Apr 22, 2010

Alzheimer's My Mother Can Read

Most days Dotty remarks about something in the newspaper. Mostly from the food section. Sometimes when she reads the economic news she tells me we are heading for a depression......
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room


Recently my mother scored a 12 on the MMSE. She is in the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer's dementia.

She can still read and do crossword puzzles.

A few days ago Dotty wrote -- Dotty Offers Some Helpful Household Tips. It all started when Dotty was reading the Sunday newspaper. She ran across an article written by Aisha Sultan that was syndicated into the Florida Sun Sentinel. The article had very nice looking color pictures in it. I suppose that is what caught Dotty's attention at first. She was tickled pink and started laughing, so I walked over to see what she was looking at in the newspaper. I said what about this one, and she read it to me.

We read about how you can use a banana peel to shine leather shoes. I found this of interest because I had recently paid 5 bucks for a little tin of black shoe polish. I asked Dotty, what do you think about that. She said, I don't know lets try it. This turned into a nice, pleasant conversation (interaction) as Dotty and I discussed some of the tips.

We are currently out of bananas but as soon as we get some we are going to polish Dotty's blue Aerosoles Mr Softee shoes. I wrote about those shoes previously and I can now say this with confidence (again) -- those are the greatest shoes going for little old ladies. They are so soft that the backs of the shoes don't break down when Dotty jams her feet into them. These shoes really last.

Aerosoles is really missing the boat. They should have Dotty huckstering those shoes. Let me tell ya, Dotty is funnier and a lot more lovable that that old broad that use to yell, where's the beef? Judging by the number of private emails Dotty received from her articles, I feel comfortable in saying -- she coulda been a contender.

Who is the public relations firm for Aerosoles anyway? They should be hitting me via email.

Most nights Dotty reads before she goes to bed. I know she is actually reading because she dog ears the last page she reads and I check it in the morning. Dotty really like to read. Of course, she somehow gets off the new book I have for her and starts reading some book she already read 20 times. In the days of old this would bother me. Now, like seriously is it really important in the big picture.

By the way, after a few years it finally dawned on me. Dotty loves that one book because it is smaller and easier to handle. I learn fast.

Dotty is still attacking the crossword puzzles in the newspaper. This makes me feel good. When she stops I already know I won't be feeling good -- I'll be feeling BAD.

Dotty got these right in the crossword puzzle. You?

4 Letters -- Water Barriers
4 Letters -- Kennel Occupants
4 Letters -- Yogi or Smokey
5 Letters -- Lubricated

She got all of those without connecting them to other words.

Most days Dotty remarks about something in the newspaper. Mostly from the food section. Sometimes when she reads the economic news she tells me we are heading for a depression.

Dotty still enjoys reading. And yes, she can read. I enjoy discussing the articles from the newspaper with Dotty. It makes both of us feel better. Happier also.

And therein lies the lesson of the day.


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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,255 articles with more than 272,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room