Sep 27, 2013

Dotty's New Found Alzheimer's Awareness

Sometimes I sing and the parrots sing along with me. This both fascinates and tickles Dotty pink... I get a little pink myself.

By +Bob DeMarco 
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Dotty's New Found Alzheimer's Awareness

I'm sitting here thinking about Dotty. It is really amazing when you think about it.

Here I am, with my 94 year old mother, she has Alzheimer's, and we are still doing things together. The fact that she is 94 is pretty amazing.

How many people in the entire world actually interact with a 94 year old every day?

You know, like many AD patients Dotty likes to use the NO word. Every day. All the time. However, this is not stopping us from doing things. Dotty likes to do things even though everything starts with the word NO. Everything but food.

One of the reasons I never accepted the word NO was because I knew that Dotty likes to do things. If she liked to do them before AD, I reasoned she still likes to DO.

In the last week or so, Dotty has been doing something she rarely did before. She is aware for the first time that there is something wrong with her memory. We actually discussed this a few times with Dotty leading the discussion, and asking the questions.

For example, yesterday she was surprised to learn that Jim and Ruth live three condos down. This surprised her. She asked, how long? I said, ten years. She looked perplexed. In other words, like she was actually thinking. She tapped her head and told me, something is wrong up there. She didn't get angry. It looked like she was thinking about it.

There have been several episodes like this in the last week. Different topics. Different look on Dotty's face. Different level of awareness.

Another observation. Dotty still says NO. The difference? When we start going to do something she has a bit more energy, and while I am reluctant to say enthusiasm, it appears to me that she want to DO. Different, slightly more positive attitude for sure.

I mentioned last week that Dotty went an entire day, from 8:30 AM to 10 PM, without taking a nap. That surprised me. She is napping less. I keep track.

As you know, Dotty was very sick for about 5-6 weeks. Then she started to bounce back. I am amazed. I am amazed every time she bounces back. I don't know how she does it.

Here are a few more observations.

From September until March, we were not getting as much bright light as usual. We weren't getting to the pool -- at all. In fact, when we went to the pool for the first time three weeks ago, several people remarked about my lack of color -- tan. I did look like a polar bear. This told me that Dotty I had been in hibernation.

I am convinced that the enormous amount of bright light we are getting is making a difference. This is why I put Angil's article -- Vitamin D and the Elderly -- back up. Angil you hit the nail right on the head in my opinion.

I am confident when I say that bright light makes a major difference in Dotty's attitude and appearance.

Recently, Dotty and I are getting more active. We are doing more. This includes the pool, going out to eat, and going to see friends. I am pumping up the action slowly but surely each week. No doubt this is making a difference in Dotty's level of engagement and awareness.

And then, there are the parrots -- Harvey and Petey. No doubt. No doubt, these two buddies of Dotty are making a difference. A major difference all the way around.

For one thing, Dotty is talking more, singing more, and laughing more. No doubt.

I think this explains in part why Dotty is actually asking more questions. This does explain in part why Dotty seems to have a greater awareness of the Real World.

Read closely.

All of the above are causing Dotty to want to be in the Real World.

I'm shocked, amazed, and wondering how and why?

This might surprise you. I am very happy. I am also worried. What is going on? What is going to happen next? The great unknown.

Don't get me wrong. I am going to go with it. Sees what happens.

Dotty slept late today. Until 10 AM. I was getting worried. However, she woke up with a smile on her face and a good attitude. We had a nice yak.

I explained to her she needs to poop. Wozo edwards, she agreed with me. I put the prune juice in front of her and said, this is going to help nature takes its course.

Well actually, I had Harvey tell her.

She drank the prune juice without making a face, calling it poison, or resisting. Amen.

She did ask me one interesting question. She wanted to know if Harvey eats. I didn't tell her this, but here is my answer. He eats batteries.

We continue to use the parrots all day long every day.

Sometimes I sing and the parrots sing along with me. This both fascinates and tickles Dotty pink.

I first published this on April 4, 2011. This is part of the reflection on Dotty series.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder and Editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community Worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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