My Wife's a Saint: Part 1

My Wife's a Saint: Part 1

Written by Jim Duchene, caregiver to his 95-year-old father and a generous contributor to the All-Weather Friend. 

When I first asked my wife if my dad could move in with us, she said, "Sure, why not?" Her own father had passed away a few years earlier, and she had always gotten along with mine. Besides, he was a grown man. Self-sufficient. He used to be in the Army, for gosh sakes. During World War II. How much trouble could he be?

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Silence Is Not Golden When It Comes to Alzheimer's Disease

Silence Is Not Golden When It Comes to Alzheimer's Disease

Contributed by Shannon Weirsbitzky, author of What Flowers Remember

Silence is golden. We’ve all heard that phrase. In the midst of a world that is loud and hard to understand at times, we often crave silence. Whether at home or at the beach with only the sound of the waves as company. Perhaps at a spa or in the woods, walking along a tree-lined path.

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Reticence

Reticence

Contributed by Vicki Tapia, author of Somebody Stole My Iron

An unexplained inner drive compelled me to document a multi-year sojourn that I took with my parents. It was the last journey we took together…a journey down the rabbit hole of dementia. Within months of each other, Dad received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s-related dementia and shortly thereafter, Mom, with Alzheimer’s disease. During the first year, I began a diary to record our odyssey. 

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Stigma

Stigma

Contributed by Marianne Sciucco, author of Blue Hydrangeas

As a young, naïve, inexperienced nurse in 1990, I accepted a job in a long-term care facility and took on the task of caring for dozens of patients with Alzheimer's and dementia. The disease was not new to me. A beloved aunt succumbed to Alzheimer's, and I experienced the pain of her forgetting me, a niece she loved, and witnessed her decline. However, that personal experience did little to prepare me for the hard work and dedication required to care for the helpless and often forgotten individuals with dementia.

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Secrets

Secrets

Contributed by Jean Lee, author of Alzheimer's Daughtera poignant memoir about her parents' experience with Alzheimer's but also a WWII love story held together by faith and family. 

If you have not been a caregiver--if you’re not living with the disease, you may not understand the concept of secrets when dealing with Alzheimer’s.

If I had been an observer I would have thought, why would anyone keep a diagnosis a secret?

 

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My Dad's Point

My Dad's Point

Contributed by Jim Duchene, caregiver to his 95-year-old father and a generous contributor to the All-Weather Friend.

Today my wife and I had planned to go shopping. It’s our usual date of the week. There was a time, pre-kids, when our date would have been something more romantic, such as a candlelight dinner or a walk along the beach—a day free of headaches. Recently one night, as my wife was climbing into bed, I pointed out two Excedrin tablets I had left on her nightstand.

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Five Ways to Bond With Your Aging Parent

Five Ways to Bond With Your Aging Parent

Contributed by Vee Cecil, wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor. Vee is passionate about studying and sharing her findings in wellness through her recently-launched blog.

Your relationship with your parents is easily one of the most important in your life. As you progress into adulthood, this relationship will inevitably change and evolve as you outgrow the need for constant guidance. This can make it difficult for adult children to create (or maintain) a connection with a parent...

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A Bacon Story

A Bacon Story

Contributed by Jim Duchene. He and his wife are caregivers for his 95-year-old father. It's not right to argue with a person far enough along in the disease to be losing his grip on reality (or to argue seriously with anyone suffering from Alzheimer's—at any point), but Jim's father isn't there yet, apparently, and can still go along with the banter. Visit Jim's blog to read more of his caregiving stories.
 
 My Dad eats like a king. Yesterday morning, I watched as my wife served him his five-star breakfast. She served me next. "What's this?" I asked her. She didn’t exactly serve me cottage cheese and lettuce, but it was close.
 

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