Apr 29, 2011

Dotty Writes Address, Not Date, Holly Cow

Let me start by saying, you have me re-energized and refocused me. The you being -- The Collective Brain of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Of late the emails and comments have been coming fast and furious. We also have some great new articles from our core contributors...
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

All of this has me thinking more there, more there, more there.

With this in mind, I decided its time to find out what Dotty can do. For one thing, I fully intend to improve on Dotty's ability to walk. Ambitious at this point sure. But, there is no downside and I believe in US.

Yesterday, I received an email from a reader about handwriting. As a former star in penmanship, I can tell you my handwriting has deteriorated to the point where it can best be described as chicken scratch. Ever heard that one?

I then think to myself, can Dotty still write?

I put a piece of lined paper in front of Dotty, with a pen and the newspaper, and I say to Dotty, write down your name and the date.

I think you get the picture. See if Dotty can sign her name, and have the wear with all to find the date at the top of the newspaper and write it down. See if she can write between the lines on the paper.

I walk away figuring this will take a bit of time. I come back and Dotty is sitting there doing nothing. I look at the lined paper and my eyes bulge out of my head.

On the first line, right on the line, Dotty wrote her name. On the second line, Dotty wrote our street address including the correct number. On the third line Dotty wrote the name of our town, no state, no zip code.

As usual I laugh. Nice laugh by the way.

So I say to Dotty, you wrote your name and our address. I want you to write your name and the date. This time I point right to the date on the top of newspaper.

I walk away to let her do it. Come back.

Same thing. Name and address. All of it between the lines, one line at a time.


This time I say, Dotty write your name. She does it, but adds in the street address one line below.

Then I point to the day and date and say, Dotty write down the date.

Here is what it looked like at the top of the newspaper.

Thursday, April 29, 2011.

Here is what Dotty wrote on the next line, 4/28/2011. Well she actually wrote 2001, and then without any prompting she wrote a one over the zero.

Now I am buzzing. I say Dotty, pointing to 4/28/2011, how did you get the 4? She says, I don't know. You sure you don't know? She doesn't know.

I give Dotty a hug. I think about it for a few hours off and on. I go look at the lined paper and her handwriting. I wonder to myself, hmm, 4/28. I wonder to myself how does she know our address?

I go inspect the area. There is nothing, nothing with our address on it. I'm certain.

Why is this so startling? Well there have been a few times over the years where Dotty was asked her address. She didn't give her current address. She didn't give her south Philly address. She said 813 Avon Road. Where she lived from 1960 to 1972. I lived there also.

What can I say.

Holly Cow.

Let the games begin.

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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 2,560 articles with more than 412,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Diag­no­sis and Treat­ment for Mem­ory Prob­lems
The 36-Hour Day A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room