching Foreheads and Kindnessby Bob DeMarco, The Alzheimer’s Reading Room

The world needs more kindness, and Bob DeMarco, founder of the Alzheimer’s Reading Room shares a bit of his kindness in “Alzheimer’s Communication — Touching Foreheads and Kindness.” A learned technique from direct care of his mother with Alzheimer’s, he describes how he was able to combat the mean things his mother was saying with a positive and peaceful gesture.

The Best Gift of All!by Lori La Bey, Alzheimer’s Speaks

To some people’s chagrin, Lori La Bey has revised her take on what constitutes a holiday gift. No longer a present-giver, she feels that gratitude is the biggest gift a person can both give and receive. Prompted to this decision through her mother’s dementia, La Bey shares ways and reasons to be a giver of gratitude.

Dementia in General…by Judith Graham, The New Old Age on NYTimes.com

It’s a broad title, but the meat of the article narrows down some ideas of prevention when it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Using a whole-body approach, Patricia Grace connects the mind to the heart, the liver, the entire vascular system and more to show the relationship between a healthy overall lifestyle and a healthy brain. Alzheimer’s remains scary, but she provides good insight to wellness and prevention.

United States Lags in Alzheimer’s Supportby Judith Graham, The New Old Age on NYTimes.com

Alzheimer’s is not only an individual’s concern, but as our population ages, it’s a national concern. Caregiving costs, research, public policy–there are a multitude of reasons why our government needs to factor Alzheimer’s into the national plan. Judith Graham compares the U.S. to other countries who are developing strategies for dealing with a growing population of elderly residents, including Japan, Australia, France and Britain.

How Books, Puzzles Might Help Ward Off Alzheimer’s by MyHealthNewsDaily staff

Like brushing the plaque off your teeth, researchers say that reading a book, doing a puzzle or engaging in other mental activities actually reduces the plaque in your brain. Cognitive activity helps to scrub away the harmful protein scientists have identified at beta-amyloid, linked to memory Alzheimer’s patients. Studies show a lifelong pattern of engagement is the best defense, though there’s no downside to picking up the habit later in life.

Why Leave a 1400 Square-Foot House for a 40-Foot Sailboat? Read the Story, and You’ll Understandby Erica, Walk To End Alzheimer’s

In a way, this is two blogs in one. Delivered with a very personal note, two sisters handle their mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s in different ways. They challenge their readers to think, “how do I want to live my life?” all the while advocating for Alzheimer’s support.

Check Out all Our Other Resources, Tools and Services

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Alzheimer’s Speaks Named

                 #1 Influencer Online For Alzheimer’s

WOW!  What an honor to be amongst such wonderful colleagues,  all on a mission to shift our Dementia Care Culture.  Sharecare announced their Top Ten List for 2012.  See below who you should be following for the best information on Alzheimer’s Disease.  Don’t forget to follow Sharecare as well as they track the Top 10 Influencers in many health and wellness categories.  For the Full Article CLICK HERE.  

This goes to show we are gaining ground in the arena of Dementia,  Join The battle and help us fight the stigmas and find tools and tips for living with Alzheimer’s and of course our end goal is to secure a cure!

       

 

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Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio with Host Lori La Bey

Today we had Author Susan Scarff and Bob DeMarco of The Alzheimer’s Reading Room.  Both guests shared their insights and heartfelt stories about their personal journey of being a care partner.  Susan for her husband Red.  Bob with his mother Dotty.  We also had a few callers with comments and questions.  I think you will find the conversations packed with get information.

To listen to the show:

click on the white triangle in the black circle in the graphic below.

Susan Scarff can be reached at:

Email address:          thejourney@cox.net

Facebook Forum:      http://www.facebook.com/caregiving101

Author Website:       http://www.dementiathejourneya

Bob DeMarco can be reached via:

Website and Blog:     http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/

Pleases check out our new website below

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Tips on How to Interact in the World of Alzheimer’s World

Here is a great article by Bob DeMarco of The Alzheimer’s Reading Room entitled Alzheimer’s World — Nonverbal Communication and the Dimension of Time  It’s a short but powerful article which demonstrates a simple technique to communicate and reduce stress for both the patient and caregiver.  I highly recommend reading it!

In addition, I thought I would post a video clip that shares some ideas on how to interact with a person with memory loss.  

Here is a video which will show you the power of music.

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