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Posts Tagged ‘The Homestead of Maplewood’

Grandma Turns 84 Today…

The Cake Glows

Today my family gathered to celebrate my Mothers 84th Birthday.  Never in my wildest dreams would I think we would still be so blessed to have her with us.  You see Moms journey with memory loss started a little over 30 years ago.   For almost eleven years  now she has lived at Maplewood Care Center, a Volunteers of America Nursing Home where she has received wonderful care.

Personally I believe the social environment they have provided has allowed my Mother to live a longer and fuller life then if she would have lived at home with us, which was our original plan.

Check out the cake.  It looks like there is a light on top of it because of all of the candles!  It just glows…LOL  I was getting nervous we were literally going to set off the smoke detectors when we blew out the candles.

Years ago I didn’t consider or even know to put into the equation of care, the importance of ones social environment.  I just assumed living with family would be best for her.  We were closest to her. We knew her the best. We were the ones that loved her.  We wanted to care for her and… the list goes on.

What I know now after thirty years of being a caregiver for someone with memory loss; is that all the best intentions don’t necessarily add up to good care; let alone great care.  I now realize the true value of having peers for the person with dementia to interact with.  Family and peers are not the same even though each may love the person with memory loss.  Peers have common interests and typically common levels of interaction and abilities. They enjoy being together, not that family doesn’t but often with family we are trying to juggle to fit everything and everyone into a tight schedule.  There is a different dynamic with history and expectations.  Staff too can be an added value as they don’t feel the loss that many times is difficult for families to deal with.  They are able to accept the person for who they are today with whatever skill set they have.  There is not the personal attachment of loss and grief for what was, which is normal for families and friends to struggle with, but rather an appreciation for what “is” today, in the moment.

Think about what bonds you to your circle of friends?  What is it about these people that you love?  Would you ever be willing to give them up?  For most of us that answer is no.  Yet when someone is ill or aging it is a common request we ask of our loved one.  I caution the importance of peers.  The ability to fit in.  The ability to be accepted by those in your community and living environment. The importance of feeling purpose filled.  Is the environment truly a good match for the person in question?  Or is it a dutiful task you are trying to cover?  Is it a matter of trying to save money? Is it that you are not ready to accept things have changed?

Many things come into play.  I caution you to look at your situation closely and be honest with the options at hand, the impact of each and your personal motivation behind each you are considering.  Remember, this decision should be about what is best for them, not what you will feel more comfortable with or that which makes your life easier.

No matter what decision you come to, remember change typically needs an adjustment period. Change with dementia is inevitable and constant.  If  the person continues to live at home, if they move in with another family member or friend, you hire in home health care or they move into a community geared for their needs.  Be smart enough to allow that period of adjust for each of you before you start second guessing things.

And whatever you do, please try hard to appreciate the simple pleasures before you that are the foundation of your relationship with the person with memory loss.  Today I shared with my younger brother Scott several videos I’ve taken of Mom.  I decided to share these with  him as he was struggling with Moms decline.  The videos showed him Mom is still in that body that Alzheimer’s disease has kidnapped.

Scott was able to smile and a softness came over him.  He was able to see  his “Old Mom” come alive in brief moments of humor, or simple statements or facial expressions that were hers since we’ve been young.  He saw Mom able to connect on video, even if in new ways.  He seemed to feel the connection with her as he watched, and I felt a calmness come over him as his fears  and guilt seemed to leave the room, allowing him to love and  appreciate the simpliness of our Mother and the core of her soul that remains and is present when we look for it.

My Brother Scott and Mom

Here are some pictures of our party.  We had lots of food from Sushi to Sloppy Joes, which I have to admit I make awesome batch of.  “It’s the mustard” my Mom would say, “and just a bit of sugar!”

May you each be blessed to seek out and

find the simple moments that matter

so much to each of us.

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The 12 Days of Christmas Care Partnering Song

To All Caregivers…

Happy Holidays

Below are the Lyrics to:

The 12 Days of Christmas Care Partnering Song©

of Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speak Dec 2011

 

We encourage you to make you own version and send it to us.  Let’s see how many versions we can collect while raising awareness at the same time!

 

The 12 Days of Christmas Care Partnering Song©

 

On the 1st day of Christmas my Angel Gave to me

(And) a mind set to embrace change

On the 2nd day of Christmas the Angel Gave to me

Grace to let go

On the 3rd day of Christmas the Angel Gave to me

Coping skills

On the 4th day of Christmas the Angel Said to me

Look for the joy

On the 5th day of Christmas the Angel Gave to me

Great Insights

On the 6th day of Christmas the Angel Gave to me

Gratitude and love

On the 7th day of Christmas the Angle Said to me

Savor each moment

On the 8th day of Christmas the Angle Gave to me

Hope and compassion

On the 9th day of Christmas the Angel Said to me

Live to be playful

On the 10th day of Christmas the Angel Said to me

Self care is (cares) important

On the 11th day of Christmas the Angel Said to me

Perfect doesn’t matter

On the 12th day of Christmas the Angel Saw in me

My sanity is back!

 

The Care Partners Choir:

Deb Nygaard, Eric Olson, Barb Meyer, Charlie Meyerson Representing:

ACR Healthcare Group

http://www.acrhealthcaregroup.com/

Arthur’s white Pines Residential Care

http://www.arthurswhitepines.com/

ACR At Home Health Care

http://www.acrathome.com/

ACR Homes

http://www.acrhomes.com/

J. Arthur’s Coffee Shop

http://www.jarthurscoffee.com/

J. Arthur’s Memory Café

http://www.jarthursmemorycafe.com/

Anita Jader Representing:

Anita Jader Photography

http://www.mnppa.com/siteBuilder_site.cfm?siteID=126&pageID=1271

Christine Pulkrabek Representing:

Regions Hospital Foundation

http://www.regionshospital.com/rh/foundation/

Alzheimer’s Research Center

http://www.alzheimersinfo.org/

Health Partners Center for Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care

http://www.healthpartners.com/public/care/providers/cdac/

Minnesota Memory Project

http://www.mnmemoryproject.org/

J. Arthur’s Memory Café

http://www.jarthursmemorycafe.com/

 Danielle La Bey Representing:

Volunteers of America The Homestead

http://www.voa.org/Get-Help/National-Network-of-Services/Long-Term_Care/The-Homestead-at-Maplewood-

and Maplewood Care Center who will be opening a Memory Café in 2012

http://www.voa.org/Get-Help/National-Network-of-Services/Long-Term_Care/Maplewood-Care-Center-

 Dr. Dale Anderson Representing:

Act Happy

www.ActHappy.com

Annie Anderson Representing:

Be-Wellderly

www.Be-Wellderly.com

 Greg Pederson Representing:

J. Arthur’s Memory Café

http://www.jarthursmemorycafe.com/

Judy McCabe Representing:

Realty Associates

JudyMcCabe@comcast.net

Lori La Bey Representing:

Alzheimer’s Speaks Resource Website

http://www.alzheimersspeaks.com/

Alzheimer’s Speaks Blog

https://alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com/

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/alzheimersspeaks

Alzheimer’s Speaks Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/user/AlzheimersSpeaks

J. Arthur’s Memory Café

http://www.jarthursmemorycafe.com/

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J. Arthur’s Memory Cafe

Dedicates a Song to

the UK Memory Cafes

In celebration of the holiday season, we at J. Arthur’s Memory Café in Roseville, Minnesota felt it was only right to show our appreciation to the UK Memory Cafés for so graciously sharing their Memory Café Concept with us. 

We are filled with Gratitude!

Although many of our members were not able to join us due to busy holiday schedule, others gladly came out to show their support in our silly but very sincere video to the UK. 

Below are the lyrics to:

The 12 Days of Christmas Memory Café Song©

of Lori La Bey and Alzheimer’s Speak Dec 2011

We encourage you to make you own version supporting the Memory Cafes and send it to us. Let’s see how many versions we can collect while raising awareness at the same time!

 

The 12 Days of Christmas Memory Café Song©

On the 1st day of Christmas the UK Gave to us

(And) A Brilliant Memory Cafe

On the 2nd day of Christmas the UK Gave to us

Encouragement

On the 3rd day of Christmas the UK Gave to us

Reason for Hope

On the 4th day of Christmas the UK Gave to us

Needs to Fill

On the 5th day of Christmas the UK Said to us

Work Together

On the 6th day of Christmas the UK Gave to us

Joy in Our Hearts

On the 7th day of Christmas the UK Gave to us

Lasting Friendships

On the 8th day of Christmas the UK Said to us

Find Those in Need

On the 9th day of Christmas the UK Saw in us

Increased Excitement

On the 10th day of Christmas the UK Gave to us

Safety Net for Many

On the 11th day of Christmas the UK Said to us

Thankful People Coming

On the 12th day of Christmas the UK Said to us

Build with Community

A Special Thank you to

Our Memory Café Choir:

Deb Nygaard, Eric Olson, Barb Meyer,

and Charlie Meyerson Representing:

ACR Healthcare Group

http://www.acrhealthcaregroup.com/

Arthur’s White Pines Residential Care

http://www.arthurswhitepines.com/

ACR At Home Health Care

http://www.acrathome.com/

ACR Homes

http://www.acrhomes.com/

J. Arthur’s Coffee Shop

http://www.jarthurscoffee.com/

J. Arthur’s Memory Café

http://www.jarthursmemorycafe.com/

Anita Jader Representing:

Anita Jader Photography

http://www.mnppa.com/siteBuilder_site.cfm?siteID=126&pageID=1271

Christine Pulkrabek Representing:

Regions Hospital Foundation

http://www.regionshospital.com/rh/foundation/

Alzheimer’s Research Center

http://www.alzheimersinfo.org/

Health Partners Center for Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care

http://www.healthpartners.com/public/care/providers/cdac/

Minnesota Memory Project

http://www.mnmemoryproject.org/

J. Arthur’s Memory Café

http://www.jarthursmemorycafe.com/

Danielle La Bey Representing:

Volunteers of America The Homestead

http://www.voa.org/Get-Help/National-Network-of-Services/Long-Term_Care/The-Homestead-at-Maplewood-

and Maplewood Care Center who will be opening a Memory Café in 2012

http://www.voa.org/Get-Help/National-Network-of-Services/Long-Term_Care/Maplewood-Care-Center-

Dr. Dale Anderson Representing:

Act Happy

www.ActHappy.com

Annie Anderson Representing:

Be-Wellderly

www.Be-Wellderly.com

Greg Pederson Representing:

J. Arthur’s Memory Café

http://www.jarthursmemorycafe.com/

Judy McCabe Representing:

Realty Associates

Email Judy

Lori La Bey Representing:

Alzheimer’s Speaks Resource Website

http://www.alzheimersspeaks.com/

Alzheimer’s Speaks Blog

https://alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com/

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/alzheimersspeaks

Alzheimer’s Speaks Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/user/AlzheimersSpeaks

J. Arthur’s Memory Café

http://www.jarthursmemorycafe.com/

Happy Holidays!

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