Care MAP: Dealing with Dementia

Parkinson’s Foundation


While not everyone with Parkinson’s disease develops dementia, some do, and it can have a big impact on caregiver stress. In this video, a woman whose father had Parkinson’s disease dementia advises other caregivers to remember that it is the disease talking, not your loved one.

Mental Health and Mental Exercise

There will always be obstacles and challenges that stand in your way. Building mental strength will help you develop resilience to those potential hazards so you can continue on your journey to success.

Amy Morin

Mental acuity is sharpness of the mind. Things considered in determining a person’s mental acuity are memory, focus, concentration, and understanding. An elderly person with Alzheimer’s has decreasing mental acuity. He is less likely to remember exactly how or when something happened than he was in his youth.

Growing up and singing at church was a highlight each and every time. My grandfather played the guitar and he would have his grandchildren learn Gospel songs. He wasn’t in favor of taking printed words up with us to sing, we had to memorize them. To this very day I can recall many of those songs without much trouble.

There were a couple of years that my family spent at least a week at a Bible camp. There was always a place for children to go so that the adults could enjoy the evening services. It was at those places for the children that we were taught how to quote the Books of the Bible. By the end of the week I had learned all sixty-six books. I still can quote them, maybe not as fast, but still can manage reciting them.

Memorization I feel is one way to strengthen our minds, end result being a sound mind.

“All things seek for comfort and no one wants discomfort. A sound mind does not just improve speed; it increases efficiency and joy, and bond the body and the soul perfectly as well!”
― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

The Canadian Mental Health Association gives some things that can be done to strengthen our mental health.

  1. Exercise
  2. Eat well
  3. Watch what you eat
  4. Watch what you drink

They have much more things to do to build and strengthen mental health!

Ever have trouble remembering the name of someone. I learned a little insight on how to improve the memory of people’s names. Try to use the person’s name within ninety seconds after hearing it. You can also try association to remember a name. Maybe, if the name brings to mind a certain food, like cheese, use that association to remember the name.

So dear reader my physical body is in need of repair, I can still work with exercises to strengthen my mental health.

Mental Illness – Alzheimer

By Peter Holley

“It really is the long, long goodbye,” she told Wallace of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

“When you come right down to it, you’re in it alone, and there’s nothing that anybody can do for you,” she added, her stoic eyes turning watery. “So it’s lonely.” – Nancy Reagan speaking about President Ronald Reagan.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Source: Alzheimer Society Canada

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that destroys brain cells, causing thinking ability and memory to deteriorate over time. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, and is irreversible.

Alzheimer is now the most common type of the disease, dementia. Like the dementia that I wrote about that was in Lillian, my best friend’s mother, it also changes the personality of the person. It’s target is the brain changing how the person thinks, acts, and feels. It is a slow acting disease that in the end leaves it’s target just an empty shell of once somebody that was vibrant with a twinkle in their eye.

The Alzheimer’s Society lists the different stages and the progression of the disease.

Early stage: Symptoms are mild. A person at this stage is fully aware of their condition and only needs minimal assistance, if requested.

Middle stage: Symptoms start becoming more noticeable. More assistance will be needed to help the person living with Alzheimer’s accomplish daily tasks.

Late stage: Once the person reaches this stage, they will eventually become unable to communicate verbally or look after themselves. Quality of care is important to ensure that the person has quality of life.

End-of-life: Cognitive decline has progressed to the point where the person needs 24-hour care. The focus shifts to palliative care and comfort to ensure quality of death.

Source: Alzheimer Society

Just recently my daughter wrote about her mother and how she is now living with her. It is my understanding that she is declining in her cognitive and physical.

I have not met a person who suffers from this form of dementia. Having watched Lillian decline over a couple of years was so difficult at the best of times. Alzheimer is no different, it robs it’s target and those who love them. It brings about a time of extreme stress giving the onlooker feeling helpless. If caught early, it is my understanding, that there are things to give the person a somewhat better quality of life.

So dear reader, again like I closed the previous post, I hope I live long enough to see some type of treatment to fight all the various forms of dementia mental illness!

© d. m. bourne

A Slow Decline

I met her shortly after becoming acquainted with my best friend. It was his mother, Lillian. She was a vibrant woman in her eighties who loved doing crossword puzzles, baking, and enjoyed a good laugh.

Every Christmas Eve I would have her and my best friend over for a small meal. I would sit and visit with them. One time my best friend was looking through some pictures of Lillian and myself when he noticed that in every picture his mother had a smile and others you could tell she was laughing.

I am not sure when things really began to change, but, I feel it was when she started losing her sight because of macular degeneration. She no longer could do her crosswords, bake, or even watch her favorite soap opera.

The time soon came that Lillian could no longer live on her own. The family had to place her in a long term care home. She really didn’t like it, of course I feel most don’t, but there were signs that something more was happening in Lilliam. She didn’t have the zip in her talk and she was having trouble recognizing people. I wasn’t long when she did not know her son, but, when I would go to see her, I would say, “hi mum”, she knew who I was.

There were days when after visiting Lillian that my best friend would come over and cry. His mother in her good days would never use expletives, but the Lillian in the care home would curse at the nurses, at her son. One time she bit a nurse who was trying to help her.

Dementia is a mental illness that many have never had to experience with, especially with someone they love. It seems that hollywood has no qualms about making fun of it, there is nothing funny about the disease. It slowly robs a person’s ability to be themselves, in their place it leaves a person hardly recognizable.

So dear reader, I hope that I am alive when they find an answer that can bring about some type of a cure for the mental illness.

A Re Blog: What are the Top 5 Psychological Disorders? — Family and Individual Therapy

Psychological disorders are more common than most people would think. This is because there is a stigma when it comes to talking about mental health. If you asked most people what the top 5 psychological disorders are, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. Let’s take a look at what the most common psychological disorders are.

via What are the Top 5 Psychological Disorders? — Family and Individual Therapy

Elderly, The Invisible


Seven hundred thousand people who have dementia in this country are not heard. I’m fortunate; I can be heard. Regrettably, it’s amazing how people listen if you stand up in public and give away $1 million for research into the disease, as I have done. Terry Pratchett

In about six and a half years I will be what society calls “a senior citizen”.  I find myself thinking about what I need to do so that I can live a healthy life.  Also, been thinking about purchasing extra coverage for all things medical.  I have already bought a whole life insurance policy to cover all my final expenses, for I did not want my daughter to be burden with such things.

There is one thing that seems to dominate this conversation that I have with myself, dementia. 

I watched my best friend’s mother go down that hole. I use to share some great times with her.  I watched as she wouldn’t recognize her own son.  Her personality changed totally, she became aggressive.  There were times my best friend would come over after visiting her in the senior home he would sit down and just cry.

I found out that many in that same home that nobody ever came to visit them.  All they had was what they had in their room.  If it weren’t for my friend’s mother I doubt I would have ever found myself visiting the care home.

So, there they are elderly and for what it is worth, invisible!

How did this happen? I Am My Grandparents!


A man knows when he is growing old because he begins to look like his father. Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Lately when I look in the mirror what I see is a reflection of my grandparents.  I ask myself when did I become them.  White hair, bags under the eyes, and a host of other signs happening in my body.

I do find that I am comfortable with the fact that I am the grandfather of three beautiful grandchildren.  Yet, they are a reminder that time is passing by.  The oldest one is now twelve years old.  My best friend tells me he hates standing at the microwave waiting for the timer to reach zero. He declares it is just one more reminder how time is slipping away.

Days seem to morph together, nights seem longer, interests seem to wane.  Even the capacity to remember basic things like what happened the day before.  I play Mahjong on my computer thinking this will keep my memory sharp.

My mind sometimes wanders into a second world, one where I start to experience the onset of dementia.  I have watched my best friend’s mother slip away due to that. Been here when my friend would sit down in my living room and cry after visiting his mom.  Nancy Reagan called it “the long goodbye” when speaking about President Ronald Reagan.

So, I sometimes find myself looking for Ponce de León’s fountain of youth.  I ask you, how do you feel about growing older?