Friday, August 23, 2013

Dotty Lived with Alzheimer's, but did not let it define her

Dotty 2 months before her death, why did she look better than she had in over 8 years?

By +Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Click to play.

Dotty 2 months before her death,
why did she look better than she had in over 8 years?

I'm sitting here thinking about my mom, Dotty, on this beautiful Friday morning in Delray Beach, Florida.

Many of you are new here to the Alzheimer's Reading Room, so let me bring you up to date.

I took care of my mother from November 17, 2003 until she went to Heaven on May 25, 2012.

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It is not unusual for Alzheimer's caregivers to go 8 or more years in their role of primary caregiver.

Caregivers are now often called Care Partners by the way.

It was never intended but Dotty became a much beloved character worldwide here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

As I think about that I am really amazed.

If you want to get a sense about how our readers felt about Dotty (and me) you can use the blog archive to search the month of May, 2012, and read all about our last 3 weeks together.

I started writing about Dotty, and more specifically about what Dotty and I were doing, thanks to the advice of Tony Polk. He strongly suggested that I do it, and I did. Thanks Tony.

There are so many things that stand out about Dotty it would take a long time to relate them to those of you who are new. Of course, it is all here on the ARR so you can search for more about Dotty. We started writing seriously in 2009.

One thing that always stands out is the video I made with Dotty and Jeannemarie two months before Dotty died and went to Heaven. I continue to watch that video and it amazes me every single time.

Dotty was so lucid and so communicative. You could also see her vulnerability.

I will go ahead and say it,

I cannot believe that video, it is really so remarkable.

When I speak publicly I always play that video. People laugh and at the end they clap. Every time.

Every time I feel amazed.

One thing for certain, the video proves a point I am always trying to make -- you get to decide burden or Joy?

For those of you that are new, here are some links to Dotty. For those of you who have been with me a long time, you might need some Kleenex.

This article will bring the video I mentioned into focus - Share Dotty with the World.

Or, you can jump right to the video on YouTube - 95 Year Old Alzheimer's Patient Colors Beautifully and Talks About It. If you go to YouTube please click the Like button and share the video (it is easy to do on YouTube). You can also watch more video when you are over on YouTube and even hear and watch Dotty sing.

Here is a link to very nice article Pamela Kelley wrote about Dotty a few days after her death - Did Dotty Survive Alzheimer's?

Judith Graham also wrote a very nice article about us after Dotty's death - Blogger’s journey in ‘Alzheimer’s World’ brings perspective to national plan.

This one will really remind Dotty's fans of the feisty old girl - Dotty Said, "That Woman is an *ss".

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Original content Alzheimer's Reading Room.