It is my belief that persons living with Alzheimer's are capable of more than we can imagine. Nobody is able to prove this more effectively than my mother Dotty.
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Earlier this week, I had the honor and good fortune to talk to two very diverse groups about Seeing Alzheimer's Differently in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The event was arranged by the Erie Chapter of the Greater Pennsylvania Alzheimer's Association, and conducted along with the Jefferson Education Society of Erie.
In addition to the wonderful audiences, I was once again reminded that there are a lot of wonderful people working in, and volunteering their time, in the Alzheimer's Association.
I have not made it a secret that I am at issue with certain things the national Association says and does; however, I want to make it clear as clear can be - I really admire the people working in the grass for the AA, you are to be admired and respected. I admire you.
I also want to send a special shout out to Kristen Bires for organizing the event and meetings.
|Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room|
My day started when I met about 15 of the support group facilitators of the Erie chapter. My first comment received a good laugh. I asked, "Where are the men"? Where are the men? About 40 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers are men. Zero men at this meeting, unless you count me.
The support group facilitators can be very enlightening and they reminded me that now that I can, I have to start getting out in the real world more.
I don't know how well known this is, but, support group facilitators not only help caregivers cope, they also help keep them from becoming deeply sad (depressed). About a third (or more) of caregivers suffer from depression.
The highlight of my day actually came twice. This happened right near the end of each of my two presentations when I showed this video of Dotty.
If you watch right up to the very end you will notice Dotty makes a face. A face that caused the entire audience to laugh loudly and smile. When the video ended the audience clapped (both audiences), and keep in mind this was not the end of the presentation.
Every time I watch the end of the video I can't help but be startled. Dotty had already scored as low as 12 on the MMSE, and that video was taken two months before she died and went to Heaven. How did she do it?
I will never forget how Dotty looked and acted the day we made the video.
If you are interested, you can watch a series of video's I made featuring Dotty on a section of my YouTube Channel called Dotty Live (either click Dotty Live, or scroll across to watch the video of your choice).
There is no doubt in my mind that Dotty lives on in these video, and she came to life in Erie.
Here are some articles I used to build my presentation.
- Is Alzheimer's World an Irrational Place?
- Deeply Forgetful and a Whole Person
- Communicating in Alzheimer's World
- What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Are Alzheimer's Caregivers the Forgotten?
- Alzheimer's Its Lonely in the Front Row
- Alzheimer's and the Importance of Thinking Positive
- When Alzheimer's Patients Say Mean Things, Make an Inventory
- The Most Powerful Dementia Communication of Them All, The Smile
- Dotty's Says, I'm Not Dead Yet
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized Influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. The Alzheimer's Reading Knowledge Base contains more than 4,000 articles, and the ARR has more than 343,000 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.Search more than 4,000 original articles on Alzheimer's and dementia in the Alzheimer's Reading Room Knowledge Base