ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: I say fight it, with a donation, prevention & care giver support!*

Vol. 2,  No. 25, November 13 2011

TITLE: “ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: I say fight it, with a donation, prevention & care giver support!*”


I am again thinking about our Moms and Dads, the greatest generation according to Tom Brokaw. I am also thinking about those people, the elderly, who have Alzheimer’s disease.  And I am thinking about us Baby Boomers looking out for our parents. This is another with the  theme of family. I will do a mini series on this. Today’s edition is about love and this disease. My book of the week, a very fitting one I might add,  is “The Notebook” [Mass Market Paperback] by Nicholas Sparks (Author).

PREVIEW: Next week, in the continuing series on holidays and special dates, I will give you a post on Thanksgiving (U.S.)  …Gobble Gobble ,,, I’ll do the stuffing….but it’s BYOT: Bring your own turkey.


My friend’s mother has Alzheimer’s disease. Her daughter quit her job to be the main caregiver. Her life is now very stressful and this has affected her health. The mother now doesn’t recognize her own daughter; the mother refers to her as “the nice lady who takes care of me”. It has come to the point that the mother does not remember how to swallow and this has led the daughter to put her in a residence. 

At a conference that I attended in early November 2011, a clinical psychologist lectured on the 65+ years. She noted that these are known as  “The Golden Years”. She rejected this label. She asked: “What’s so wonderful about these years?” According to her, a person is elderly and probably has health issues and less strength. Vitality diminishes –   no matter how healthy a person is, Many elderly also must deal with loneliness and in many cases less income. 

The other side of the coin – is well in mind but ill in body. My mother has a sharp mind, but her body is failing her. Physically, she has many serious maladies – she also has various aches and pains.  She is very well aware of what is happening to her -she is sad and depressed.  Is this better?  I don’t think so. In some ways, this is just as difficult.

THE AUTHOR:  Nicholas Sparks

On December 31, 1965, in the heartland – Omaha, Nebraska, Nicholas Sparks was born. His father was a professor and mother an optometrist employee and also a homemaker. His national origin was English-Irish plus a smattering of European. The family was Roman Catholic. He did well at university. He wrotes a few novels, never published. He bouinced aound jobs. He co-wrote another book – it was published and had moderate success. He wrote “The Notebook”. It found a big audience.  He is a very accomplished author.
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


Some are:

  • The Notebook (October 1996)
  • Message in a Bottle (April 1998)
  • A Walk to Remember (October 1999)
  • The Rescue (September 2000)
  • A Bend in the Road (September 2001)
  • Nights in Rodanthe (September 2002)
  • The Guardian (April 2003)
  • The Wedding (September 2003)
  • Three Weeks With My Brother (April 2004)
  • True Believer (April 2005)
  • At First Sight (October 2006)
  • Dear John (October 2006)
  • The Choice (September 2007)
  • The Lucky One (October 2008)
  • The Last Song (September 2009)
  • Safe Haven (September 2010)
  • The Best Of Me (October 11, 2011)

Film adaptations

Some are:

  • Message in a Bottle (February 12, 1999)
  • A Walk to Remember (January 25, 2002)
  • The Notebook (June 25, 2004)
  • Nights in Rodanthe (September 26, 2008)
  • Dear John (February 5, 2010)
  • The Last Song (March 31, 2010)
  • The Lucky One (April 20, 2012)
  • Safe Haven (film) Set to be released in 2012

THE MOVIE: The Notebook”
This was a solid romantic movie of 2004 with a twist, being Alzheimer’s. The artists include Nick Cassavetes, director and in the younger period, film stars, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams and the elder period, James Garner and Gena Rowlands. It struck a huge chord. I saw it with my daughters. I like it a lot.

THE BOOK:  “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks (Author)
The story is one summer, boy meets girl. He had big dreams. She saw something special in him.  But there was a catch – she was from money, he wasn’t. In the fall, she went back to reality. She was expected to marry a professional. Her mother encouraged her to follow her heart. She went back to honey boy. He received her with open arms. They married, had a family and a great life. Fade-out and Fade-in. The love story continues. But real life plays its cruel tricks. She is elderly now suffering from Alzheimers’s disease. He lovingly visits and cares for a wife truly loved. The readers cheer – this is what love is all about. This story sets the bar at love. We all, love-searchers, now  have something to shoot for. This story of the best of love is remarkable and exilerating. It shows that Alzheimer’s patients could live out their lives; and love does indeed, conquer all … even Alzheimer’s disease.     


Getting old can be the pits. Bad disease is really bad news. Alzheimer’s affects 35 million people worldwide and is the fifth leading cause of death among the elderly.

Personal Comments

 Scientists are working hard researching  Alzheimer’s disease. There is no cure for this terrible illness. I hope that it’ll be soon.

It is important to keep your brain active.  To keep learning and to read is very important. An idle brain is unhealthy.  

Alzheimer’s disease affects many people. Not recognizing a loved one must be devastating. The awareness of this illness in a family is a great tragedy. 

In many instances, the caregivers are the husband/wife or an adult child.               

Loving is good and it certainly makes the medicine go down easier.  

The Point

We must find a cure to Alzheimer’s disease.

Everyone can and must carry on their own personal fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Caring for Alzheimer patients is JOB-#1 for each and every one of us.


1. Give generously to continue the research of Alzheimer’s Disease – the scientists are hopefully close to a cure;
2. Rally lawmakers to do more for caregivers especially the primary care givers.  
3. Be there for a loved one if he or she has this illness; in this regard,
3.1 Keep in mind, always, that this is the same person who loved and cherished you before the illness even though, you may now be a stranger to them;
4. Keep an active mind; in this regard, 
4.1 Read every day … anything you enjoy is fine;
4.2  Keep learning; in this regard,
4.2.1 Take courses if you can;

Alzheimer’s disease hurts everyone – let’s beat it!*
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours?*
Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
P.S. Big News: There are big changes coming to my blog – Please stay tuned.
P.P.S. #1 I have a TWITTER page. Consider becoming a follower? Visit –   saveandread
P.P.S. #2 I also have a FACEBOOK page. Consider becoming a friend? Visit: – Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
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*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #1: Charlton Heston: Alzheimer’s & the NRA
“In August 2001, Charlton Heston announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and would soon be stepping down as president of the National Rifle Association (NRA). “If you see a little less spring to my step, if your name fails to leap to my lips,” he remarked, “you’ll know why. And if I tell you a funny story for the second time, please laugh anyway.” Shortly thereafter Details magazine’s Tony Hendra published a list of “questions no one asked but which should worry everyone who has all their marbles”: “Will Chuck still have 24-7 access to his arsenal?” he wondered. “And does the Second Amendment cover the right to bear arms when you’re directing traffic in your pajamas?”
(Source: –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #2: Ronald Reagan: Alzheimer’s Moment
“Some time after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Ronald Reagan was visited by biographer Edmund Morris in his office overlooking Century City: “I’m not on your list today, Mr. President. Just wanted to say hi — see how you are.” He [Reagan] rose with his usual air of gentle surprise, but I got the feeling that if I had come in through the window he would react no differently. As I made desperate small talk, he held on to the edge of his desk. “Sir, those lead soldiers make a great display! Like when you were sick with
pneumonia in 1915, and played with armies on the counterpane?” He smiled faintly, not remembering, and I noticed something unimaginable before: a patch of silvery stubble on his chin. It glowed incandescently as a sunbeam slanted across his face. “Uh — the fellow who made them, he—uh, came…” “Came and presented them to you?” “Yes. He — we — we had to make space, uh — move those trees.” Mystified, I followed his gaze, and saw only a red-bound set of “Public Papers of the Presidents: Ronald Reagan,” relegated to the shelf beneath the soldiers. Well, if a poet can compare stacked volumes to garners of grain, I guess a retired statesman can call his collected works trees if he wants. They do, after all, bear fruit, in a dry sort of way. And President Reagan did love to prune speech drafts and proclamations with his sharp pen, just as he pruned the live oaks and madronas at Rancho del Cielo. “See?” he would say, after having buzz-sawed this or that grove to a Seurat-like geometry. “See where the light comes through?”
(Source: –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #3: George Burns: Burned Up?
“George Burns, famed for his love of fine cigars, was a longtime member of L.A.’s exclusive Hillcrest Country Club. When Burns complained one day about the club’s new ban on smoking, a special sign was posted for Burns’ benefit: “Cigar smoking prohibited for anyone under 95.”
(Source: –

S & R* QUOTE #1: Steve Jobs
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #2: Steve Jobs
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #3: Adrienne Rich
“We see daily that our lives are terrible and little, without continuity, buyable and salable at any moment, mere blips on a screen, that this is the way we live now. Memory marketed as nostalgia; terror reduced to mere suspense, to melodrama.”
(Source:  Wisdom Quotes) –
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.
“For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “Alzheimer’s disease (AD)”; “old age”; etc.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), also called Alzheimer disease, senile dementia of the Alzheimer type, primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, simply Alzheimer’s (as astand-alone attributive adjective noun), and folk-etymological names such as “old-timers’ disease”, is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which becomes worse as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him.[1] Most often, it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age,[2] although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer’s can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer’s is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050.[3]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –’s_disease

Old Age
“Old age (also referred to as one’s eld) consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycle. Euphemisms and terms for old people include seniors (American usage), senior citizens (British and American usage) and the elderly.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


“Alzheimer’s is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050.[3] Although Alzheimer’s disease develops differently for every individual, there are many common symptoms.[4] Early symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be ‘age-related’ concerns, or manifestations of stress.[5] In the early stages, the most common symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events.

As the disease advances, symptoms can include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, trouble with language, and long-term memory loss. As the sufferer declines they often withdraw from family and society.[5][7] Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death.[8]

The cause and progression of Alzheimer’s disease are not well understood. Research indicates that the disease is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain.[11] Current treatments only help with the symptoms of the disease. There are no available treatments that stop or reverse the progression of the disease. As of 2008[update], more than 500 clinical trials have been conducted to find ways to treat the disease, but it is unknown if any of the tested treatments will work.[12] Mental stimulation, exercise, and a balanced diet have suggested as possible ways to delay symptoms in healthy older individuals, but they have not been been proven as effective.[13]”


S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Tips on caring for a relative affected by Alzheimer’s disease

“The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Canadian seniors is predicted to increase dramatically over the next 30 years, but the task of primary caregiver will likely still fall on close relatives. The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada projects that the number of Alzheimer’s disease cases will nearly double in this time, putting long-term care beds in nursing facilities and hospitals in high demand. Experts note that, with the proper support, living at home and with relatives can help keep individuals affected by dementia in the best mental and physical health possible. It’s crucial that individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias remain in a familiar environment for as long as possible, said Anju Bunwait, a certified dementia practitioner and manager of clinical practice at Bayshore Home Health. The CDP designation is administered by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners an organization formed in 2001 to promote standards of excellence in dementia and Alzheimer’s education to professionals and other caregivers who provide services to dementia clients. Bunwait recommends that families follow the steps below to make educated decisions about caring for a loved one who is affected by Alzheimer’s disease.Learn about the disease. Educating yourself on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias can help you know what to expect in terms of the disease progression, methods of caregiving, as well as help you better understand and appreciate the your loved one.Communicate. Communication is key when it comes to understanding a person affected with Alzheimer’s disease and relieving their anxiety. For example asking questions using open and relaxed body language instead of correcting their mistakes will help them communicate with less distress and confusion.Work with a certified home care professional. All Bayshore Home Health clinical managers across the Lower Mainland and Victoria are certified dementia practitioners and can help with proper communication techniques, interventions for disruptive behaviours and tools for addressing concerns such as wandering, poor nutrition and sexuality. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. Family and friends can help in many ways, from spending time with the person affected by the Alzheimer’s to performing small tasks, like picking up groceries. Community support groups are also a good way to network, learn and get support from the people around you.”
“News Canada” <>

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Seniors shown how to prevent falls in the home
“The old line Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up has become a TV cliché over the years, but for seniors, a fall can represent a serious and potentially fatal health risk. Falls are the leading cause of hospitalization among seniors and can be attributed to approximately 40 per cent of nursing home admissions, said Chris Clark, the Vancouver director of BayshoreHome Health, a company specializing in home care for seniors. Clark notes that his staff are working more and more with clients to safety proof their homes against potential fall hazards as they and their loved one move into old age. One in three seniors will experience a fall, but learning fall prevention strategies can vastly reduce the risk of fatality and the severity of an injury following an accident. Below Clark offers his top five tips to minimize the risk of falls. More information about fall prevention strategies is available online at safety bars. Clark highly recommends this precaution in the shower and bathtub area. A combined bathtub and shower is less likely to cause falls once slippery than a simple walk-in shower with no sitting area.Maintain an exercise regime. Bayshore Home Health’s caregivers recommend that seniors focus on exercises to strengthen their balance, in addition to hazard-proofing their home. Keep a clear line of sight at all times. Attention to detail and visibility can save a senior an unnecessary and trip to the hospital. Something as minor as a loose rug, a misplaced or hard-to-see object, or even poor lighting can trigger a fall. Avoid steep stairs wherever possible. If you’re in an apartment complex, the elevator is the safer choice, and some homes and buildings have motorized chair lifts installed that can take you up the stairs while you sit safely.Keep a phone nearby at all times. Being able to call for help should an accident occur while you are alone is an important safety measure. Having a phone near the bed, or carrying a cellular phone on you at all times can ensure that you get help quickly when it’s needed.”

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #3: Sandwich generation healthier, wealthier but worried
“Canadian parents who also provide support to their own parents are in better physical, psychological and financial health than the average Canadian. But these members of the “sandwich generation” are also concerned about the impact that the eldercare is having on many aspects of their lives, according to the most recent health survey conducted by Desjardins Financial Security (DFS).”They seem ready to deal with the challenges of supporting both parents and children simultaneously,” says Nathalie Tremblay, health products manager at DFS. “But they know that this is going to affect their lives in many different ways.”In fact, this demographic totally or somewhat agree that this assistance impacts:

 Their mental health (67.3 percent)
 The well-being of their family (62.4 percent)
 Their physical health (60.1 percent)
 Their professional life (58.2 percent)

Close to 60 per cent of Canadians indicated that government-funded home care was one of the three most important resources to help them assist their parents’ daily activities. This reliance on the health care system was even higher among the sandwich generation with 68 per cent convinced that their parents could easily access publicly-funded home care in case of a critical illness.
“This is an alarming statistic,” says Bart Mindszenthy, co-author of the best seller Parenting Your Parents and expert in elderly family care giving. “It’s my feeling that the health care system simply can’t effectively cope with the number of people requiring care as our population ages.”

Opinions varied across the country

Nova Scotians and New Brunswickers were most confident in publicly-funded home care to meet their parents needs in the case of a critical illness; 71.4 and 71.2 agreed respectively, compared to 59.1 percent overall.Quebecers were least concerned about the impact of caring for their parents on their health and finances. In the case of finances, 45.4 percent totally or somewhat agreed that there would be an impact, compared to 60.9 percent overall. Ontarians were the most willing to make significant lifestyle changes (such as taking a leave of absence or turning down a promotion) to care for their parents. Saskatchewanians were least willing to make significant lifestyle changes (such as taking a leave of absence or turning down a promotion) to care for their parents. Manitobans would be least able to adapt to the loss of income if a leave of absence was necessary to take care of a parent. Albertans would be most able to adapt to the loss of income if a leave of absence was necessary to take care of a parent. British Columbians were most concerned about the impact on their physical health of caring for their parents.”
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 13th, 2011 at 8:24 pm and is filed under Seniors. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


One Response to “ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: I say fight it, with a donation, prevention & care giver support!*”

  1. Doretha Cuevas Says:

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