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

Never Give Up

Daily a silver haired resident sat by the elevators, alone, smiling, silent. She had charmed Lynne and me. One day I said, “Hello Beautiful” Silent wonder. Next day “Hello Beautiful” Silence. Third day “Hello beautiful” She smiled. “You’re not so bad yourself” #alzauthors#endAlz

Love Lynne Many Ways

Yesterday I loved Lynne as she pondered mysteries. I loved her when I recalled who she was. I grieved about her life today compared to her friends’ lives. I felt a bottomless pit below me. I shifted my love back to her and could not have loved her more. #alzauthorsg#endAlz

Counseling for Newly Diagnosed

After diagnosis Lynne said goodbye to her special ed students and said, Dad, I’m going to be happy.  Grammy Helen was happy. She vowed to be the 1st survivor. 6-months later she erupted in fear, I don’t want to f…g die She needed counseling after diagnosis. #alzauthors#endAlz. Tags: Alzheimer’s Dementia Counseling caregivingcare

Let It Be

#Alzheimers #Alzwa #alzauthors  #alzheimersSpeaks #caregiving #endalz

Her foot is

A week ago I received a report that the pain in Lynne’s left foot showed great improvement: she was wearing the black shoe I bought in a little bit bigger size than her other shoes, her fluffy socks that were in the drawer instead of tight pull-ons, and a bandage on the bottom of her foot staff. Staff said she had left it alone. The swelling had gone down. For the hour I was there she never once winced in pain or tried to work with her foot or her shoe. I hand fed her bites of mini-Reese’s peanut butter cups. She drank all of her Frappuccino so fast I switched to water, but she made an ugly face and looked at me. I apologized. She nodded her head.

I finally said I had to go. She said OK.  I felt good when I left her in her reclining chair with a peaceful face. On the way home I thought of what her life was like after I left. Did she spend hour after hour dozing in that chair? Did she strain against the invisible barriers that weigh her down, confuse her, anger her, and terrify her, hoping to break free to find human touch, connection, clarity, love, or meaning?

That night I listened to Let It Be by the Beetles, over and over and over, hoping for an answer.  

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be.

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
 Let it be

And when all the broken-hearted people 
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer
Let it be

For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer
Let it be.

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Enjoying Times of Normalcy

I had heartwarming caregiving yesterday afternoon with Lynne, an experience I am convinced she enjoyed as much as I did. I also found out I had checked up on weight later than I did.

She welcomed me in surprised relief with a hug so strong I had to brace my feet to keep from tipping over backwards. At the same time, her body felt thinner, triggering my worry that I had not check with caregivers about her weight and whether she getting more than the traditional portions. We strolled back to her room where I told Alexa to play music from Elton John. Despite Rocket Man soaring in the room, Lynne sat quietly focused on the floor more subdued than typical. She quickly sucked up apple juice and we opened the picture book of our trip to Alaska. Soon, she had the energy to aimlessly roam out of her room to the general meeting area. I suspected the sugar had picked up her mood. 

We sat at a table where a caregiver thoughtfully stopped to tell me she was doing very well with help getting dressing, bathroom, shower compared to earlier resistance. I asked him how much she weighed and how often they weighed her. He left to bring back a chair with a scale on it. Lynne willingly climbed in and weighed 126 pounds. I said she weighed 134 when she entered, so she’s lost eight pounds in a little over a month. He said she eats everything, so I explained she had double portions because. He said, “She’s like an athlete. Exactly what I wanted him to understand. A Med tech joined the conversation. After the same explanation the MedTech said that she would make a note in the file to feed her more. I felt pleased the caregiver and MedTech responded immediately to get the scale and make a note in her file. And got over my guilt at not paying attention.

I told the receptionist about the good meeting and she asked if I had told the general manager.  No. Well, he’s in his office so you should go tell him. When an experienced receptionist tells me to talk to a manager, I do it.

We had met when he interviewed Lynne at Aegis where assured me she would get extra portions, adding they have no limits on portions. I had not known what I was going to say because it’s delicate to tell him he and his staff were not feeding her enough, but by the time my butt hit the chair I said, “I want to talk to you about a fantastic experience with your staff.” He thanked me profusely and turned to send a note to the staff and head nurse when I got up to leave.

I believe Lynne enjoyed our experiences getting energy from treats and help from caring people. I saw a sparkle in her eyes before I left, and she casually accepted our time was over. I always wonder if she enjoys our times as much as I do, and she enjoys them as much as she did long ago before she was diagnosed. I believe those visits can make feels normal with me, her dad, her sons, and her friends like Nancy. I pray I am right.  

Friends Transforming After Seizures

#Alzheimers #Alzwa #alzauthors  #alzheimersSpeaks  #caregiving #endalz Tags:  Activities, caregivers, anxiety, fear, isolation, loneliness, consoling, confusion, video chats, dementia, Alzheimer’s,

Friends arrived to visit Lynne and share on with each other just a week after her fall and three seizures. I was pretty depressed by the three seizures and the way Lynne with the bruises after her fall on her face. A week later her friends It’s a classic lesson about the value of friends who can give caregiving because everybody has a different relationship with her. and she recognizes the differences. We are blessed with this caregiving support. It is a thrilling feeling to see how much they transformed Lynne into spontaneous activity with friends who for decades. I have printed much of the dialogue her friends shared with each other and our family.

Nancy: Lynne was all peaches and cream today for our visit. Great appetite enjoyed her lunch and her lemon cake treat and coffee. Then we walked up the hill to the Farmer’s Market, she ogled all the doggies. She loved being in the fresh air and sunshine. She noticed things and pointed them out. Read some signs out loud.  Good verbalizing. She ate a whole huge juicy peach and enjoyed it tremendously. Dance party on the way home. She was laughing loud and having a great time as we came home. 

She was ready for some alone time by then.  Started to have a bit of emotional cycling just at the very end. We left her with a kind care giver. The floor was much better staffed today, looks like they made some hires.

Edith: It was a really good visit. I think Quail Park is a big step up from Aegis! Much calmer, lovely neighborhood and a chill vibe all around. We spent some time on the terrace which is also very lovely. I’m so happy and relieved that all of you got her there.

Keith (Lynne’s brother). Sunglasses is a good idea when going out. She’s one tough Cookie.

Hilpert She loved wearing them inside too! I think they turn the visual volume down a bit. Plus she looks cool.

Sandy Those glasses really are cool. She looks wonderful in them. Very energetic and centered.  

Nancy & friend LynnR and I agree with Edith, while Aegis was great for the first leg of the journey, QP is a superior solution for Lynne at this stage. She tells us that she likes it there. Her behavior says she’s less triggered and feels good. Her meds seem to be working well too. We can all sense the improvement in her state of mind and nervous system. She was really happy  to see us today too, and greeted us with that joyous smile of delight and surprise. 

Keith Thanks Nancy, what a great update! I had a great visit with her Thursday. Similar observations.