Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear In The Refrigerator?



I would like to share a video of me reading Max Wallack & Carolyn Given's book: Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator?  I read it to my class at school, last year. I plan to read it to my classmates this year, too. When I read the book, kids share stories about their grandparents with me.  I was surprised that some of my classmates had grandparents and great-grandparents with Alzheimer's disease.  Reading a book about dementia, helps kids to understand the disease.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Old Photographs

Grandma and I spent the afternoon looking at lots of photographs. The photos were pictures of grandma when she was young. I was so happy!  I could not believe how beautiful grandma looked in the pictures. She had great stories about her cruise to Cuba, how she met the ship's captain and borrowed his uniform for a party on his ship!  She also looked to travel!  She went to Haiti, Cuba, England, Paris, Niagara Falls and more!  She remembered a lot of details. That is because she has a good long-term memory.  If people store their memories when they are young, the brain is strong and can hold them better.  She recognized herself!  We laughed and some of the pictures made grandma sad because the people in the pictures have died.




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Going Into Their World

My friend Katie joined me at the nursing home today. She spent time with her “grandma” Dorothy. Dorothy is not really her grandma, but they like to pretend. The two of them really enjoy spending time together. Dorothy has ZERO visitors. It is so sad. She always recognizes Katie. It is very touching.   Katie’s parents are thrilled that she is making a big difference in someone's life. Katie gave Dorothy a shiny penny. Dorothy said, “ I love the gold coin.” Katie told me what happened after we led the nursing home. She said, “I know that the penny has a copper alloy, but I am not going to correct Dorothy, I will go into her world.”  I am thrilled that my friends are learning about AD and how to be a good caregiver to someone with dementia.

Knitting

Grandma loves knitting. She learned to knit when she was a kid.  When someone learns something when their brain is young, it is stored in their memory bank really well.  So they are able to remember stuff.  When people are seniors their storage banks are not as good as when they were younger, especially if they have Alzheimer's disease. When they have Alzheirmer's disease the storage bank is very weak and damaged. A memory could go into it, but it can fall through the drawer of the memory bank.  Sometimes the bank can hold the memory for a little bit, but not for long.

Knitting gives grandma joy. She loves to teach me how to do it.  We are making scarves for each other. I am very happy when I knit with grandma. She told everyone at the nursing home that she will make a scarf for them.  All people like to feel useful and grandma feels good when she is offering to help other people.




Tips

1. Find out what your loved one enjoys doing. Did they have a hobby?
2. Here is an example: If your loved one was a mechanic, give them some tools and let them "tinker with them"
3. Did they like gardening?  (Milk carton and seeds, draw pictures of plants, cut out pictures of plants and create a collage.)  You get the idea...
4. Everyone has something that they like doing.  Spend time doing that activity together.
5. If you do not know what your loved one likes to do, ask your parents or other relatives, friends. They will know!
6. You can make the activity easier for your loved one by making a few changes. I will not make a complicated sweater with a difficult pattern, but a simple scarf is easy to make and a lot of fun!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Good Morning America!

Hi everyone!  I was on TV today.  I spoke to the actor Will Smith about my passion to help people with Alzheimer's disease. I am very grateful to Hasbro and the GenerationOn organization for giving me such an amazing "once in a lifetime" opportunity!




https://gma.yahoo.com/smith-talks-collateral-beauty-inspired-project-helping-him-153009720--abc-news-celebrities.html

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Eggplant Parmagiana

Grandma used to eat eggplant parmagiana often. It was her favorite dish to order when she went out to dinner. We took grandma out to dinner and one of our favorite restaurants: Manduccati's.  We ordered eggplant parmagiana for grandma and she was so happy. She immediately started telling us stories about how she loves it, but could never make it at home.  She had such a good time. Food is a very good way to put people in wonderful moods. My cats are thrilled when we serve them a Fancy Feast treat, so you can imagine how a person may feel if they can eat what they love to eat!
I know grandma loves being with ME, but having eggplant and ME at the same time, gave her so much joy!  What is your loved one's favorite meal?








 

Friday, December 9, 2016

I will be appearing on GOOD MORNING AMERICA

Great news! I am going to be on GOOD MORNING AMERICA on Monday morning, December 12th! I will be discussing my organizations: Kid Caregivers (www.kidcaregivers.com) and Puzzles To Remember (www.puzzlestoremember.org). Please tune in or set your DVRs. 

Image result for Good Morning America



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