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Posts Tagged ‘Dementia Poem’

A Poem Shares a Heartfelt Look at a Visit with Her Mother

 A Visit

By Cheryl Kempner

 

It’s just the beginning…

Three years in….

She knows my name.

She opens the door but does not lock it behind her.

She tries to find a place for the new picture I gave her.

She said she’d move things later.

I said let’s do it now.

It’s perfect she says.

She asks if we want a drink.

We say later.

We try to chat.. there’s little conversation.

She asks if we want a drink.

We say later.

She asks if we want a drink.

We say yes.

She tries to find the glasses.

She opens the cabinets.

One after another.

She finds the right one.

She gives me a glass.

She gets me water.

Her gait is off.

She walks slowly.

She’s young… only 75.

We sit at the table.

What’s new I ask.

Nothing she says.

Where’s your coloring.

I don’t know. I cleaned up.

The family room is spotless.

I like things organized she says.

Are you playing cards? Painting?

Playing tomorrow..good I say.

I don’t know if it’s true…

Do you want to see the pictures from our cruise I say.

Yes she says.

Let’s slide through the pictures on my phone.. are you bored yet?

No they are wonderful.

Did you have a good time.

Great I said.

How are you feeling.

She says I’m good.

You lost a lot of weight I said.

Yes she says.

What do u eat?

Eggs with… with…

I said tomatoes, cheese, spinach…

Give me a minute..

I say lox? I found it hidden in the side of the refrigerator.

She says yes, Nova.

She offers more snacks.

She takes chocolate.

Are you allowed to have it?

She says I can do what I want.

We sit again.

We look at more pictures .

Do you remember when we went to Venice?

She smiles.

Did you buy anything she asks.

Not much I said.

Some souvenirs.. I had an amazing time though.

She just holds her head in her hands and looks at my pictures. I know it’s enough.

She tells me they just came back from a trip… there was no trip.

She tells me dad left at 3:00 for cards.

I spoke with him at 530.

They were having dinner.

I know it’s enough.

She wants to change and watch tv.

I say maybe we will do this again next Thursday.

She says sure if she has no plans.

I say ok, lock the door.

We kiss goodbye.

Thank you for coming.

Lock the door.

Click

What Are Your Visits Like?

We would love to her from you.

 

 

 

 Looking for a Speaker?

See what LeadingAge has to say about Lori La Bey.

 “Feedback from the conference planning committee and our leadership team was extremely positive. 

Many attendees commented that she was one of the best speakers they had heard.” 

Pat Sylvia, Director of Education & Member Development LeadingAge Washington

For More Testimonials

Meet Lori La Bey in March

 

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Poem Inspired By Disease – Matter of Fact

Matter of Fact

By Ron Louie, MD

Her face was matter of fact when she heard the pronouncement. 

The neuropsychologist was her colleague; he remained professional, but slipped in some sympathy with the data, which I could not appreciate.

She didn’t display a mask of depression, or Parkinson disease.

Her face remained pliable, not pleased, but neither terribly pained, no exhibition of perplexity, or petulance, or surprise, a pensive look, retaining its complex grace, a quiet reserve, a solemn alertness, the beauty of humane consciousness, with no further expectations.

In her own practice, she had encountered early Alzheimer disease first hand:

that wonderful younger woman, whose baby she had delivered, working in accounting until the numbers became exotic, then alien; she had told me about that patient, with shock, sadness, and resignation.

But I didn’t understand this. I wouldn’t. It was the guy, his tests, the setting.

At home, I made her try to draw a clock, count backward, recite words, and copy intersecting rectangles.  She tried, this good doctor who had always bested me in calculus, organic chemistry and marriage.  She wasn’t angry.

So how could I be mad? She was setting the example, as she had done her whole life, her whole career, without pessimism or regret, or fanfare, just ready to go on, even though her words and steps might mutate, unpredictably, ever aware of the possible endpoints, with each of us now grappling this present moment, trying to recognize its identity.

Dedicated to IRJ, MD; suggested by Meryl Comer

Neurology® 2018;90:139. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004841

Listen above to Dr. Louie read this poem. 

 

 

 Looking for a Speaker?

See what LeadingAge has to say about Lori La Bey.

 “Feedback from the conference planning committee and our leadership team was extremely positive. 

Many attendees commented that she was one of the best speakers they had heard.” 

Pat Sylvia, Director of Education & Member Development LeadingAge Washington

For More Testimonials

Meet Lori La Bey in March

Click Below to Download the Tips

Push Research Forward – Join the A-List

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Dementia Poem – A ROSE IN THE SNOW

 

Another Gorgeous Poem About Dementia

By One Of Our Members

If you have something you would like to share contact us!

 A ROSE IN THE SNOW

Author – Alana LeClaire

 

His dazed, tired eyes were far away

in deep blue oceans where he once played

But the little girl beside him prays

that one day he will remember her name.

It seemed more certain for a rose

to bloom in ice cold winter snow

than for grandfather to recall the name

of a little girl who waits in faith.

We were all casting her hope away,

trying to help her “cope,”

to ease the pain of a little girl

who longs for a rose in the snow.

Then, one night, grandfather sat next to a window

that displayed a crescent moon.

He turned away his face from it

to look across the room.

He smiled at her,

She ran to him,

He gently caressed her face.

Then, he leaned over and in her ear

He slowly whispered her name.

Her smile was such

that its radiance

could now outshine the moon…

And somewhere on Earth,

on a snow-filled mountain,

a rose emerged in bloom.

 

Dementia Cruise of Compassion & Camaraderie

We are honored by your response to our offering of the Dementia Friendly Symposium and Cruise and we are encouraging people to book their cabins before we are sold out!

For more details on the symposium and cruise go to https://alzheimersspeaks.com/cruise-with-us

Click here for the Symposium Program

Kathy Shoaf the travel agent handling the symposium and cruise can be reached at: 219-608-2002 or email her at Kathy.Shoaf@CruisePlanners.com

 

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I Don’t Endorse Products and Services Often,

But I Love This Company!

Arthur’s Residential Care has sponsored and supported the Memory Cafe Concept from the beginning I brought it to the United States.  The minute I suggested they become involved in launching one they jumped with both feet in the water and have never looked back. ACR not only graciously gave us space for meetings, but provided treats and additional facilitators as our one group expanded to three.  They have been so progressive in staff dementia training and creating moments of joy for both their residents and their families; which I must admit brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heat every time.  I am so blessed to witness their work.  Kudos Arthur’s Residential Care!

Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks

 

Insights from Arthur’s – Here is One of Many Free Tips

Take The Survey Now and Help Define

What “Quality” Means to You and Your Family!

Open To All In The U.S.

University of Minnesota PhD candidate Heather Davila describes a survey to get input from people age 55+ family members, and professionals who work in the field of aging services about which aspects of “quality” in aging services matter most.

To take the survey go here: www.tinyurl.com/Qagesurvey

Contact: Heather Davila,

Email:  wood0132@umn.edu

Find a Memory Cafe & Get Resources

Read More to Get Resources

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An Important message from our friend Meryl Comer:

Only twice in my twenty plus years as an Alzheimer’s caregiver has a doctor ever asked whether I was doing okay. Yet my husband would have never made the clinic appointment on time if I had not gotten up extra early to bathe, dress, feed, manage his resistance and drive him there. Now here’s a chance to be heard!

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic want to learn what matters most to you when you go to the doctor with your loved one. They need volunteers for an online focus group who are current or former caregivers for a loved one with dementia.

Click here to learn more about this important Mayo Clinic caregiver study asking what matters to you when you go to the doctor with a loved one.

Study participants will be asked to join an online focus group and answer several questions over a week and a half posted by the moderator. Participants can choose to remain anonymous. Their goal is to help healthcare providers better support and communicate with caregivers by learning:

  • How health care providers can best help caregivers provide optimal care to loved ones while maintaining their own health.
  • How involved caregivers want to be their loved ones’ healthcare.
  • What the ideal “care team” looks like.

Please click here for more information about this important Mayo Clinic caregiver study.

Your opinions are critical to improving the experience for all caregivers when they accompany loved ones to doctor’s appointments. Let’s not miss this opportunity to make doctors tune into what matters to us.

Meryl Comer, A-List Team Member & 20-year Alzheimer’s care partner

 

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A Beautiful Poem About Alzheimer’s

Alzheimers 

By Paula Allen 

 

Down by the sea

on this beautiful day

Brings back memories

of my friend far away.

 

He became a fireman,

and later a nurse

Never thinking his studies

would bring him face to face

with the Alzheimer’s curse.

 

This disease that attacks the brain

was like a mirage that left me in doubt

and he in pain.

 

He got his degree and followed his dream,

Moved upstate by a running stream.

 

As a male nurse he was in great demand

The nursing home in town he worked

with compassionate command.

 

Such sorrow,

sadness he witnessed.

The alzheimer’s patients endure

Knowing there was to be no cure.

 

Years have passed and I received a note.

He had moved to a little hamlet  on

Long Island he wrote.

 

Retirement has come, if only I can.

Enjoy the long-term plan.

 

He used the phrase in the beginning

They’ve got me in the loop and I want to let go,

It was like a spider spinning his web in his head,

oh so slow

 

My kindhearted friend suffered with hallucinations,

confusion and sadness each morning,

The helplessness I felt

as the new day was dawning.

 

The compassionate nurse has now become

the patient, so filled with fear.

Is this the end of my retirement year?

 

Near the end he asked me to pray,

That someone, somewhere would find the cure someday.

 

Thank you Paula. We so appreciate you taking the time share your poem and heart with our community.

Dementia Friendly Cruise –

Find Out What All the Excitement Is About!

Watch The Short Video Below

We are honored by your response to our offering of the Dementia Friendly Symposium and Cruise and we are encouraging people to book their cabins before we are sold out!

For more details on the symposium and cruise go to https://alzheimersspeaks.com/cruise-with-us

Click here for the Symposium Program

Kathy Shoaf the travel agent handling the symposium and cruise can be reached at: 219-608-2002 or email her at Kathy.Shoaf@CruisePlanners.com

 

Click Below And Get Involved- 

Only 3 simple Question

Color Your Mind by Maria Shriver

“This is an amazing book which brings a holistic approach to engaging those with dementia and their care partners.  I love how Maria intertwines the simple yet creative works of coloring which has been embraced by so many people looking for a peacefulness within and now has created a product specifically designed for those living with dementia.”

~  Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks

 

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A Poem On Dementia “TRAM IN NO-WHERE”

TRAM IN NO-WHERE

By Ellina Z., Melbourne

I stepped on to a tram

On Balaclva Road

Under the Railway Bridge

Next to the Fishshop

With all those cut-up fish steaks on display.

I stepped on to a tram

Without a sense of

Why

Or where am I climbing those steps.

Where is my  Bag?

My fingers are empty.

Nothing to clutch to

for security.

Where is my Bag

With all my life in it

to hold on to?

I am standing there on that tram

While it is starting to move.

I look around myself.

I am clothed.

Tram is half empty.

I have no sense

Of  where I am going.

Or how to go back.

And where is back?

On this tram

Nothing to hold on to

Although the seats

And rails are at hand.

I am just standing there

Abandoned by myself.

Traveling in nowhere.

For More Information On Dementia & Caregiving

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