Let’s dance. Walked in her apartment playing a song with repeated refrains: Carpenter’s: Rainy days and Mondays … Held hands, swayed & I sang the first refrain. She laughed, moved with the refrain, and sang the refrain. #alzauthors#alzheimers#caregiver
Monday: “Hi Lynne, it’s Carol” Big hug. I named Lynne’s boys in two photographs. Lynne focused on each name. She reached out to Carol, smiled, & said, “Boys” Carol said, ”Yes, I have two boys. You have 3 boys” Lynne said, “Yes” Lynne rarely speaks words now. #alzauthors#caregiver
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
We moved my Mom from Adult Family Housing to a memory care unit. She was a walker and needed more space. At our first visit, she introduced us to her new boyfriend. They walked everywhere together. Traits in Lynne: Alzheimer’s, walker, friendly, healthy body. #alzauthors#caregiver
Inside Alzheimer’s (Rev Ed.) author Nancy Pearce. Excellent book on how to learn to visit people with dementia. She provides many practical ways to overcome fears and learn skills to “focus on the now” to experience the joys of visiting #alzauthors#alzheimers#caregiver#endalz
Nancy and LynnrR’s visit 1/2/23: Lynne was in a happy place and did lots of giggles and smiles. We ran into her twins when we visited. Fun to catch up with these awesome dudes and see sweet moments of connection. They are twin towers of love
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.
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
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: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5795848/
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.”