Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How Does a Person Living with Dementia Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Think about how difficult life becomes when you can’t remember how to begin the first step of so many activities.

By Tom & Karen Brenner
Alzheimer's Reading Room


What if you couldn’t remember how to button your shirt? When you stop and analyze this activity, it can become quite involved. There are many steps to buttoning a shirt.

What would the first one be?

Interestingly, when we ask people who don’t have Alzheimer’s to tell us how they would begin a simple task, such as buttoning a shirt, making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, load a washing machine, we always, always, get different answers from different people. Everyone has their own way of buttoning a shirt, making a sandwich and loading a washer.

For instance, what do you pick up first when you start to make a PB and J sandwich?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Why Do the Deeply Forgetful Say No

Many Alzheimer's caregivers accept the word "No" from the deeply forgetful without ever trying to figure out why they do it.

By Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Why Do the Deeply Forgetful Say No So Often

S/he says no all the time, the caregiver complains.

It is very common for a person that is deeply forgetful to say "no" when you ask them to do something. I don't know why, but it seems like this is a secret to many in the dementia community even though this is a common occurrence.

I knew for a long time when Dotty said "no" she didn't mean it. Nevertheless, it still drove me crazy, and often made me feel frustrated or angry.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Secret of Getting a Person Living with Alzheimer's to Take a Bath or Shower

One of the biggest problems I faced as an Alzheimer's caregiver was how to convince my mother she needed to take a shower. The harder I tried to convince her, the worse it became.

By Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Do you have this problem?

Getting a person living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia to take a bath or shower?

For me this was one of the most difficult and vexing problems I faced. To be honest, it was driving me crazy at times.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Learning How to Walk Backwards in Alzheimer's Care

As I learned to walk backwards I felt less anxious, less confused, and less and less anger. As a result, Dotty seem to do the same exact thing.

My father once told me, "you make your own bed and you sleep in it." This referred to the decisions you make in life, the problems you face in life, and how you deal with the resultant circumstances.

By Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's Care Like Walking Backwards with a Blindfold On

Ever tried to walk a long distance backward without looking over your shoulder? I doubt it.

Go ahead, start walking around you home backwards. No looking over your shoulder, eyes straight ahead, no peeking.

How do you think you will feel? Nervous, anxious, disconcerted?

Now put a blindfold on, go outside, and try walking backwards, How far can you go?

How long do you think you will last before you say, I can't do it?