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Entries by Joan Sutton from 10/2012

The Best Alzheimer's Support Network Is Virtual

| Posted 10.03.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png I have found online support groups to be a tremendous help. I can turn to them any time, in the middle of the night if necessary, skim through the various postings to find the ones that have situations similar to mine. Those postings have provided me with a great learning lifeline. So, I will offer no advice. Each caregiver must find his or her own way. But over the next few postings I will share some things that have worked for me.

The Caregiver's Philosophy: Alzheimer's and Anger

| Posted 10.09.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png It seems to me that Alzheimer patients have quite a lot to be angry about. It is tempting to take it personally, to be hurt, to even get angry ourselves. But that accomplishes nothing. We know that, in the end, this is a battle that Alzheimer's will win. But the disease doesn't have to win every round. I try to think of myself and my husband as partners in the fight. If I can calm his anger with a hug or a smile or a word of understanding, we have won at least one round.

Alzheimer's: Getting a Handle on the Day

| Posted 10.16.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png A caregiver definitely needs to "get a handle" on his or her day. As the day begins, so it usually unwinds, and tension begets tension. I get a handle on my day by meditating. That ritual precedes the ritual of caregiving. And ritual it must be. I have found that a familiar routine is absolutely essential to a calm day -- meals, bathroom, exercise, naps, bed, at the same time every day. The pace of the day is determined by Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's: Caregivers Must Also Care for Themselves

| Posted 10.19.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png Yes, when I write about how a caregiver should take care of him or herself, I am talking to myself as well as to others. I know how hard it is. For two years, I did not leave my husband. Like so many others, I postponed my own doctor's appointments telling myself I didn't have the time, and turning down invitations from friends. But firm words from two doctor friends helped me decide to take the occasional afternoon for myself.

Despite the Alzheimer's, I Consider Us Lucky

| Posted 10.23.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png There may be saints among us, but I am not one of them. One does not usually associate the words lucky and Alzheimer's disease. But within the world of almost six million North American families struggling with the emotional and financial costs of this terrible disease, I am lucky in many ways.

Eight Steps to a Healthy Brain

| Posted 10.29.2012 | Canada Living

Dr. Howard Fillit, has written a booklet about keeping a healthy mind while aging. Although there is no guarantee that following the guidelines in this booklet will prevent Alzheimer's, they are not castor oil. Far from tasting bad, they will improve your life as you are living it. If they also turn out to prevent AD, that's a bonus.