I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Christmas. I know for some of us it was really hard this year as we lost a loved one. I worked hard to remember past Holiday seasons and all the good times we had so that I would not dwell on my losses. I was lucky in that I was scheduled to work so I felt that I was able to make our patients Christmas Day a little more special and that in turn made mine a little easier.
We had only five female patients over the holidays. We had such a good time this week. Most of these patients are here not by their own choice so it is hard on them. For one of our group sessions I took in some of mine and Mama's "gently used" blouses and had a Christmas store. The ladies were able to pick out 4 blouses each for each other to give as Christmas presents. They had such a great time doing this...and they were very social and very communicative.
On Christmas Day I took in a little bottle of perfume so all of us could have a spray and smell really "Beautiful by EsteeLauder". To see these ladies stand or sit a little taller and smile a little bigger just filled my heart. I wish they could know just how much happier they made my Christmas.
Speaking of work, one of our readers and Gathering Place hostess was asking what she should do with the coats that belonged to her mother who recently passed. I told her to find a place like Bridges and take the coats there. I explained that we keep a clothes closet and we try to send everyone out to where they are discharged with a coat to fight off the cold. She asked if we could use the coats here. I told her we were always in need of coats in all sizes. This beautiful "angel" has taken her mother's coats to the cleaners and is going to ship them to Bridges all the way from New Hampshire. I am continuously blessed by what you our readers do to help others along the way. I think that the "Pay it Forward" philosophy is one that we are all starting to live by and learn from.
My New Year's resolution is to continue to "Pay it Forward" with random acts of kindness and to spread the word to others to pay it forward. I truly believe that we can make a difference in our world if we would all just do a little something for someone else when the occasion arises.
Wishing you Love, Prosperity, Happiness and Peace for the Year 2004!
ALERT! Support Alzheimer Research
Host a House Party, Sign Up Today!!
A new PBS documentary, The Forgetting(Link: http://pbs.org/theforgetting/ ), (based on the novel The Forgetting by David Shenk) offers an excellent opportunity to mobilize communities in support of the Alzheimer's Association's(Link: http://www.alz.org ) $1 billion research goal and to increase visibility about the problem of Alzheimer's disease in local communities. The documentary will be broadcast across the country on January 21, 2004 at 9 PM EST on public television stations. A preview(Link: http://www.ahaf.org/whatsnew/PBS_FRAME.htm ) is available from AHAF.
How can I help?
Through House Parties! We are calling on volunteers to host 2000 house parties across the country, on the evening of the documentary's broadcast, to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease, the Association and the need for public action to avert the epidemic.
What is a house party?
A volunteer hosts 5-15 friends in their home to watch the documentary, discuss it and participate in an advocacy action. At its best, a house party is a neighbor-to-neighbor, grassroots tactic that can best be accomplished through volunteer effort. A house party can also be sponsored by other organizations, or even a facility.
Hosting a house party is fun and easy. Once you sign up we will provide two sets of materials to you. The first will be about the basic set up for the evening and include ideas to help you invite others to the house party. The second, which we expect to send in mid December, will have specific ideas to promote discussion after the film and instructions on how your guests can participate in an advocacy action.
Why? The messages of this documentary are clear. Alzheimer's disease is an epidemic. It threatens our families, our health care system, and us. There is help-the Alzheimer's Association. A mass mobilization through house parties adds one more message-take action against Alzheimer's disease.
How do I sign up?
There are two ways:
And then spread the word-pass this ALERT on to a friend!
Marcia says it all in her poem found on the front page of The Gathering Place. We would like to invite you all to drop in and chat with others who are walking or have walked in your shoes as a caregiver. The hosts are terrific and everyone who comes in has been so wonderful to meet. It's a place to go when you just need someone to talk to who will understand what is involved to care for someone with a dementia.
We sometimes have visitors who are living with the diagnosis and who take the time to come in and talk with us and share with us what life is like for them. They are such a valuable resource to our learning.
If you ever want to talk, share, ask questions or just enjoy "listening" to the conversations come on in, sit down, take a load off and have a good time.
Long Distance Caregivers
Resource from National Alliance for Caregiving
Hello Jamie and Karen,
Les Plooster from the National Alliance for Caregiving shares two wonderful resources that apply during and AFTER the HOLIDAYS...please access the first link for helpful information.
You may want to share this with The Ribbon readers.
Alzheimer's may start decades before signs appear(Link: http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/conditions/12/16/ea rly.alzheimers.ap/ )
WASHINGTON (Dec. 15) - A study of young adults who have a gene mutation linked to Alzheimer's suggests the brain-destroying disease starts decades before symptoms appear, indicating that someday it might be possible to begin prevention therapies at an early age.
News | Stroke May Increase Risk of Alzheimer's Disease(Link: http://www.alz.org/WhatsNew/121503stroke.htm )
Older adults who have had a stroke have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than those who have not had strokes, according to a study in the December 2003 Archives of Neurology.
Watching My Sister..... Disappear(Link: http://edit.journals.aol.com/mlrhjeh/WatchingMySis terDisappear )
A daily journal of a sister who truly loves her sister who has Alzheimer's Disease.
From NancCall@aol.com (Nancy)
I just wanted to wish everyone at the Ribbon a Happy Holiday!!! I appreciate getting the Ribbon as it is encouraging to all of us out here. My Mom is in an Alzheimer's Unit and has been in the same stage for a long time. She is pretty functional but is very upset and agitated. As an only child, it is so hard to deal with at times but I know I am not alone when I read the letters from your other readers.
Keep up the great work and have a wonderful New Year.
From Sclukas77@aol.com (Sharon)
I wanted to express my gratitude to you all for sharing this wonderful newsletter with me.
Happy New Year