Oh my goodness, what a crazy November. I got so sidetracked and “lost” that I totally forgot about writing. I usually keep a WORD document going with things I’ve done (normal and weird) but when I opened it up there was very little in it. I said “Oh C****” – closed it to do laundry and think about Christmas.
As many of you might know we just returned from a month in Florida – beautiful SUNNY Florida – NOT. I know vacations can have a few off days but out of 28 we had about 3 days at the beach and about 4-5 short spurts at the pool therefore I will not need to see my Dermatologist until next summer. I’ve been to many Caribbean Islands where the trade winds blow but nothing to compare to Florida – the wind blew with gusts the WHOLE month. What’s funny is that in talking to neighbors who also went to inland Florida they experienced the same thing and stated they will never go back in November. Too much time and money to “maybe” get a good few days. All of the month was not bad as we did a lot of shopping, ate out, drank our fair share of beer and wine, visited a couple of marine museums, went to the Saturday farmer’s market that has the best food to eat, plus crafts and a band……………the best part of our stay. I actually did not gain any weight – Praise!!
We took the Amtrak auto train and it was terrible, our friends thought so two and we went on different days. Now I can say that we tried it and won’t again. I drove us home and we stayed one night in a nice Hampton Inn that we’ve been to before. We ended up with a room with about 5 spiders (Cathy (my sister) – I’m glad you were not there!!) that I flushed – bonus – we got the room for free. After returning home to the COLD thinking of spring does sound nice. But for right now, bring on the snow!!
Holiday Traditions – “Tis the Season”
When I was a young girl I had one little sister, many cousins & we celebrated ALL holidays together, who needed friends?? We were all together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day, and July 4th, Labor Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and all birthdays & some summer vacations. It’s sad but that doesn’t happen anymore. Most family are scattered about, some travel and some just don’t care. With this season I am missing my parents who were the best parents and Grandparents. We never missed a Thanksgiving together if physically possible and come Christmas Day my parents were at our house by 6:30 AM drinking coffee & waiting for the kids to get up. After the kids saw their Santa gifts we all ate breakfast and then started cooking for our Christmas Feast. When my sister and her kiddies couldn’t come over my folks would leave to do Christmas with them and hopefully they all come back for dinner and drinks. It wasn’t arranged and it wasn’t talked about – it just was. This is the way my son was brought up – with his PaPa waiting to play with him. Of course PaPa always got the neatest gifts like the remote control cars.
My main point here is that those of us with early stage Alzheimer’s can remember all the good things in the past and we want that again before we forget who our loved ones are. We may appear “normal” to you but in our heads we are not – we are losing a little bit every day. If you are a care partner, care giver or family member please remember these things during the holidays – it will matter to us. If your loved one is in a facility remember to go visit – you never know what they understand. Spending time with them is good for you and for them.
I’ve recently read several articles about music therapy and it can be amazing at any stage. When my Mother was in an Alzheimer’s unit she was quiet and probably bored but the minute the nurse put on some music she perked up and started dancing. The staff would dance with her – everyone was smiling. I love my soothing music. Here are a few things that might help you or someone you know with Alzheimer’s.
How-to of music therapy:
When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.
- Go out dancing or dance in the house.
- Listen to music that the person liked in the past—whether swing or Sinatra or salsa. Recognize that perceptual changes can alter the way individuals with dementia hear music. If they say it sounds horrible, turn it off; it may to them.
- Experiment with various types of concerts and venues, giving consideration to endurance and temperament.
- Encourage an individual who played an instrument to try it again.
- Compile a musical history of favorite recordings, which can be used to help in reminiscence and memory recall.
In closing I’d like to share some of my funny words – the ones that just do not come out right. I can only laugh. Please remember if you are talking to someone in any stage of Alzheimer’s be patient when we are talking – words escape us, we can’t find them and while it’s frustrating to you it is more frustrating to us.
- Fruit machine for my iPad
- Cottage instead of cabbage
- Jack hole my name for a manhole cover