Thursday, March 31, 2022

Growing Up On The Grid

 I love science and want to study neuroscience (brain science) when I grow up. I read an interesting finding that was published in Nature. 

It mentions that people who grew up in areas like NYC or Chicago that have buildings lined up in grids have a tougher time navigating how to get around.

It seems that people who grew up in rural areas have better navigational skills.

Researchers have developed virtual navigation tests to see if people have decline in "finding their way" abilities.

My thought is that we need to challenge ourselves. If you live in an area that is very grid like, you need to spend time in rural areas.

There is an app called Sea Hero Quest which is a fun game that tests navigational skills and does Alzheimer's research in the UK.  click here

To read an article from the New York Times about it click here

For science kids who want to read the difficult research article click here


People with Alzheimer's disease usually need to take medication. Grandma took Aricept and Namenda, and some other medication as well.

Before grandma went to live in a memory care facility we used to call her 3 times a day to remind her to take her medication.

Even AFTER moving into a memory care facility with aides to help, it was STILL a struggle. Sometimes the aides had to call us and ask us to talk to her, to convince her to take her medication.

I found a very helpful article called "How to give medications to someone with dementia" by Lauren Mahakian.  It gives very good advice!

Click here for the article

Wednesday, March 30, 2022


 Not too many kids wear Barrettes ( a bar shaped clip to hold hair into place) nowadays. However, when my mom was little, grandma always put Barrettes in mom's hair.  One day, grandma was very sad and quiet.

We had an idea! We went to the drug store and bought Barrettes. All three of us put them in our hair. Grandma was laughing and smiling.

It was such a little thing to do but it made a BIG difference.

Try to find the things that your loved one enjoyed a long time ago, and do them again!

3 Helpful Tips For Caregivers

1. Get RID of background noise!  People with dementia have a lot of confusion and it is hard for them to concentrate and pay attention. If possible make sure the background noise is quiet when you want to communicate with them!

 2. Give them 2 choices! Everyone likes a choice, including the loved one with Alzheimer's disease. The person still wants to feel like they have control. My mom used to let me pick vegetables (which I do not love). I had 2 choices "broccoli or string beans". I felt like I had POWER. Your loved one would like that power too!

3. Observe behavior. If your loved one always refuses to drink water, maybe they want something with a little flavor. Your family member is not able to put into words their feelings. We need to try to figure it out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Short Video Clip About Puzzle Time!

 We often show new volunteers for our organization this video so they can learn about the program!

Very very excited that we expanding greatly in NYC, specifically in the Bronx. Stay tuned for details!

Please reach out to us by filling out the form on the website or emailing us at!

Click here to watch the video

Monday, March 28, 2022

Getting Your Loved One To Eat

 Grandma lost her appetite often. She would start to eat, and then decide she does not want to eat anymore.

Here I am at the age of 6, cutting up grandma's steak. Then I would fed her. She never refused food that I gave to her.

It was our special bond. I also showed her that I was eating it too.

In most families it is the other way around! The grandma cuts the food, and convinces her grandchild to eat.

My parents are lucky because I am not a picky eater!

Maybe it was because I had to be a role model for grandma!

Advice: show your loved one that YOU are enjoying the food. You may have to cut it up for them and offer them a piece.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Body Pillows

I noticed that grandma and a lot of residents at her facility hated going to bed at night.

It was always a problem

There are many reasons why people with dementia do not sleep well. I posted in an earlier post about circadian rhythms (internal body clocks) being "out of whack" in Alzheimer's patients.

But I also thought there could be another reason.

A lot of Alzheimer's patients had spouses that are no longer alive. They are used to sleeping in a bed with another person.

Here is where a body pillow comes in...

A body pillow feels like another person.

We bought grandma a body pillow and it really helped her a lot. It made her feel like the olden days when my grandpa would sleep with her.

We all like snuggly comfy things.

click here for body pillows I just picked one from Amazon. There are many types.

My advice, get one! It does not hurt to try and it could help a lot!

Radio Interview on Answers for Elders!

 I had a wonderful time being interviewed by Ms. Suzanne Newman!

We talked about Kid Caregivers, my reason for starting it, what I am presently doing, and what I hope to accomplish.

I also discussed Puzzles To Remember.

Please listen! :-)

To add, Ms. Newman is a very kind and caring person. I truly enjoyed our interview. 

Thank you very much Ms. Newman for having me on your very informative podcast!

Please check out her website.Click here for the Answers for Elders website

click here to listen

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Calling Student Volunteers in Salt Lake City, Utah!

We have a generous puzzle company that wants to donate 1000 puzzles to our organization!

However, we need a team of volunteers to assist us!

Please contact us at

Community service credit will be awarded.

We are planning a Puzzle Mania fundraiser, and a puzzle sale with proceeds used for purchasing of therapeutic Alzheimer's puzzles.

Purple Angel Ambassador

 In 2016, I was given the honor of becoming a Purple Angel Ambassador.

  The PURPLE ANGEL emblem is an international symbol for dementia awareness worldwide.

It was designed by my friend Jane Moore in the UK.

Jane Moore is one of the world's first creators of dementia cafes.  The cafes are meet ups between Alzheimer's patients and carers for inclusive community togetherness. 

We are working hard to have PUZZLE TIME programs in Memory Cafes.

It is a "Dementia Together" attitude. There should be no exclusions in the dementia world.

I support the dementia journey and feel that no one has to walk the dementia journey alone!

Memory Cafe Directory Click here

To learn more about Purple Angels click here

Friday, March 25, 2022

Delaware Puzzle Ambassadors!

 I am super excited to report that our Delaware Ambassadors Blake and Chloe Bowers are actively recruiting students for PUZZLE TIME!

If you live in Delaware and would like to volunteer please reach out to us at!

Why Did Grandma Leave Her Underwear In the Refrigerator by Dr. Max Wallack (My Mentor!)

 I am extremely lucky to have a mentor named Dr. Max Wallack! His great grandma Gertrude and my grandma Ruth both had Alzheimer's disease. Both of us are only children, and we were both CAREGIVERS. That was our bond.

Dr. Max graduated from Harvard Medical School, and is now in his medical residency. He wants to be a neuroradiologist. A neuroradiologist studies x-rays, CT scans, MRIs PET scans, etc to see how the brain is doing. They can see early stages of Alzheimer's disease and other issues in the brain, their work is very very important!

Alzheimer's disease you better watch out! Dr. Max Wallack is on the case! 

Dr. Max wrote the book Why Did Grandma Leave Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? to help kids learn about Alzheimer's disease. He based the book on me and my grandmother! 

I love that the book is funny as well as serious. It also gives us HOPE for the future.

Here is a video of me reading the book when I was 7 years old! 


 I remember this day! I gave grandma a manicure! We had so much fun. My advice is to find something that your loved one enjoyed before they developed Alzheimer's disease. 

You can still do the activity with them and it will bring them joy! Give your loved one a manicure! You can even give your grandpa a manicure by just filing his nails and putting hand lotion on :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2022


 A lot of people have asked me how I came up with the name "PUZZLE TIME" for my national and global intergenerational program.

Even though I have almost 2000 volunteers I also visit facilities and participate in Puzzle Time because I really do find it rewarding to help others!

There is a facility in NYC which houses people who have cerebral palsy (CP) and are deaf. In the olden days people with CP did not live long enough to develop Alzheimer's disease. But due to better medical care they are living longer, and developing dementia.

I made friends with a resident named "Bill". He is always excited to see me and my volunteers and Girl Scouts!  He used to yell, "its PUZZLE TIME!" when we arrived.

I loved the simple name which describes what we are doing; which is solving jigsaw puzzles with Alzheimer's patients for an hour.

I am THRILLED to return to the facility on April 2nd! Stay tuned for puzzles!  I have a lot of fun ideas!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Answers for Elders- Ms. Suzanne Newman

Ms. Suzanne Perkins Newman is an advocate for caregivers and seniors.

I was fortunate to be interviewed by her and will appear on her Elders Radio Show this weekend!

Stay Tuned for more details!

She is:

  • Host of the Answers for Elders Radio Show!
  • Founder/CEO Answers for Elders, Inc
  • Family Caregiver "Coach"
  • Former Family Caregiver for her own mother
  • Author of "The Advocate's Heart: Finding Your Real Strength in Caring for Aging Loved Ones clink for link
The show helps families navigate the complicated world of Eldercare

Some Kid Caregivers

-15 year old

- not enough support

- spends more time with family member but at the expense of school

-days are filled with household chores

-no time for leisure activities

click here for video

Claire cares for her mother at 14, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

The common denominator for caregiving youth:

-social isolation



A Bagel and Lox

 Grandma loved a bagel and lox. It was her absolute favorite food. As her Alzheimer's disease progressed there were very few things that made her happy.

One of the ways that I connected with her was to always get her a bagel and lox. Sometimes, the staff at the nursing home were "concerned" about the sodium content. Too much salt is not good for the kidneys.

BUT at the age of 95, with advanced Alzheimer's disease, my mom and I felt it was more important for grandma to have some joy.

What is your loved ones' favorite food?  Get it for them!

Don't you agree? 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Semi Postal Alzheimer's Stamp Stars! Lynda Everman and Kathy Siggins

 Lynda Everman and Kathy Siggins worked together to get the Semi Postal Alzheimer's Stamp into production. They are rock stars!  It was a long journey and I will be interviewing them for a podcast in the near future.

All you have to do is go to the post office, buy the stamps and use them.

One sheet of Alzheimer's stamps send $3.40 to the National Institutes of Health. Since its inception, it has raised more than $1.2 MILLION for much needed dementia research!

Thank You For Being A Friend

One of grandma's favorite shows was The Golden Girls. She loved it! Towards the later stages of Alzheimer's disease, when grandma started becoming nonverbal, she would point to the show and smile!

I bought this amazing Adult Coloring Book for the Golden Girls (which is still showed on reruns nationally.)

Adult Coloring Books are wonderful. The themes are fun and it is a great activity to do with your loved one.

All you need are colored pencils or markers and a great coloring book!

I plan on ordering a HUGE stack of Golden Girls coloring books for some of the dementia patients that I work with, I know they will love it!To order one click here

Monday, March 21, 2022

RodgerThatShow podcast May 20th @ 3:00 PM

 I am excited an honored to be an invited guest on the podcast It is a guide for caregivers who are dealing with family members who have dementia.

I will be talking about my experiences being a caregiver of my grandma for 9 years; my role as Founder and Executive Director for KidCaregivers and my other organization Puzzles To Remember of which I am the Executive Director and my national and global PUZZLE TIME PROGRAM! There is a lot to talk about! I hope you will join us!

Here is a link to the show: click here

Get Your Zzzzzzs

 I am sometimes worried about my parents getting Alzheimer's one day or even getting it myself one day! I am always researching the latest information from scientists.

A study published on February 10, 2022, from PLOS Genetics, shows that getting enough sleep every night can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

The study is a little tough to understand but basically it involves our circadian rhythm

Here is a video that explains it (some of the words are not easy to understand, but you will get the point, just go with it!)  click

Here are the important things:

  • get your sleep
  • go to bed at the same time everyday
  • keep away from screens for at least an hour before bedtime
  • avoid caffeine (chocolate, bubble tea, etc for us kids) 2 hrs before bedtime
If you get enough sleep your Circadian rhythm will be able to rid the brain of a protein called Amyloid-Beta 42, so it will not make clumps in the brain. Those clumps could eventually lead to developing Alzheimer's disease.

Here is an easy article click here

For older kids and future scientists (like me) here is actual study article click here

JOIN US March 24 for a ZOOM Session for Kids Who Are Caregivers in Spanish! ÚNASE A NOSOTROS el 24 de marzo para una sesión de ZOOM para niños que son cuidadores en español!

 Hi There/Hola

On March 24 we will have a Zoom session for kids who are caregivers! We will post the code soon! I am so excited! We will have a guidance counselor moderating the session. Also we will explain about Puzzle Time and how you can volunteer to solve puzzles with your own family member, and others in the community for community service hours.

¡El 24 de marzo tendremos una sesión de Zoom para niños que son cuidadores! ¡Publicaremos el código pronto! ¡Estoy tan emocionada! Tendremos un consejero de orientación moderando la sesión. También explicaremos sobre Puzzle Time y cómo puede ofrecerse como voluntario para resolver acertijos con su propio miembro de la familia y otros en la comunidad para la hora de servicio comunitario.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Happy Spring! Folate and Dementia

Hope everyone is having a good day and enjoying the first day of spring!

A study from the US and Israel shows that vitamin B9 (folic acid) is associated with an increased risk of dementia.

People with a folate (folic acid) deficiency had a 1.69 increased risk of dementia!

Folic acid is found in green leafy like spinach and broccoli, beans, orange juice, breakfast cereals, poultry.

There are also supplements (but you need to check with your doctor, before taking them.

Bottom line: eat your greens and drink orange juice!

Here is an easy to understand article, click here

For the future scientists who want to read the research article click here

Friday, March 18, 2022

Girl Scout earns Bronze Medal From Volunteering for Kid Caregivers!

 Callie distributed 156 care packages with jigsaw puzzles to  residents in a nursing home! The next step will be recruiting Girl Scouts to solve the puzzles with the residents for PUZZLE TIME!

Amazing job, Callie! THANK YOU! 

Hershey's Heartwarming Young Heroes Grant - 2nd Year

 I am thrilled to have been honored with being selected for a second year as a Hershey's Heartwarming Young Hero for Global Youth Service Day.  This year's service project will be HUGE!

My team and I, from last year, are shown on the top left of the advertisement.

The goal is to distribute 1000 puzzles in ONE DAY.

We will have an army of student volunteers from across the country working together to place puzzles into marginalized communities!

We are also signing up volunteers for PUZZLE TIME and hope to recruit another 1000 volunteers!

If you would like to participate please email me at!

Or fill out the form on our website!

Each volunteer makes a big difference.  

Solving jigsaw puzzles not only helps the brains of Alzheimer's patients, but also the brains of developing young people. It is a WIN/WIN effect!

Jigsaw Puzzle Solving Helps Metacognitive Development in Kids, so BOTH Alzheimer's patients and kids BENEFIT


 Puzzle Time - our intergenerational program of pairing youth members and dementia patients for an hour of jigsaw puzzle solving is GROWING.  

The research shows that when Alzheimer's patients solve puzzles it stimulates their visual cortex (occipital lobe) which improves memory, reduces agitation, improves mood and slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

But guess what?  The science shows that KIDS benefit greatly from solving jigsaw puzzles. So in the long run, PUZZLE TIME is helpful to everyone. It is a WIN-WIN situation.

For the science kids out there like me, here is a current article, click here

54321 Grounding Method for Anxiety and fear

Caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease is hard!  I remember feeling scared, worried, and anxious. I loved grandma so much. But life was not easy.

I remember when grandma fell and was hospitalized for a subdural hematoma (that means bleeding in the brain). She was crying in pain and still refused to go to the hospital. We had to beg her to go. I was terrified.

I was hysterical crying and I had to go with her to the hospital because there was no one to watch me at home. I was having a panic/anxiety attack.

I spoke to the Child Life Specialist who taught me about GROUNDING EXERCISES. She said it helps with trauma.

The 54321 Ground Method is very helpful and makes you feel better!

Here is how it works you look around the room and think about:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste
(If you cannot find those things around you than just substitute by thinking about your favorite things.) Thinking about those things takes your mind away from your worries for a bit.

It is kind of like Maria from the Sound of Music who sang the song, "My Favorite Things" and the line, "I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad" (Rogers & Hammerstein) 

Here is a helpful article to learn more about grounding techniquesClick here

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Students In Action Volunteers (SIA) for Kid Caregiver's PUZZLE TIME PROGAM!

 I am so excited!  As mentioned before, I went to the SIA Midwinter Leadership Conference on March 5th at the Harlem YMCA. I was hoping to recruit the students to volunteer for PUZZLE TIME!

I met the most amazing Youth Changemakers and the kids want to volunteer!

My Ambassadors and I are actively researching facilities in the Bronx, Harlem, Washington Heights, and East New York, Brooklyn.

If you would like to volunteer, know about a diverse and underserved community that would like to participate in PUZZLE TIME please reach out to me at

To read more about this SIA volunteers read here:

CALLING ALL KID CAREGIVERS! Celebrate St Paddy's Day with Lori La Bay!

 There will be a musical ventriloquist, Mr. Kevin Driscol It will be on Lori La Bey's Alzheimer's Speaks Radio Show!

Click the link for Lori La Bay's Alzheimer's Speaks Radio!  Sounds like a lot of fun!

It's A New World - inspiring song both singers have dementia. A Song of Hope!

 These gentlemen are showing the world that you CAN live with dementia and still have a life with a purpose!

Click for the link

Updated Alzheimer's Statistics (numbers) 6.5 MILLION older Americans diagnosed! It is not ok!

The numbers are scary!

Please watch video!

1 in 3 seniors will develop Alzheimer's

COVID-19 increased diagnoses by 17%

80% of Americans do not know what Mild Cognitive Impairment is!

It kills more people than breast and prostate cancer combined!

OVER 11 million Americans are acting as caregivers! (Kids, tweens and teens are part of those statistics)

Alzheimer's disease will cost this nation $321 BILLION

2/3 of Americans with Alzheimer's are women, and older Black Americans are TWICE as likely to have Alzheimer's or other types of dementia than older White Americans!

#Alzheimersinamerica #endalz

Here is a link from the Alzheimer's Association's Twitter

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

A weekly patch has been approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease by the FDA

 Grandma hated to take her medication. I remember how difficult it was to convince her to take Aricipet and Namenda, two medications that are FDA approved for Alzheimer's disease to slow the progression.

I used to take an M & M and asked grandma to take her "candy"

Sometimes I would beg her to take her medication

Other times I would cry and she would feel bad and take it.

NOW there is a patch! It is called ADLARITY and it is Aricipet (donepezil) that is worn on the skin.

It is a once-weekly patch that is waterproof and stays on the arm like a bandaid.

I think that is an amazing advantage!

For fellow scientists out there here is the article:

click here

The patch goes onto the patient's arm!  If grandma were alive today, I would have told her that she should wear the bandaid "to make her arm feel better". I know she would have agreed to it. I wish we had a chance to use something like that instead of fighting with her to take her pills.

If you would like your family member to try the new medication, your parents can speak to your family member's doctor about it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Global Youth Service Day April 29-May 1

Good News! I have been selected as a YSA HERSHEY Heartwarming Hero! 

For Global Youth Service Day weekend we are going to distribute THOUSANDS of jigsaw puzzles throughout the United States.

We are especially placing puzzles in diverse marginalized communities that are underserved!

Please reach out to me at if you are in need of puzzles and for volunteering opportunities!

All student volunteers receive community service credit and chances to win national awards!

Thank you to all of our volunteers and Girl Scouts who have spent hours collecting puzzles!

Thank you to our Bar/Bat Mitzvah kids who have collected puzzles.

Thank you to the generous puzzle companies who have donated puzzles to Kid Caregivers!

Thank you to THRED UP consignment company for donating over 12,000 puzzles!

Thank you to BETHPAGE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION and Jake Guttman (Long Island Ambassador)

Stay Tuned for more updates as we get closer to the date.

#bethpagefederalcreditunion #springbok #thredup #kidcaregivers #puzzlestoremember