Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
November is Alzheimer’s awareness month, with purple being the official color of the movement. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. If you will picture an umbrella- this is to represent dementia. Under the umbrella are Alzheimer’s, Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, and Frontotemporal Dementia.
In the simplest terms, dementia is a decline in mental function, thinking, remembering, and reasoning that is usually irreversible. Family members will notice memory loss, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.
Alzheimer’s is a specific disease that progressively and irreversibly destroys memory and thinking skills. Age and family history are risk factors. Alzheimer’s disease takes away the ability to conduct even the simplest task.
The Alzheimer's Association is a valuable resource for information. They have a blog, 24-hour helpline, and support groups in your area. Having attended numerous Alzheimer's training classes to help provide support and help in our area. Two of the things I use most often to help families:
Teepa Snow, OT is an occupational therapist and is a dementia care specialist. She works to shed a positive light on how to manage folks that are dealing with dementia care. She offers videos to share tips to care for those that are having issues.
The following poem I feel really puts it into perspective.
Welcome to planet Alzheimer’s. You are now a visitor on planet Alzheimer’s. You have chosen to follow your loved one there. As they are unwilling inhabitants, having been taken by force. You do not want them to be alone in this absurd place. But you are still used to the influences of planet earth. You will find that Earth rules no longer apply on planet Alzheimer’s. And you will have to adapt to the new rules if you want to survive the journey. They are as follows:
- Never argue.
- Logic and reason do not apply.
- You are not who you think you are, you are who they think you are.
- Never take anything personally.
- Old memories are best.
- Learning to do something new is not important.
- Being loved and accepted at all times is.
- Have no expectations.
- Take advantage of the shuttle back to Earth as often as possible.
I told you it was an absurd place.