Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saga One

"Sally" and I went to a Spirituality and Memory Care workshop Saturday morning at St. Paul's Lutheran in Lakeland; the event was sponsored by the FL Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and that church. We let the two ALZ husbands hang out and perhaps these two 72 year olds are starting to form a friendship. We suggested they go to Denny's for breakfast while we took off for Lakeland. We checked on them--had they arrived at Denny's? No! We got on I-4 and just trusted our husbands to the Lord. When we got to St. Paul's, I called DH's cell. They had gone to Buddy Freddy's for breakfast instead. During the workshop break I called and "Jake" and DH were both at our home. DH said they were just joking and chatting.

Here are some highlights of the workshop:
  • A film to show congregations wanting to minister to persons with dementia began the workshop; it was old, but effective.
  • The  ALZ patient is a person inside who needs to be mentally stimulated and active, emotionally loved and spiritually fed. He is a whole person. Ask him questions and listen. Be present.
  • If you are visiting an ALZ patient and their caregiver, go in twos so both can receive a visit.
  • Routine is so important.
  • ALZ patients can obsess about things and the workshop gave examples of how to deal with this behavior.
  • When an ALZ person has an outburst, think about what happened before that outburst. I thought about this after I was home and hubby was irritated. His routine had been different and I was springing going out that night on him, despite the fact all events were on the calendar.
  • When an ALZ patient is stubborn about getting something done, it is because the organization cells of his brain are missing and he can't carry through, despite his good intentions.
  • The caregiver can call 1-800-272-3900 in the middle of the night for help.
  • http://www.agingflorida.com/ is a good resource.
  • Also no charge to call Shine at 1800-96-ELDER.
  • HONOR at 863-816-2779 will come to the house to fix something. Our lights? Still waiting on James.
  • www.alz.org/research
Speaking of research, I just put the Alzheimer's Weekly link above. You join to get question answered and I have already done that. I also wrote on our success with coconut oil there.

Were there any Christian books on dementia at the workshop? No. I told several of the presenters about the two I had found and reviewed on this blog--No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted and Could It Be Dementia?

After the workshop, Sally and I took a copy of my book to a radio station which might interview me on that book and then we headed out for lunch at Black and Brew in downtown Lakeland. We choose Black and Brew in Lakeland because there was to be a significant book signing there at 2 pm. Sandy Lovern has written Finding Your Way: A Spiritual GPS for Caregivers. I got my autographed copy and of course will review it on this blog. So this is a third Christian book available. In talking with author Sandy Lovern she said she couldn't find any book and so that is why she had written her newly released book.

When we got to the house about 2:50 (I had told DH 3 pm), Jake and DH could not remember if they had eaten lunch, but I found evidence that they had indeed eaten in the sink. The guys had been watching DVDs and socializing. Our husbands still haven't figured out that each other has Alzheimer's, but I think they are finally getting the idea that we all are new friends now.

Despite the huge calendar where I write down everything now, DH was surprised that we had an event Saturday night. We left early from it. Big day for him.

I will be in a Memory Walk in November. I need sponsors and am raising $100 at least for my T-shirt. The walk is 1.5 miles and I am used to three miles now (more in earlier days).

More on our saga with posts to come.

4 comments:

  1. This sounds like such a blessing for you and your husband, to have friends in ...more or less the same situation......You can spend time together, share your experiences.... and help one another....

    I'm so impressed with how well you're moving forward and reaching out to others, as you help yourself. I know it isn't easy..... but.... one step at a time.
    Hugs,

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  2. The 24/7 help line you refer to is the Alzheimer's Association.
    http://www.alz.org/index.asp
    They also have a chat room
    http://www.alz.org/mb/chat_room.asp
    and a message board
    http://alzheimers.infopop.cc/eve
    where they have been discussing coconut oil for years now.
    http://alzheimers.infopop.cc/eve/forums?a=search&reqWords=coconut+oil&forumOID=all&p=31
    I have done 2 Memory Walks and found the best way was to get permission from Wal~Mart to set up a table in front of the store and simply state "Please donate to the Alzheimers' Association. We are looking for a cure!"
    I raised a hundred dollars an hour for 3 hours 3 different times, two different years,in two different states.Being from Plant City myself I think you would do even better in Plant City.
    Alztalk.org is another neat website for the alz caregiver.
    Brought to you by the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation www.ALZinfo.org

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  3. Great to read this positive, uplifting post!
    I love the emphasis on caring for the person from your workshop. It must be so hard for sufferers who are treated as though they have no feelings or thoughts on things. The same for any elderly or disabled person I have found.
    Have a great week. So pleased the Lord has sent these very special sounding people into your lives.

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  4. Excellent, informative post. Thank you so much for the information. I'd like to donate toward your Memory Walk. Where can I send a check?

    Lisa

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