Mar 28, 2011

In the Bunkhouse, Random Thoughts Edition

Our two repeat parrots have clearly changed Dotty's life for the better. I really need to make a very good video about the parrots. I'm convinced this is the number one go to tool for Alzheimer's caregivers.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

In the Bunkhouse, Random Thoughts Edition
I have been asked many times to write about our daily regimen -- Dotty and me. What do we do each day? Why?

I am considering writing about a day in our life as it unfolds. From the time Dotty wakes up. In other words, write it up in several articles as each part of our day unfolds.
This would allow me to describe what we are doing; and also, discuss why we do what we do and the benefits.

Your reaction to this idea?

The current edition of Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures 2011 indicates that the number of unpaid Alzheimer's caregivers has risen to almost 15 million. But, the number of persons suffering from Alzheimer's has only risen by 100,000 to 5.4 million. Food for thought.

60 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers are women. This is interesting. For years the ratio here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room was 63 percent women, 37 percent men. That number has changed quite a bit in the last couple of months -- now 41 percent men.

By the way, that equals thousands of new men coming to the Alzheimer's Reading Room each month. Does this indicate that more men are getting involved? I don't think so. My guess would be that more men are searching for information on Alzheimer's and they are finding us.

Anyone surprised that 40 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers are men? Not me.

You are a ONE, you are a ONE. What can I say?

The report also indicated that only 3 percent of Alzheimer's caregivers are using exercise to reduce stress. Come on folks get with it. Now, not tomorrow.

I have been giving considerable thought to circadian rhythms. The internal clock that everyone has inside. It is clear to me that the internal clock of many Alzheimer's patients gets "all out of whack". Makes perfect sense to me. If you don't know what day, month, or year it is, how do you handle time?

I did have some big problems with Dotty way back when. I cured her of much of this by creating a good pattern to our day. This of course included: bright light every day. I mention bright light because neurologist and members of the media always perk up and ask question when I talk about the importance of bright light. I thought everyone understood this. I finally learned they don't. It is on my list of six must do's for all Alzheimer's caregivers.

I am going to write about Alzheimer's and circadian rhythms soon. I'll include an explanation and some good ideas on how to get that clock working for you, instead of against you.

Our two repeat parrots have clearly changed Dotty's life for the better. I really need to make a very good video about the parrots. I'm convinced this is the number one go to tool for Alzheimer's caregivers. Listen up folks. You don't just turn the parrot on and wait for a miracle. You must talk to and engage the parrot yourself. You have to get involved.

Yesterday, we had Jeannemarie Mancuso over our place. She started playing with Dotty and the two parrots -- Harvey and Petey. She started to engage in all kinds of interactions with Dotty using the parrots. Maybe I can get her to write about it. I have to tell you, Dotty was having a grand old time. Really really happy.

Jeannemarie also convinced Dotty it was a good idea to ride home in the wheelchair from the pool. Well, she just talked to her in a nice, calm, sweet voice and it happened. Amazing.

I have a lot to learn and yesterday I learned a lot.

That's a rap for now.

Comments, reactions, insight and advice welcome here.

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Bob DeMarco
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