Thanksgiving with Friends

Patti & Donna had a nice visit. She was super chatty & mostly happy. Donna did a great job of feeding her. She ate everything. Seemed calmer after eating, content most of the time & alert. She was surrounded by her two buddies talking their special language.
When I showed Lynne this photo of Patti & her she said, “Yah.” Later, II showed it again later &she nodded with a smile. I love to be able to share these with her. Thank you so much all!
Tags: Alzheimer’s Dementia Caregiver Caregiving father-daughter

Deep Friendships at Thanksgiving

My thanksgiving feast was prepared by Clemens, Margo & 4 friends in a longterm heartwarming relationship. Henrik lifts 400 lbs in workouts! Simon to talk with a course counselor at Seattle Central. Christoph joined us Tags: Alzheimer’s Dementia Caregiver Caregiving father-daughter

Thankful for Lynne’s Caregivers

Our family and friends are thankful for the caregivers who love Lynne, currently Abby K, Fetlewerk, & Abby T, and many others over the last five years. They have counseled and cared for us too. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver caregiving dementia father-daughter

Thankful For Resident Friends

I’m thankful for friends among residents. They stop by Lynne’s chair to talk, reach out, sit. Or walk hand in hand. Others share clothing —- a resident smiled at me, “I like the shirt she’s wearing.” Her eyes twinkled. “It’s mine.” Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Alert Smiles And Thank You

Samantha/hospice: Lynne was alert, more energetic. Smiled a few times. Excited to see me when I arrived in her own world & conversation with buddies. A bit agitated with arms & legs. Cute cat shirt. Said thank you when I left.  Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Music and Patience Are Magical

Brayden (Hospice): Sat listening to music on a speaker. A bit more agitated than usual, but as the visit went along she became calmer and smiled at me more and said thank you. Patience & music & visits are miraculous. Tags: Alzheimers caregiver dementia father-daughter

Living In Memories of God

 Dementia: Living In The Memories of God by John Swinton

Dementia may be a tragic affliction, but there is much to be hoped for as long as we create the types of relationships & communities that allows us to see properly, hope realistically, & remember with a love that drives us into the presence of people with dementia.Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Fun Visit With Lynne

LynnR had fun visit with Lynn. She was super happy to see me — ate well, laughed a lot. She reached out a number of times, touching my hand or knee, & laughing when I ask if the pudding was vanilla. She said vanilla and nodded.

She mimicked my thumbs up when we acknowledged something positive. She seems to be happy to have her fellow resident C. entering and exiting to their lounging space. C. told me Lynn is wonderful. I agreed.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Boys Doing Fine, Lynne

Told Lynne boys & Dad like bi-weekly therapy. Simon: has a career counselor to evaluate why he doesn’t pursue nursing. Henrik: earning more $ than ever as a bartender/server at Cactus. Christoph: waved from his window & doing fine. They visit Lynne weekly. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Persistence Gets Good Visits

Donna & LynnR visited.  She was more present & interactive than last visit. Donna gave her a latte She got sleepy & we told her we loved her & Donna took a selfie with her. Pretty alert vs 3 weeks ago. Their persistence always gets good times Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

End of Life Options

Lynne’s visitor said, “Lynne & a resident sort of cry and look at me. I found it really hard to believe in a merciful God. Both women were amazing forces of nature. Just sad for me to see sisters in this situation.”  I believe in a merciful God. We provide the mercy.  is working to transform how people die with dementia to ensure people are aware, empowered and supported in getting the care they want – or do not want.” (I wish Lynne could have studied the options with our family at her diagnosis)

“With significant caregiving and hospice support, a determined and well-informed individual can successfully choose the end-of-life option of voluntarily stopping eating or drinking, also known as VSED.” A success is described in   Last Ten Days, by Martha Risberg Brosio

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Family Exceeds Fundraising Goal

Our Grammy Helen and Lynne Russell Family team, for the Alzheimer’s Walk exceeded our goal again. It’s a blessing for me and our family to keep lifting up our courageous and loving Lynne while Alzheimer’s keeps bringing her down. Blessings. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Dad Learns How to Walk Lynne

Brian kindly asked Lynne if she wanted to walk. She nodded. He lifted her gently from behind elbow. She stood. He pointed out she walks with help after 7 steps. She stiffens when I try to pull her up. I have so much to learn. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Reading Lynne’s She’s Given

Lynne surprised everyone at our 50th anniversary with navy blue t-shirts with a white tree with no leaves. Underneath it was “Jim and Karen & Celebrating 50th anniversary 11/29/1963” In the top of the tree were two white lovebirds. Carol and I took the t-shirt to Lynne and read my story of the loving, lasting surprise she gave us as seen in the family portrait. Lynne listened calmly to every word with her eyes focused on me and the t-shirt in her lap. Carol and I believe she understood & enjoyed our story Tags: .Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Music Helps Lynne How?

Brayden with continuum visited Lynne & played his guitar: She listened, smiled, & talked. Hee said bye. She said thank you. DAD: The brain cells that activate we love seem to be the last ones to be lost. Watch this video MUSIC AND MEMORY. Please give me ideas for more music Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lynne Is Steadily Great

LynnR: Lynne was pleasant, friendly, interactive, ate well, looked at my eyes & raised her eyebrows (I mimicked her- we cracked up), sat up, strong, wanted pudding & latte. From Edith: A very steady state. Dad:  Her visitors are steady great! Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Anosognosia Does Lynne Know?

Doctors diagnosed anosognosia Alzheimer’s, Lynne’s inability to recognize or acknowledge her cognitive impairment. 3 years ago, to help Lynne, I said “Hon, you have Alzheimer’s.  She said, “Oh that’s what it is.” What does she think now?  Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Visiting After Three Years

Taylor, an associate director at Aegis, last saw Lynne in 2020, until she visited last Monday. “She was laughing, crying, angry and so happy at many points of our visit. I of course felt sad, but also felt so happy I could see her.  She seems anxious but also redirectable at times. She saw me and immediately screamed, smiled SO BIG and then started crying and it made me feel like some little part of her remembered me. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter 

Listening to Lyrics Outloud

I told Lynne we were going to dance. As you can see in the photos she listened & watched me. I softly played I Want to Dance With Somebody. I read the lyrics out loud, over & over. She said yes I could apply lotion on her dry legs. Success! Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Reading Aloud for Lynne/

Meghan Cox Gurdon says reading aloud to seniors is a miraculous alchemy. I’ve connected with her, calmed her, & reminded her when I’v read aloud. Lynne hears me. I’m going to try it again and report back. Try & let me know. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter.

Lynne Enjoys Friends More

LynnR:  Lynne was nice, full of secrets & thoughts. I read this to her & she says really, really very nice, then blew a Raspberry at me. She righted herself in her chair w/o help. Always greets me enthusiastically. I named each volunteer walker and said she’s loved.

LynnR & posse of friends get livelier responses than I do. They share, cheer & thank each other. They visit. I’m envious, grateful.  I’m excited for Lynne. I learn from them, mimic them. I share their stories, knowing at times, it’s harder. They persist. Tags: caregiver father-daughter Alzheimer’s dementia

Lynne Russell Alzheimer’s Walk

The Lynne Russell’s walk team had a lot of fun on the Alzheimer’s Walk on Saturday. We’ve raised over $2,000 and are almost at our goal of $2,500 by October 30th, so if you can help us, please donate.

Our team from left to right is brother Keith, wife Sheri, father of the sons Clemens, Alzheimer’s Sharing Groups leader Bill, son Henrik, and son Simon. Friend Donna Dad, and Clemenss’s friend Margo. What a team!

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Alzheimer’s Keeps Lynne Awake

Alzheimer’s Weekly reported Alzheimer’s patients (Lynne) often nap because the disease damages neurons so the system in the brain to keep her awake is gone. It’s not because she doesn’t sleep at night

Treatments to improve the “awake” system need to be tested.  No such tests were reported. In the meantime, we might ask medical staff to reduce sleep medications, which are most likely ineffective. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Waiting For Good Friends

LynnR showed how visits from good friends liven up Lynne. Lynne pulled her lunch bib over her head. I asked her, wait until lunch is done. She’d say OK. I sang waiting waiting, she sang waiting waiting with me. We cracked up. It was sweet. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Mom ‘s Hospice with Lynne

Four years ago Karen slipped away in a bed two floors above Lynne. She had moved there from her hospice at home in Redmond to finish every day with Lynne. She looked at the 4 of us at the foot of the bed and said, “I am looking at a miracle.”

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

The photo was taken when our family celebrated dinner after moving Karen to be with Aegis for hospice

Neverthelesss Dementia We Persist

The nurse said Lynne walks in the mornings, sits in chairs before lunch, walks some in the afternoon, sits in chairs. She eats well. She weighs 118, in a stable range for 6 months. She was glad to see me today. Nevertheless dementia, we persist.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lynne Feels The Love

Visitor feedback: Visits not that difficult.  All our love has sustained her these last  years. She felt the love you brought. I hope there is a part of her who knows she is loved by me and many.  Me: I believe she feels it. She is blessed.  Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

At least 8 visitors in the last 10 days gave these reports: She was her sweet welcoming self, less alert, thinner, tired, distant, & agitated. She held hands, sat up, laughed, consumed pudding & iced vanilla coffee. Let me brush her hair & rub in skin lotion.

Missing and Kissing Lynne

I moved 30-minutes away from Lynne. For 3 days I wrestled with details of the move for me and doubts of my vow to her. Today we reconnected marvelously. I said, “Christoph’s doing better.” She said, “He’d better.” Our bonds will stretch and hold. With a kiss. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Namaste Late-stage Alzheimer’s Care

Namaste Care

was developed in 2003 to provide care for late stages in Alzheimer’s & dementia. Staff use it in the USA and many care homes worldwide to give loving touch. Visitors mean as much to Lynne as ever. Plan to visit & use these ideas.

Namaste uses loving touch:

caring, gradual, and individualized: massage with skin cream of hands, feet, (I include calves & forearms). Moisturizing scented cream to the face, brushing her hair, scalp massage, a drink, & tell her who loves her repeatedly.

Put the Namaste care supplies in a little bag to take with you.

Alzheimer’s Song Blank Stares

This a video of country singer Jay Allen singing a song to his mo ther on stage. She has is 53 years old with early onset Alzheimer’s, the same age my daughter when she was diagnosed. Great song

Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Naming Who Love Lynne

We bumped foreheads. I said, I love you. Paused Henik loves you, paused, Simon loves you, paused, Christoph loves you. Named our family, her friends, co-workers. She listened. Laughed. Repeated it 5 times. She ate her entire meal..

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Loving Dad For Half-hour

Today I talked about my move & her dancing, played her music list. She refused massage.  When she sobbed into her hands, I touched her shoulder, said I’m here, she smiled; laughed out loud, I laughed; sipped a 30 gram dairy-based protein builder, I drank half. was fearful, I touched her, said I’m here, you’re safe & she relaxed; laughed out loud, I laughed; stared down the hall, I said, Gotta go. She kept staring. She loved me for ½ hour Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Staying on Hospice

Nurses have predicted Lynne can remain on hospice. Weight is stable. She’s unable to do the activities of daily living. Alzheimer’s steadily reduces walking, standing, talking, and recognition. We can’t predict how long this lasts Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Weight Loss Health Measures

Weight loss warnings in terminal stages are: 5% loss in 30 days; 10% in 180 days. Lynne’s weight has held steady the last four months since hospice and a 4% decline over the last 180 days. Her weight indicates her health is stable

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Last night Lynne was sleepy at dinner so she was fed in bed. She ate half her meal.

Feeling I Abandoned Her

Lynne sat silently on the patio. I added music, talk, held hands. No reactions. Finally, Gotta go. “No.” “I’ll be back.” I grabbed the patio door. She yelled, No. I said, I’ll get someone. I felt like I abandoned her, if only for an instant.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Talking Words With Lynne

Lynne states clear words, usually 1, maybe 2 or more. After her 1st spoon of pudding, I asked, Is that good?” She smiled & nodded “Oh, yeah!” I decided to let her talk Alzheimers When I spoke, she watched me speak and make a motion with my head. We were communicating.

The results: Her words/Mine:  No/OK, no. Never/OK, never. Take/What? (no answer). Just go/I will. Quiet/Gotta go. OK/Gotta go. She always listened to me. When she used a word she looked at me. So how much deeper can we go?

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter  

Lynne’s Ladies Social Club

Lynne sits in an armchair by the aquarium. Women visit. Tallthin1: most frequent, reaching out, offering something.  ShortGray1: whispers advice and reports. One asks me how I am.. They’re usually polite, tolerant; at times, testy. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Visits Feeding Lynne

I avoid feeding Lynne meals. Eating entertains her. My visit is a 2nd entertainment – or not. I fed her Friday and stayed longer than normal. Next, I sat as she was fed & she enjoyed us both. I prefer meal visits Tags caregiver dementia father-daughter Alzheimer’s

Nancy and I Share Memoirs

8/16/23 Nancy is writing a memoir about her BFF, Lynne. Nancy & I share feedback on our drafts. Her vastly different experiences illuminate multiple dimensions of my extraordinary daughter. Nancy’s sharing & caring blesses both of us

Dad Needs Better Care

I’ll move to a Retirement Center for better nutrition, exercise, socializing, medical care, safety, and rest. I’ll visit Lynne less often. I could delay a move 6 weeks to visit more, but I need better health soon. It hurts to decide that. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter   

Lynne Wanted No Today

Lynne gave me “Nos” today. “Go away.” Kicking or pushing my leg or chair. I held my hands in surrender, “OK”. She relaxed as I obeyed. She said no to hallucinations. I asked staff to check her diaper. I’m grateful I could give her what she needed
tags Caregiver Alzheimer’s dementia father-daughter

Alzheimer’s Damages Younger Families

Lynne’s early-onset #Alzheimers diagnosis when she was a mother with 3 teenagers has harmed the careers of her sons. Lynne’s 25-year-old twins and a 20-year-old, have delayed careers, dropped out of college, and postponed their plans to move out of their father’s home.
Their father and his partner halted their plans until the boys moved out. They have worked with counselors individually and as a family with little improvement. Lynne would want them to move on with their lives. Her brother and sister have offered to help.
I am frustrated because I have not made a difference, other than to support them in their lives. I have searched for resources to help but besides the usual suggestions about care for spouses or parents, we seem to be unique in Alzheimer’s literature.
The wreckage on this family is far worse than what I experienced caring for my mother when she was diagnosed as a retired widow. We would welcome your suggestions.
Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter


Sister Pam Was Remembered

Sunday, when I saw Lynne, she reached out to me. When Pam arrived , Lynne brightened way up  with arms outstretched and almost rose out of her armchair. It had been months since Pam had seen her. Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Grip and Hold On

Gripped hands for 45 minutes. When we grip she won’t let go even if I relax my hand. When she pulls I hold her hands still. I say, “Good. Strong. Keep it up.” Rests, looking surprised, curious. Danger when she digs nails into my skin

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Hospice For Alzheimer’s Patients

Hospice volunteer, Samantha visited Lynne – very fidgety, took off her shoes and socks. Gave me a few words, laughs, and smiles. Would not go outside. “It’s really hard to visit, but I do think it matters.” Oh yes, Samantha, Hospice matters.

Hospice manages primary care for the final 6 months. Lynne’s team of caregivers has doctors and nurses, and also adds visits by a social worker, a chaplain, volunteer visitors, a guitar player, and a dietitian who give me their observations after their visits.  Hospice is completely reimbursed by Medicare in Lynne’s home location. Lynne’s expenses are now lower.  She has more visitors with a variety of skills and concerns. Lynne has better care and more often. I also get support from their care. I worry too many caregivers do not realize Hospice is available in the end stages of #Alzheimer’s.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Good Day Special Friend

LynnR brings out the sunshine from Lynne’s soul. Happy visit with an animated Lynne. She greeted me with her sweet enthusiasm and seemed to want to talk with me throughout lunch, laughing a lot. When I asked her if she wanted more latte she said, “Oh yes, please.” Throughout her lunch she kept getting my attention with her big eye and expression once saying, “Perfect.” Then we laughed and laughed. She was very aware and welcoming of all who came into the lounge. My fav part of our visit was when she did her cute shoulder shimmy a couple of times to the music. We had a good time today. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Glimpse of Pleasant Visits

Yesterday I recorded a pleasant glimpse of Lynne’s social life, no volume. She had an uninvited and familiar visitor.  Lynne welcomed her, but eventually indicated she had lost interest. No offense taken. Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Music Therapy with Lynne

With Lynne’s #alzheimers, #musicalmemories therapy with happy melodies releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter which causes a feeling of satisfaction. Listening improves well-being, maintains cognitive function, and reduces agitation. I saw it work!

I gripped Lynne’s hand and she held mine firmly. Usually she lets go, grabs her other hand and raises both over her head. Lynne thinks I’m a crazy #caregiver. I moved our hands to the beat and sang the chorus for Loretta Lynn’s Mama, He’s Crazy.

Next the nurse arrived with three spoonfulls of applesauce and medicine. I sang “Rockin with the rhythm of the medicine” as I played song by the Judds: Rockin with the Rhythm of the Rain

She settled down, relaxed her arm but held my had. She focused on the music, nodding her head to the beat, even moving her lips at times. We sang the chorus of Give a little love by the Judds, Give a Little Love.

At the end I played one of my favorites by Randy Travis, singing I’m going to love you forever, for ever and ever. She watched me, she rocked with me, and  believe she believed me. Forever and Ever, Amen

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Hospice Music For Lynne

Braden, with Continuum, a hospice entertainer & guitar player, provides music for Lynne. He said, “Yesterday we had a nice visit listening to music like the Judds, Loretta Lynn, & the Carpenters” No wonder I worry about boring Lynn.ags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lynne & Weekly Caregiver

LynnR: We were happy to see each other after my week away. She enjoyed her latte, reaching for it over & over. Out of the blue she reached for my hand & asked “Are you OK?” “Yes, are you?” “Yes,” & laughed her sweet laugh. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter
Photo by LynnR, a weekly visitor and longtime friend, during her visit with Lynne

Vacations versus Caaregiving

Carol and I stayed in the Chico, CA home of my daughter, Pam. We had a pool, hot tub, A/Cl, 2 dogs & a cat. I worried about feeling guilty, but I didn’t. Thankfully, Lynne’s boys, friends, & hospice volunteers visited Lynne. Lynne was excited to see me. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Musician’s Music for Lynne

Braden @ Continuum hospice visits Lynne to provide music, sometimes with a player, other times he plays songs on his guitar. Lynne was in a good mood, smiling & laughing & listening. So many visitors, so many styles. Dad is incredibly grateful. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lynne Loving and Determined

LynnR: Lynne enjoyed lunch & chocolate pudding. She no longer eats double portions. She walks less. I told her stories about hanging with her at parties & rubbed her back. I told her I loved her & she very clearly said, Me, too .

I chuckled at LynnR’s photo because she is so determined to devour whatever she drinks and clenches her straws long after she’s drained her drinks.

Tags alzauthors caregiver dementia father-daughter Alzheimer’s

Ignoring The APOE-e4 Testing

I agreed with most people who wouldn’t change their healthy lifestyles if they had APOE-e4 genes. Only 14% of people have it My kids feel the same way. I’ll give the info to my grandsons. I doubt they will either.

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #dementia #fatherdaughter

Test for APOE-e4 Gene?

Should I test Lynne & me for the APOE-e4 gene, a RISK gene for Alzheimer’s? 40%-60% of people with Alzheimer’s have 1 or 2. 1 increases my risk, 2 increases it more. But people with the gene don’t get Alzheimer’s, people without do. What should I do? #alzauthors #alzheimers

Hoping as Lynne Cycles

Lynne cycles from hello, seizing my hands, pulling her hands, sorrow, laughter, mouthing for chocolates, pointing at residents or nothing, sipping water, speaking Lynneeze, and round again. I just follow her lead & hope my presence helps

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Visiting in Lynne’s Neighborhood

Lynne sits in an armchair by the aquarium. Walkers stop by. Lynne greets, or ignores, or pushes them away.  We’re not sure if they’re friends. They want to help, seem kind & caring to each other. A typical neighborhood?

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Pondering Satan and Hell

Lynne, with a wide sweep of her arms, said, “I love everybody! In the context of more verbalizations, two words came out clearly:  Satan and hell.  Later she clearly said, “I’m not going there!” Jim said, “It’s alright, Lynne. You don’t have to go there”

Carol, my lady-mate, wondered if she was: contemplating death, questioning what comes next, hallucinating, delusional? Carol remembered a book called Final Gifts which recounts numerous stories of the dying speaking in metaphor about their internal ponderings.

When Lynne angrily gestured again & said, “Get out of here!” Carol said, “You tell him, Lynne! Get thee behind me, Satan. I don’t believe in hell or Satan. I believe is God deeply loves you. Your Dad loves you. I love you. So many people love you.” She slowly calmed down.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lovely Decent People: Sam Lynne

Samantha is a young hospice volunteer. Her 1st case was Lynne. I worried about their visits. A gift. Lynne hugs, dances, walks, sits, listens to her read. Said, “I am glad I got assigned to Lynne, a really decent, lovely person. We are too. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Great Great-Grampa Training

A mother had me hold her son while she loaded a gigantic feed bag into her truck. I still have a grampa touch, ready to be a great-grampa if ever so blessed. They cheered me up. Lynne had an anxious and restless day. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Affirm And Share Sadness

Lynne says, “My Mom.” She’s sad. I used to say, “Oh, she’s busy,” & distract her. I’ve changed. I believe it’s best to affirm and share sadness. I say, “I miss her too. But she can’t be with us now.” She nods, relaxes. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Foot Rub and Peace

May I rub your foot? “Oh yes.” Big laugh. Her cycle begins: squeeze my hand, pulls it over her head; lets go; quiet 2 or 3 words in Lynese, big laugh .. foot feels good. Sole smooth. She let’s me keep rubbing. Peaceful
Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Smiles Win Vs Yorks

Lynne sleeps more now. My visit was nothing more than a night watch, or a sleep watch. It’s peaceful. I get to eat her York chocolates. I’m jealous her friends get big open-eyed smiles. I’m thankful they do. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Never, Ever Give Up

Lynne’s 3 sons visited last week. Christoph hadn’t visited in over a year. Like many, he couldn’t visit, wanted to, and then did. Did Lynne recognize him? Simon says, “Yes.” She said 2 syllables: “Chris    – to.” Never give up.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Side Glances And Laughter

LynnR: Lynne was a bit drowsy Sunday. She’d walked around, ate a huge lunch. I’m surprised we got through all of it. She had difficulty getting out of the chair & was a little uncoordinated. She gave me side eye glances and laughed quite a bit. Her smile generated these comments: “What a gorgeous photo of her.” “I love that pic.” “I love the image.” “She looks full of Lynn spirit.”  “Thanks LynnR for being her constant companion.”

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Equally Enjoying Serenity

For 30 minutes my arm hugged Lynne in the shade of her patio and its spring blooms. We said nothing, sat still, reflected, laughed, gazed into each other’s eyes, & listened to Lynne’s dance music. We reveled equally in serenity. Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Giving Infrequent Visitors Advice

Lynne’s sons visited. 1st time in months. They’ve avoided it. Too hard. I was proud of them. She didn’t seem to recognize them. I gave the boys Yorks & she ate from their hands. How do I advise friends who have visited lately?
Tags: caregiver dementia father-daughter Alzheimer’s

Presenting Alzheimer’s Association Resources

Carol & I had the pleasure to inform many people about #Alzheimers and the Alzheimer’s Association’s services in a Health Fair at Wesley Retirement Center. We scheduled 3 broadcasts to 5 campuses on Wesley University’s Program in the fall. Tags: dementia caregiver Alzheimer’s Alzheimer’s Association

The mysteries of Caregiving

Caregiving is guessing about mysteries.
11:03 am Hospice: We walked inside & outside, listened to music. Lynne didn’t lean on her knees; not distressed; a little spacey & calm.
12:03 Dad:
She cycled through laughter, jabbing her finger & lecturing people, smiling at me. Sad, fearful faces, hands covered her eyes. Said, I’m here, you’re safe. Calmed down. Hot? Zipped down her sweater. Orange hat bother you? She pulled it back on. Seized my hands to pull them over her head. Kicking my legs away.
1:00 pm Was she hungry? — Downed a full meal, drank Ensure, ate Reese’s cup. Was she wet? Just changed. In pain? Possibly. Nurse injected morphine under her tongue. Said I had to leave, sad face. Kissed her forehead, Calm looking away.
Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Always Aware I’m There

I know Lynne feels my presence. She sips water, eats treats. Her eyes rest on mine. She talks Lynnese & English to me. She laughs at me with blue eyes. She wants my hat. She is sad when I leave. Every visitor senses it. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lynne’s Dress-up with Hats

Lynne wore my hat. I ordered one for her. A Caregiver gave her one saved on the floor. Lynne’s chin went up to pose in her new hat. Her other hat arrives Friday. Can’t wait. Having fun caring for my loved one. Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Thankful Lynne Supported Keith

Told Lynne I am always thankful she supported Keith when I was unable to be a loving father for him. Her steady gaze and the softness in her blue eyes told me she got it. Named people who still loved her. Listened to Linda Ronstadt Good hour.  Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Maximize Time for Lynne

It’s best if I visit Lynne alone. Best visits are cohesive units: neighbors, colleagues, grandsons, siblings, Dad & Carol. If I join them, we talk & Lynne gets restless, ignored. Plus Lynne gets an hour with friends plus Dad.

    Keith said, “Dad, we’re with Lynne. Join us I said, “No. You and Lynne are so close. She told you to drop out of school, teach youth, bail you out trouble, propose to Sheri, help you daughters. It’s one level relationship with you and Sheri as brother/sister.” They had a 2-hour very warm visit and visited me afterwards.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Telling Lynne Good News

Keith will be a College Dean on July 31. It breaks his heart he can’t tell Mom and Lynne. Lynne was a hugely positive force in his life. I’ve told Lynne every day. She listens. I hope she understands. I’ll keep telling her. The photo was taken in February 2019.
Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Dad in a Hat

I ’ve said it doesn’t matter if Lynne knows me. She‘s happy to see me. Mom thought I was her brother, her husband, or me. Whomever. Today, Lynne looked up with a big grin and exclaimed, ”Dad.” It did make a difference Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Memory Worries in 2014

Lynne worried about her memory 10 years ago in a journal entry in 2014. “I want to know that everything that needs to happen is already in process. I want a cease fire in my war with time. I want to move through my day with grace and ease.”

tags alzauthors caregiver dementia Alzheimer’s father-daughter

Mothers Lynne and LynnR

Mother’s Day. LynnR joined us. I shared photos of her sons. LynneR brought Starbuck’s Vanilla Latte. She laughed, pushed back, walked, spoke, smiled. I said, “I gotta go.” She got sad, but LynnR guided her on. It may be my last one.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lynne Sleeping Vistors Chilling

Lynne sleeps more. Jennifer’s visited at 7:15 pm. Lynne slept, stirred at times. Not eventful, Nice to be with her. Dad had the same experience, same armchair. Peaceful for Dad. I just looked at her.
Jen wrote: She was sound asleep and looked comfortable. I decided to just hang out. Whispered, “Hello, Lynney.” She stirred a little, raised eyebrows, eyes stayed closed. Rubbed her arms and cheeks gently. Read my phone, talked at times. She opened her eyes once and went back to sleep.
DAD wrote: Caregivers put her in the armchair and covered her with a blanket until they could get her to stay in her bed.
Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Friends Make Friends-Fest

Donna and Edith visited Lynne this morning. She enjoyed a little head and neck massage and a little walk. She definitely seemed “In the moment” a few times. She smiled and responded at a few points in the conversation. Donna reminded them of a weekend in June of 2017 in a gorgeous house on Whidbey Island. Lynne was happy that weekend although the signs of Alzheimer’s were definitely present We still had some great conversations on topic

Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Erased My Doubt & Guilt

Lynne focused her eyes on me, raised her eyebrows, smiled, reached out & hugged me. She erased my doubt & guilt. Opened her mouth for treats.  Gripped my hand and I gripped back. “Want to arm wrestle?” Pressed back with big laugh.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Feeling Anxious And Guilty

Today I’ll see Lynne after our cruise and her Covid quarantine. I’m anxious. Will she wonder where I’ve been? Forgive me? I also feel guilty. I liked the free time, not focusing on care each day. Am I still committed? Will I be?

The photo comes from the sidelines of one of the boys athletic events in 2015

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter Covid

Lively Friend Uplifts Lynne

Lynne’s superb replies to Jennifer’s care 4/18: Big huge Lynney smile; Laugh and HI!; SURE!; A chuckle; Jennifer said, “I love you Lynney, 3 times in a row. She replied clear as a bell, ‘I love you too, too, too.’ We both laughed”

Here are Jennifer’s details on what she did.

“She was walking when I arrived…laps around the entire floor. When I finally found her, she was looking straight ahead, with good posture and a comfortable gate. I asked if I could walk with her and she …

took my hand. We walked a little until she leaned forward to put hands on knees. Then I suggested we sit and visit and I could rub her hands if she’d like that…”SURE!”…we found a spot away from the loud TV.

She seemed calm but a little less engaged with me. She was engaged with her memories or hallucinations…talking a fair amount with other people that weren’t visible to me. A few things she said sounded like she was a little upset/frustrated…”Don’t do that”…then into Lynnese

But she didn’t look distressed in her face.

She would answer me if I asked about the hand and leg rubs. A smile here and there, a surprised look at the too cold lotion on her arm, a chuckle to my “I love you”.

She rested with her eyes closed. We had some music playing on my phone.

Eventually she stood up and I asked if she wanted to walk some more…we took a few laps, arm in arm. That is when Jennifer said “I love you” three times in a row.

Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lynne’s Vision Changes

Lynne’s visitors have noticed Lynne reaching for something on the floor or in the air at nothing. Alzheimer’s has limited her vision. This video is extremely helpful in explaining why and how we can help her. It’s from Teepa Snow on Vision Changes with Dementia

Vision Changes with Dementia

I’m Lucky

Routine blood and urine tests found I had Stage 3 chronic kidney disease. I managed sugar, diet, blood pressure. I exercised daily. Today, doctor said, I’m overall doing well with improvement in kidney function” #Caregiver health is my highest priority

90% of an estimated 37 million people are unaware. If not treated damaged kidneys can’t be repaired.

I’m lucky. I have support from my family, Lynne’s and my friends, and my lady-mate, Carol.

Another Good Easter Visit

LynnR had a good Easter visit with Lynne. She ate all her food & enjoyed Raspberry dessert. We had quite a few laughs. They played disco on the TV. Her eyes got big when YMCA came on. She made a gesture with her hands as though she was remembering the moves. I got a huge laugh when I started dancing to STAYING ALIVE. We then chilled out on recliners. Had some nice conversations with her caregivers. They loved seeing Lynne recognize & hug Keith when he visited recently.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Brother & Sister: Easter

Keith, Easter: she was excited to see us. Laughed, talked a lot. Engaged. Sat for 20  walked for 15 minutes. Cried when we had to go. Then OK walking away. Chows down double portion breakfast & in a really good mood for 2 hours.

Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Lynne Uplifts Visitors

Lynne uplifts visitors. From Edith: “So happy I had a good visit, She really sustains &  buoys you, looked directly at me with that steely eyed gaze thinking of communicating, heartened when humming, she really enjoyed my massage.”

Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Tippy Cup Tester Tries Again

Hurrah! A new caregiving highlight. A caregiver enlarged the hole in Lynne’s tippy cup. Barely better. I bought 4 brands. I sucked from each. Three worked better. I’m excited. Often I marvel at what gets me excited now.  Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Get Sleep My Love

LynnR and others are reporting Lynne sits up straight, walks & eating even 1-1/2 breakfast. She slept through the night. Fluidly sitting down & getting up from chairs without help. Even a little silly. Sleep my love.

#alzauthors Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Obey the Alert Caregivers

A caregiver succeeded with the tippy cup. She’ll work on it. I said, “I’ll buy what your want” Lynne slept in an recliner & did not respond to our care. A caregiver said, “She wants to sleep. She walked all day.” We left. We like to obey caregivers
Tags: caregiver father-daughter Alzheimer’s dementia sleep

I Never Bought Lynne Tippcups

I got a tippy cup for Lynne. Out of many I took the least babyish with no straw. The caregiver asked for two. Lynne would not drink from it. The caregiver said she wanted to sleep. I bit the nipple and sucked only a bit. Can she use it? Still working on it. I need advice. I never bought tippy cups for my daughter.
Tags Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia father-daughter

Is Lynne’s Yes Wise?

Lynne often says yes, but I wonder if it’s always wise. She dozed in and out of sleep head down and at times she bit on a chocolate treat. After the next, chocolate oozed onto her lips. I wiped it off, but it kept oozing. She wasn’t swallowing. Danger. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiver dysphagia dementia dysphasgia

Twinges of Doubt

I didn’t visit Lynne. I thought I should. I go almost daily. I had to do taxes. Tired. Doubts I help much. I wish it was over. Others visiting. Carol was here. I needed a break. Afraid I’d feel guilty. I don’t. Except twinges of doubt and regret.

Tags Alzauthors Alzheimer’s caregiver dementia

Enmeshed in Caregiver Doubts

Two days after my request for hospice care, Lynne was vibrant, aware, & excited in Jennifer’s visit. (see below). I await a hospice nurse’s evaluation. In the meantime, my responsibility for Lynne’s care once again enmeshes me in doubts.

Jennifer’s story: (minor edits)  Good visit with Lynne on 3/23. Got lots of laughs and responses. I arrived a few minutes after 3pm.

When I got off the elevator Lynne was in the same place I saw her last time. Bent over, standing with hands on her knees. I took my coat off, set my things down, got chairs in place and then I put my hand on her back as I leaned in close: “Hi Lynney, it’s me Jenny…”

She stood up, laughing, eyes open with a big smile on her face, “Hi!”

“I’ve come to rub your hands again. What do you think about that?”

With a smile she said, “Yes!” As she started to walk in the direction of the chairs with my guidance.

I got her situated in the chair sat down in front of her and said hello again. She smiled with her face down, towards her lap. As I began to massage her hands, I reminded her of how cold the lotion was last week, that it made her jump with surprise…to which she lifted her head, “Yes,” and laughed.

I talked to her about memories, the kids sledding, Christoph crashing into the fence after a sledding race, and needing to go on a snowy adventure to the ER. I named the kids who were there: “Gianni was there, remember little tiny G?”

And she looked at me immediately and responded with a sentence in her own language, but I’m sure she was concurring that she did, in fact, remember little G! I talked about her cowboy boots I always loved that she’d wear with her skirts. We sat in peaceful silence, while I rubbed her hands and legs.

Then I told her I brought a book to show her, a book she had given my kids that she loved and had in her classroom…immediately she smiled, “Can I see?”…!!!!

Clear as day!!! I put the book in her lap she looked at the cover for about 15 seconds while I read the title and explained the story line. Even though she had closed her eyes, I opened it and turned the pages and told her the story, not word for word, but the high points. I got to the part where Sam realized where Louis lived — Louis’ drawing had a clue — he loved running after the soccer ball! His own version of “playing” soccer.

She opened her eyes again and looked at the page with the boy’s drawing. She used to love that book and the boy who was different from the other kids.

I put the book away and went back to massaging and just holding her hands while playing some music from a “70’s Road trip” play list. Stevie Nicks, Billy Joel, Carole King…she seemed to hear and enjoy the music.

I leaned in close, down low with my forehead to her forehead, so I could see her eyes and face…”I love you Lynney! I love you Lynney! I love you Lynney!” She chuckled, smiled, looked at me without raising her head and said it back, not clear as day, but she definitely said I love you, through her smile.

I didn’t have a comb, but I asked if I could use my fingers to comb her hair and massage her scalp.

“Mmmm, hmmm!” A pleased look on her face – She liked it.

I told her I had to go. She heard me and made a sound of consent. I told her I’d be back next week to massage her hands and she said, “Yes.” I hugged her and rubbed her back and told her I loved her again. She stayed in the chair, seemed peaceful from outward appearances. Of course, it’s hard to know for sure, but I hope she was.

Help Understanding Alzheimer’s Caregiving

Tuesday we presented to a Senior Center. Director: Content is so important for the work we do. Need it in Spanish, Vietnamese, Khmer. Carol: People want more information. Jim: Social workers already have clients. There is a 24/7 helpline. @alzassociation

Tags: caregiver dementia Alzheimer’s #endalz

US Senior Care Crisis

A Washington Post Article by Christopher Rowland, @PostRowland, reported senior care costs represent “the single largest financial risk” facing  boomers and their families in the US. And if not addressed it will become a humanitarian crisis. Crisis. And if not addressed it will a humanitarian crisis.
Lynne’s twins embraced their mother earlier this year. The article about the Boomers unprepared for the costs of long health care is a threat to their children who may need to come to their aid. Fortunately Lynne’s finances are projected to cover her costs.

Residents Help Other Residents

L walked slowly, head down, rigid. A resident put her arms on me & whispered, “She been aggressive today. She’s had a hard day. Some residents have pushed back on her. I just wanted you to know.” I’m thankful residents care for each other. & me. I often see residents care for each other on Lynne’s floor. I wonder if there are ways caregivers could give residents more opportunity to help each other via programs.

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver

Friends Help Me Caregive

Kathy is a friend of Lynne’s and mine.

Friends of Lynne and mine have called to ask how Lynne was doing in Alzheimer’s final stage. Today I realized they’re more interested in how I’m doing – Support groups? Other activities? Glad I had found Carol. With friends like mine I’m doing fine.
#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver

Deductible Long Care Expenses

Long-Term Care medical expenses for a chronically ill individual as prescribed by a physician are tax deductible. Lynne paid no taxes, again – a tragic, but appreciated benefit. I had to explain it to Lynne’s tax preparer

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

Being & Feeling Blessings

Residents sat in front of a TV screen when I walked onto Lynne’s floor recently.  One of them raised her hand to point at me and shouted. “We like him. He talks to us here.” And they want to help me, or talk with Lynne. They are a blessing to us.

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

Lynne Dad on Walker

We tried using a walker. Dad put her in his and guided her. Dad walking behind made good progress. It was easier to keep her from sitting on the floor. Sunday was much harder because her body stiffly resisted the walker.

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

Give Flames of Inspiration reported people with dementia require 151 hours of caregiving per month at the outset, increasing to 283 hours at the end. No wonder every spark of admiration from you lights a flame of inspiration in me

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

My Inspiration for Today

I  needed quotes to inspire me after yesterday. It took me a while to find one.

You can’t use up creativity. M. Angelou. Yea, but I misplaced it.

Find out who you are and do it on purpose. D. Pardon. I didn’t like who I was yesterday.

To be contented – that’s for cows. D. Vreeland. I liked their milk.

Each day, start with what you most want to avoid. Me. Today, it’s correcting yesterday’s work.

Live the life you imagined–Thoreau. I didn’t imagine this life.

White hot and passionate is the only thing to be. R. Dahl. I was passionate about naps.

We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things. H. Kelleher I did them wrong.  

Make it happen. M. Jordan. Make what happen? 

Don’t think about your errors or failures; otherwise, you’ll never do a thing. B Murray. I made more errors.

If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away. S. Hawking OK, I can do that again.

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

Painting by Carol Hosler

Constancy Enraptures Shared Love

Almost daily, we sit with L and talk about friends. Soon, L opens her mouth to eat and we ask if she’d like a treat. Then we ask to brush her hair, massage her, apply moisturizing cream. She always says yes.  I believe she wants Dad to come back.

When I say goodbye, she says OK. Her short-term memory won’t recall this visit. Even so, I believe she’ll feel better for a while. I believe she knows Dad will be back almost every day. I believe, and fervently hope, the repetition of daily visits strengthens synapses in her brain to recall me, feel my love, sense I’m close, and keep her safe. My synapses enrapture and enliven my love for her regardless of her everchanging cognitive capacity.  #alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

Book By Laura Davis

Laura Davis wrote THE BURNING LIGHT OF TWO STARS to share how she reconciled with her mother who betrayed her when she was 27. As Davis cared for her 80-year-old-mother with Alzheimer’s they shared unconditional love. The caregiving is exquisitely revealed.
A memoir of the author’s journey to care for her mother, who had betrayed her decades earlier, led them both to reconciliation and unconditional love.
#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

Neighbor Caroline Says Hi

Caroline was Lynne’s neighbor across street. Both teachers. Loved talking about work, sons, and anything education. She was such a fun neighbor and friend. I miss her as a neighbor, fellow teacher and friend. We share names & photos with Lynne.

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver

Walkers Cause Insoluble Fear

New scratch on L’s nose is from a fall with a friend.  She had fallen 2x the day we visited. She’s a walker. My mom, also a walker, cracked her pelvis on her last fall. Unrepairable. Mom laid in bed for 6 more months. We live with insoluble fear. While we sat with her she often stood to walk but gave up because Carol and I sat too close to her. She sat back causally. An anguished aide keeps considering ideas for her as a walker: A helmet? A safety suit? #alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #dementia

Lynne Caring for Me?

I had warned Lynne I’d be gone for my surgery. She heard me. Yesterday I rolled up my pant leg to show her my incision and steri-strips. Her head slumped to look, mouth dropped open, & eyes went wide. She reached out to Carol. Did she feel my pain? Did she want to care for me? How much does she understand when I talk as if she’s an adult fully hearing and understanding to some degree what I am saying? #alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

My Inner Voice Relationship

My push-me voice fought my surgery. YOU LEFT HER. I told her. WHY NOW? Got to heal it. WAIT TIL SHE’S GONE Waited years. SURGERY OVER. GO No, Health first PUSH THRU IT TODAY Groggy, pain, unstable. SHE’S ALONE. Others visit. VISIT TOO SHORT. Give me time.

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz #dementia

Your most important relationship is with your inner voice.  The Guardian

Allison Savage: Highschool Friend

From Allison Savage: We were friends in high school & FB allowed us to reconnect. Her laugh remains with me all these years & her kindness was memorable as a new student to 10th grade. I’m sending you love & peace. Lynne smiled at her name.

#alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver.

Watching an Extraordinary Caregiver

Nancy & Lynne’s BFF. Nancy is an extraordinary caregiver. The video highlights Nancy’s creative, contagious spontaneity uses Lynne’s hand on Nancy’s knee & Lynne’s tattoo of a frog to generate laughter for Lynne, Carol & me. #alzauthors #alzheimers #caregiver #endalz

Advocating for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Peter, Bruce, Jim, Brandi advocating for the Alzheimer’s Association in Olympia.

I was on a team of Alzheimer’s caregivers which met with legislative aides to advocate for expanding resources and numbers of guardians. Each team member had a personal story.  And 1 aide worries about his mother with dementia. She lives alone in Vietnam #alzauthors#caregiver

Being There For Lynne

Lynne in her Special Ed degree robe with Dad in the background, proud of her accomplishment which she earned without any help for Dad.

Lynne pulled the handle to open her dresser drawer to rummage in it. She placed her hands on top of the drawer to close it.. I had seen her crunch her fingers and cry out in pain. I grabbed it. Being there for her rejuvenates caregiving and soothes regrets. #alzauthors#caregiver

Lynne Brings the Love

Lynne brought love when she moved into assisted living. Carol pointed at it, “Lynne it says love.” Lynne replied in a long sentence as she gazed at it. Carol heard two words: family and Lansing, where we lived for 3 years.  Lynne still brings the love

Melancholy and Merry-Making

Melancholy swiftly swarms over me when I recall images of my vibrant Lynne in contrast to her stumbling shuffle today. Merry-making quickly rushes inside me when she recognizes me for 4th time that day, smiles and reaches out to hug me for the 4th time. tags: alzauthors caregiver dementia

Being There For Her

Lynne walks briefly, bends over or sits on the floor. I set my elbow on her hip & squeezed her arm & hand to steer her. She accepted. She tried to sit & I pushed up her butt with my knee. Being with her now soothes regrets when I might have been with her.  #alzauthors#caregiver

Faith Is Believing That …

Nancy loved Lynne’s painting: “Faith is believing that one of two things will happen,” she said: “that there will be something solid for you to stand on, or that you will be taught to fly. They dared to believe it and lived it.” It comes from a poem by Patrick Overton, in The Leaning Tree. The full text is: “When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” I love Nancy now has it to share”


Giving All Every Day

Head down. Bends over every few steps. Plods. Stops. Speaks with an unintelligible purpose. Hugs me. Can’t see chair in front of her. My emotions surge with respect, courage, sorrow, doubt, strength, and deeper love. She gives me her all every day. #alzauthors#alzheimers#caregiver
Photo by Imman Wegmann, Unsplash

A Resident Soothing Lynne

A resident next to Lynne gently affirmed her in slowly stated sentences of palaver ending with words such as good, you can do it, help. Lynne listened, head down, legs crossed, leaning into her voice & nodding OK. I listened, grateful, surprised


Treasuring Walks and Dances

Memories of walks & dances. Lynne scared me on a vigorous walk with Tucker down to the shore of Lake Washington. “Lynne, it’s too much. I can’t make it back up.” She walked back at my pace. I treasure our New Year’s Eve dance at Aegis.

Brotherly Love for Lynne

Keith found Lynne on her hands & knees and then found out what she needed and he could give: “I went over and gabbed Lynne by the front arms and pulled her into a hug. I don’t think I have ever picked her up that easily, “I nudged her into a chair. She nodded off to her right side, eyes closed. I had just fought through 2.5 hours of Seattle traffic from Bellingham. “Oh no you don’t mein sister.” I put my head down and thought, I need you need to try to be with me now.” Pretty selfish actually, but I got over myself. I then slowly started to rub her right calf. She leans over when she walks and grabs her legs often. She does what I do when I can’t stretch every day, She rubs her back legs.

“Her calf muscle was tight as a drum. I slowly began to work it. Then went up to her thigh. She said, “Oh Yeah,” and then did some Lynne speak as we call it. She rattled off a litany of ‘Lynnisms’ and then crossed her leg.

“I did the other calf. Then the thighs. Slowly, conversing in the way she converses, which is a wonderful, real, foreign language, but makes a ton of sense when you are with her. She was sighing, and in heaven. When has someone touched me like this?  And I thought, heck, this is the way we can get time together. I kept massaging and rubbing.

“I then tried the feet, she flinched and said “No, No, No.” I said gently? She nodded, and flipped her crossed legs. I tried that for a while, too much. Went back up to crossed legs and calves. I rubbed the top of her right calf, tight as a drum. Then her thigh. She said, ‘Oh Yeah.’ I did the other leg. We talked & walked, a magical 2-hours. She knew I was there, with her. Her little brother, there, with her.”

“And in the background the whole time was a Martin Luther King Video (today was MLK day), speaking to how he made the world a better place. There were women in the background saying “Yeah, I remember that day!” Justice to all this fine day, justice to all who are marginalized, and justice to the fine ladies of West Seattle Quail Park! They are amazing, and so are all those who fight for justice, as I know my sister was doing in her final days of teaching special ed to those who needed it most.  Love to my sister and my amazing dad who showed up with Reese’s peanut butter cups right when she stood up and walked ten feet! We went all the way down to the end of the hallway and all the way back. Then it was time for lunch and awkward goodbyes, as always, the awkward goodbye.

See you soon my sister, love you always.” Keith

Donna Patricia Lynne: Fun

Friends Donna and Patricia visited Lynne at Quail Park Doonna said: “Patti and I had a good visit with Lynne. She had some big smiles, several chuckles and many hugs!” Looks like they had a good walk also #alzauthors#caregiver#endalz

Alchemists Find Their Treasures

At 18 Lynne wanted to be the best elementary teacher in the school. At 44, she read in The Alchemist “People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being. Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early.” She quit her career to teach. She found her treasure.

At 41, Paulo Coelho: “I wanted to write my quest to find my treasure.” It’s been translated into more than 80 languages. #alzauthors#caregiver#endalz

Walk, Laugh & Dance

Found Lynne on her knees, helpless. “Want to get up and walk” Yes

Walked. I passed gas, lots of loud gas. “Sorry, I should have left those at the apartment.” She laughed

Danced to Allison Krause’s – GOODBYE AND SO LONG TO YOU. We sang

“Gotta go. OK?” Yes


Haunted by Silent Secrets

Lynne’s 1st journal entry in 2014: “I want to know that everything that needs to happen is already in process. I want a cease fire in my war with time. I want to move through my day with grace and ease.” Her lonely fear of Alzheimer’s haunts me. How could we inspired her to share it with us from January 2014 to diagnosis of MCI in August 2016? I believe we could have given her more support.


Saying Gotta go

Left saying, Gotta go. “No,” so I fed her, then said, Gotta go. “OK.” I stay if she asks. When she sees me, she greets me. Walking alone, she forgets me. I’ll leave, hiding from her. Others say, always say goodbye. Sometimes I think it’s better to leave when she’s already forgotten me. Still feel guilty. I believe I gave her my best. #alzauthors#alzheimers#caregiver

Twins DPOA – Good Decision

In August Lynne said YES after the 3rd time I asked Lynne if she wanted to grant her twins power of attorney to backup Dad. Lynne convinced the Notary she understood. The sensitive, caring men visited yesterday, confirming again, she made a good decision. They went one better by visiting me afterward to give me a gift of the top-of-the-line desk chair similar to the ones their dad got for them. They fit them to their frames. The knew I needed to replace my video gaming chair.


Lynne: Amazing Christmas Hostess

Lynne’s hearty raclette included, fondue style vegetables, meats, breads, family style sharing

Friend Kate treasures 10 years of monthly Sunday suppers with 4 families & kids. “We timed it so Lynne hosted in December with her famous raclette. She was an amazing hostess in a full house of Christmas decorations. With the four families, each family hosted 3x/year and the rule was no one could bring anything so it was on the host family to serve 8 adults and 10 kids. She recalled it. Let’s celebrate her gifts #alzauthors#caregiver#endalz

Join Her Smaller Livedspace

Lynne had this poster in every home, including now.

Lynne adapts to dementia by reducing lived space, like her calm peaceful quiet 2-BR apt. She walked in 4 rooms. “Hi, sit with me on the bed.” Opened her mouth to ask for a choc mint. Alexa played Lyle Lovett. She sang, danced, smiled, & slowly revived.

Smaller Space Longer Time worked. This a good meta-analysis of the importance of giving her smaller, peaceful, quiet lived space when possible:

Fighter for Fairness

Friend Nancy: She was a “fighter for justice and fairness, who really educated us in the department, other interviewers, and decision makers at the company around how they needed to think more broadly and not be so cookie cutter in the way we analyzed talent. For example, in evaluating a female candidate and male interviewers were saying, “Oh, her communication style was very circular.” And Lynne was all over that.  “Wow, that’s a dog whistle. You’re basically describing feminine versus masculine.”

Boys Talk About Mom

Boys, tell us why you love MOM: her smile, whistler, energy, love; healing injuries, hurts, regrets, misdeeds, pride, mistakes, disharmony; meeting your friends, her friends, neighbors; trips: ski, beaches, Germany, rivers, hikes, theme parks, mountains; Christmas, birthdays, parties, weddings; favorite gifts: games, clothes, computers, toys; coaching you if naughty, hurt, insensitive, proud, rude, helpful, loving, angry, resentful, unforgiving; found summer jobs, counselor; trips to the beach, mountains, ski slopes, water slides, sports, parks, mountain climbs; teaching you computer skills, jokes, herbal gardening. #alzauthors#caregiver#endalz #alzheimers

O Nancy’s Christmas Joy

Lynne loved Nancy’s pumpkin chiffon pie ala crème ala mode

Lynne was so groggy on Christmas, I escaped after 15 minutes to join her boys and her brother’s family for dinners. In our loving joviality each of us kept silent thru winces of grief from missing her. O joy for all of us to to see Lynne’s smile in Nancy’s Christmas photo. #alzheimers#alzauthors#caregiver#endalz

Lynne’s Decision to Teach

Lynne in her graduation robe as a Special Education Teacher, 7/7/2009

Katie, Lynne’s 6th grade teacher whom Lynne idolized, wrote: Lynne emailed me and asked if she could call me about her decision to be a Special Education teacher. When I heard her voice I was transported into the past and the present and the future at the same time. She had re-read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and it compelled her to examine her life and change her career to become an educator. Teaching is a calling and it has become a very challenging career over the last 40 years, but how fortunate for all of Lynne’s students that she chose that path. I was very excited to hear about her decision and wanted to encourage her and I was just over the moon to hear her voice and listen to her talk about realizing her dream.


Soul-stirring Blessing for Dad

While I was with Carol, friends Nancy & Rauch cuddled with sleepy Lynne in her single bed. Recalled 20 friends in a slumber party in a massive snowstorm. She laughed a lot & ate a bounty of meals & snacks. “2-hour sweet visit.” Soul-stirring blessing for Dad.

#alzheimers #dementia #alzheimersawareness #caregiver #seniorcare #dementiacare #caregiving #alzauthors#alzheimers#caregiver

An 11 Minute Gift

Lynne hugged me. She usually hugs me tight & pushes away within a minute. This was a gentle hug, resting in my arms, standing straight. 2 minutes, 3. Whispering in my ear.  5. The cleaning lady had to push her cart around us.  7, 9, finally 11. A gift.

#alzauthors#endAlz#caregiver. Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiving Dads

Brotherly Love Comes Home

Lynne’s boys credit her for their honesty and love for each other. They brought flowers & a card and cared for her on a hard birthday. Few 25-year-old men care so deeply for their mother with Alzheimer’s. They graced her with the love she taught them.

#alzauthors#endAlz#caregiver Tags: alzheimer’s caregiving

I Can Do This

  • Henrik, Lynne’s relentless child, regularly chanted “I can do this. Nobody knows, but I can do this” He inspired our family. I saw Lynne stop, hang her head, rest her hands on her knees until she inspired me: “I can do this. I can do this” and rose up.
    • #alzauthors#endAlz#caregiver Tags: Alzheimer’s Caregiving Inspiration Courage

Happier with New Haircare

Lynne walks head down now. Hair covered up her eyes. It frustrated her, us. She took off headbands. Too much hair for scrunchies. Booked a haircut. Thankfully a caregiver tied it in a wrap. Happy now as she waits to use her straw for a new drink. Dad’s handicapped caring for his motherless child.
#alzauthors#endAlz#caregiver Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiving haircare dementia

Two Caregivers Were Needed

Juice glass cup vector illustration graphic design

Lynne leaned on a railing, unresponsive. Caregiver, folding napkins, “She was walking at 2 PM.” Sat us down with juice & straw. Lynne sucked it up in 1 gulp, 2nd one in 2 gulps. Lynne alert, “Don’t go.” It took both of us. Disappointed in both of us. #alzauthors#endAlz#caregiver# Tags: Alzheimer’s caregiving

Alerting the Family

Mom lived alone  before cell phones. My nephews, 8 & 10, loved to sleep over. She left them at a movie and forgot them. They walked 2-3 miles to knock on her door. She said, “How nice of you to surprise your grandma” My brother never alerted our family. I think he thought it was normal senility. We had the same thought when she was visiting us: “Probably senility. #alzauthors#endAlz