May 4, 2013

How Do Alzheimer's Dementia Patients Do It?

I am wondering how many Alzheimer's caregivers take the time to ask themselves why, and try and figure out how Alzheimer's patients do what they do.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room 

How Do Alzheimer's Dementia Patients Do It? | Alzheimer's Reading Room
I am sitting here thinking, how do Alzheimer's patients do it? I am also wondering, why are we so surprised when they do it.

One 90 year old Alzheimer's patients that lives near Atlanta, Georgia goes missing for 24 hours. They find her hundreds of miles away in south Georgia. Safe and sound, she drove a couple of hundred miles, lost all the time. How did she do it? Was she invisible along the way?

Some Alzheimer's patients (most I believe) can tell stories from decades past. They can tell fascinating stories with all the details. Vivid stories. How do they do it?

They can't remember a minute later that they told the story. However, they might tell the entire story all over again right then and right there. This fascinates me.

Do you ask yourself  how and why?

Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room

This is my favorite.

We acquired Harvey our repeat Parrot in 2010. By then Dotty had already been admitted into the Dimebon clinical trial. In order to get in she was thoroughly tested and scored 14 on the MMSE. This means she was beyond moderate Alzheimer's, and into the moderate severe stage of Alzheimer's disease.

In case you have not been around long enough, Harvey was a wonderful tool I discovered that helped me in my efforts to care for Dotty. Harvey kept Dotty entertained for years, and she often told him things she didn't tell me.

So how do you explain that every single morning when Dotty woke up she asked, Where's Harvey? She didn't even meet Harvey until she was 93, and well into the late stages of dementia.

I know why Dotty could remember Harvey when she couldn't remember thousands of things she knew befor eand  Harvey.

Watch Dotty and Harvey Sing, read Dotty and Her Best Friend Harvey

I also know in spite of what many people think and believe that Alzheimer's patients can remember. You just have to know and understand the kinds of things they are likely to remember.

I intend to talk extensively about memory, the ability to remember, and why understanding this is important for Alzheimer's caregivers. I'll do this for the first time on Tuesday, May 7, in Erie, Pa.

How Do Alzheimer's Dementia Patients Do It?
Click here for the full blown version

After I get back I will start writing about remembering, and why Dotty could remember. To be honest, I did not start thinking about this until recently, I just didn't have the time while I was taking care of Dotty.

Now I am finally starting to understand what I did, how I did it, and why I did it, while caring for Dotty. Sounds strange doesn't it?

Do you ever wonder why?

Related Content
Bob DeMarco | Alzheimer's Reading Room
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. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
Search more than 5,000 original articles on Alzheimer's and dementia in the Alzheimer's Reading Room Knowledge Base