Saturday, January 29, 2022

National Puzzle Day

Today is National Puzzle Day! Research continues to show that solving jigsaw puzzles stimulates the occipital lobe (visual cortex), improves mood, reduces agitation and slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's patients receive a rare sense of accomplishment when solving jigsaw puzzles. Solving puzzles is even sweeter if kids and Alzheimer's patients work together when solving a jigsaw puzzles.

Monday, January 24, 2022

LEGO Serious Play With Ms. Loretta Woodward Veney

I am SO excited to share AMAZING news! Ms. Loretta Woodward Veney from Lego Serious Play has made a VERY generous offer. She is going to provide a FREE ZOOM session for 12 participants! Lego Serious Play is a fun and stimulating activity for caregiving youth to do with their family members! If you would like to participate (or know someone who would like to participate) please respond here OR email us as A small lego kit will be provided with instructions! Date TBD


The Joy of Completing A Puzzle


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Clinical Trials Give Us Hope

People in the Alzheimer's community need HOPE. Clinical trials are important because they may lead to better treatments, reversal of disease and "maybe" a cure.

When scientists develop a new treatment, like a drug for Alzheimer's disease they have to test it first to see if it is safe!

The medication is tested in stages called Phases. The phases check for SAFETY, SIDE EFFECTS and EFFECTIVENESS (whether the drug is working or not). Each Phase has a trial.

Phase 1 trial - tests to see if the treatment is safe, has side effects, and the correct dosage. (Only a small amount of people participate in a Phase 1 trial.  IF everything is ok, then a Phase II trial is given.

Phase II trial  - tests a bigger group of people. Scientists want to see how well the drug works (efficacy). Researchers gather data to see if the treatment is helping.

Phase III trial - tests more people and diverse communities in the population. Different doses are tested. Sometimes the treatment medication is combined with another medication.  

GOOD NEWS - If the scientists determine that the Phase III trial is working it can be approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA)!  That means that there could be a NEW treatment to help people with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Phase IV trial - After FDA approval the researchers conduct post-marketing studies (required by the FDA) they continue to make sure that the medication is effective and safe.

Scientists are studying many drugs and treatments for Alzheimer's disease. We must never lose hope!

 Click here to read an article from the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry:

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Dry Erase Boards and Dementia Friendly Hospitals

Grandma was in the hospital A LOT in the last 4 years of her life. Many hospitals did not understand how to communicate with an Alzheimer's patient.

The staff would try to explain medical procedures. There were too many instructions. Grandma did not know where she was, or why they were doing things to her.

I knew that a Dry Erase Board was the answer!  I used them a lot in school when I was younger!  I actually told the staff at NYU Hospital about the benefit of using one. They were impressed and ordered them for Alzheimer's patients! YES!

I suggested that they follow the 5 W's on the Dry Erase Board. (Who, What, When, Where, Why and sometimes How).

Example of writings for the Dry Erase in a Hospital:

You are at NYU hospital (who)

You broke your hip (what)

The hospital is going to help (why)

Keep directions simple.

When I used it with grandma I wanted to be sure she was not in pain!



 I am so amazed with LegoSeriousPlay!  I learned about it through my friend Ms. Loretta Woodward Veney from UsAgainstAlzheimer's. She is so inspirational and uses Legos to stimulate her mother who has Alzheimer's.

 She also creates Inspiration Kits to help bring some Joy with LEGO bricks to other caregivers! I think it is a wonderful activity to do with your loved one! It is an activity that both kids and Alzheimer's patients can enjoy together!

MLK Day of Service

 The great Dr. King said, "how can we serve others?"  Our enthusiastic volunteers have spent the whole weekend and MLK Day distributing puzzles across the country.  WE are very excited to be resuming PUZZLE TIME soon!  Until then...our volunteers are making sure that Alzheimer's patients have plenty of puzzles to solve!Inline imageInline image

Chair of the MLK Day of Service for the Multiplying Good Think Big Team Committee

 I am very honored to have been the Chair of the Martin Luther King Day of Service for the Multiplying Good Think Big Team. It has been a great honor encouraging other youth to participate in service work today.

As the great Dr. King said, "anybody can be great because everybody can serve!" My organization is working hard to target underserved diverse communities who have been greatly impacted by COVID-19 and Alzheimer's disease.

Please reach out to us you would like to volunteer, need resources, or would like to participate in our Alzheimer's youth support groups.

Click here

Friday, January 14, 2022

Study shows how exercise generates new neurons, improves cognition

 A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team finds that neurogenesis - which brings about the production of new neurons --in the brain structure in which memories are encoded can improve cognitive function in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.  

There are additional studies that need to be conducted with people, but we do not have to wait. Gentle exercising is helpful for all.

Here is the actual science article

Asian senior or elderly old woman exercise on wheelchair in park. Healthy strong medical concept royalty free stock images

Which Me Am I Today?

 I discovered a special blog written by a woman with Young Onset Alzheimer's disease. She lives in the UK. Her blog is honest, helpful and hopeful. 

It gives us an understanding of what it is like to live with dementia and I think kids will find it helpful to read and browse the blog. You can find it by clicking here:

She also created an amazing video explaining her experiences with dementia. She uses a bookcase metaphor to help us understand how memory loss happens with Alzheimer's disease.

She also discusses having a "Memory Room" which I think is a great idea. It is also something that kids who are caregivers can help assemble. 

Here is a link for the video:

Me - 59 years young with my wonderful daughters:)

Thursday, January 13, 2022

When Kids Are The Caregivers - My Caregiving Project

We need to tackle the difficulties that kids face in many ways!

Kids who are caregivers did not always choose that role. Around 1.8 million kids are helping their loved ones.

Caregiving is a CHALLENGE faced by kids who take care of a family member. WE need help on many levels and support from our community, at school, and with own health. It is stressful.

Why do kids take on the role of caregiving?

  • adults are not always available
  • we love our family members and want to help
  • We feel responsible
What are the unpleasant parts about caregiving?
  • it can effect our mood and make us sad, angry or even guilty
  • It can make us tired or cause trouble sleeping
  • difficulty in school
How Can my Kid Caregivers Organization Help?
  • It gives hope and shows how resilient we are! (Look at me!)
  • It gives us a VOICE
  • We have online support groups just for us!
  • We have Zoom sessions with a guidance counselor to connect with others
  • In the Spring we will have social activities
  • We provide resources for caregiving kids!
  • Participation in PUZZLE TIME with family members and other Alzheimer's patients

The Face of Alzheimer's

 There are 1.8 million kids who have family members with Alzheimer's disease. From those statistics there are over 250,000 kids who are under 18 and care for a family member with Alzheimer's disease. 

Each kid has a story to tell. But the important part is knowing that they are not alone. We are here for you!
We will have a Zoom session for kids are are acting as caregivers with our guidance counselor, Julie. She will be answering questions help us to share our stories.

Also stay tuned for my podcast!

 Please let us work together to find a CURE!  100% of donations go directly to Alzheimer's research. Click here to donate:

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ms. Loretta Woodward Veney's posts on FACEBOOK

 Legos are a great activity for both the Alzheimer's patient and their family members. Here is a post from my friend Ms. Loretta Woodward Veney. Her posts are so inspirational!

Here is Ms. Woodward Veney's story. It is. very relatable!

"Today I wrote about the day in 2006 that Mom received her dementia diagnosis and I remember that day like it was yesterday. She didn’t want to “talk” about how she felt, so as we drove home I handed her our “car bag of LEGO bricks” and asked her to build what she was feeling. She immediately grabbed a minifigure and took its head off and said “I’m feeling like in a few years I will lose my head!” and she started to cry. As I tried to reassure her she added “I’ll have to just sit down in the corner and wither away!”. I was near tears too but I promised her that we would be in this together and that I’d always be right by her side and in no way would I let her just wither away! As I wrote about that conversation, I built this model of that day I’ll never forget!! As we enter year 16 with this disease I think Mom would agree that we’ve shared much more Joy than we have pain along this journey! And I’d encourage everyone on this journey to never give up!" #ENDALZ #legoseriousplay
May be a closeup of text that says '#END ALZ'

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

What Should You Do If Your Loved One Is Just Diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease

 Finding out that your loved one (in my case, my grandmother) has Alzheimer's disease is scary and confusing.  I have a few pointers that I think can help!

Learn about the disease. Here is a good explanation for kids:

Here are some resources for kids from the Alzheimer's Association

Here are some important tips:

1) It is not your fault - Your family member may look the same on the outside but their brain on the inside is not working very well.

2) Be patient with your loved one. They may not remember things and may act differently but they are the same person inside.

3) You can still do fun things together!  Set the table, listen to music, look and photos, solve puzzles.

4) Realize that you are not alone. There are 1.8 million kids out there who have family members with the disease.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day PUZZLE DISTRIBUTION DAY

 On January 17th, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day we will be donating puzzles across the nation specifically to diverse Alzheimer's communities.  

As the statistics show, African American people are diagnosed twice as often as whites with Alzheimer's disease. Lantinx communities are diagnosed 1.5 times as often as whites with Alzheimer's disease. 

Diverse communities need resources. We will have student volunteers delivering the puzzles to communities that need them, nationally. As the research shows, solving jigsaw puzzles stimulates the occipital lobe (visual cortex) which can slow the progression of dementia, and improve mood and memory.  

Also, I am excited to share that I am the Chair of the Martin Luther King Day of Service for the Multiplying Good Organization. If you know a kid that is doing a special project for MLK Day on January 17th and would like to be part of the Multiplying Good Instagram Takeover please have them tag Multiplying Good.

Please contact me on our form on this blog or email me at so we can ship puzzles to diverse communities in honor of Reverend King!

Monday, January 3, 2022

Nebraska Puzzle Time Ambassadors

We are in need of Nebraska Puzzle Time volunteers for Lincoln, Nebraska. Multiple facilities are looking for students/Girl Scouts.  Please contact us by filling out a form online or emailing us at In the meantime, students in Lincoln, make collect puzzles for distribution.Community service credit will be given for service hours!

Lancaster Rehabilitation Center

 1001 South St, Lincoln, NE 68502

Starting date will be in February (after the Omicron surge, subsides).

Map of Lincoln, NECapitol from Centennial Mall

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Making Your Home Dementia Friendly

The BrightFocus Foundation posted a very helpful article offering tips about fixing your living space to make it easier for an Alzheimer's patient.

Some highlights from the article: 

Make sure there is natural light

Keep a list of phone numbers with the telephone

Maker sure TV removes are visible

Keep kitchen surfaces clutter free

Remove locks inside your home

Here is the whole article: