Friday, January 16, 2009

For Those Whose Lives Are Touched By Loved Ones With Dementia

Trish Berg

I received a neat little workbook in the mail, and wanted to share the information with you all.

If you have a family member with any memory loss, this is for you.

My dad, Peter, was one of the most intelligent people I ever knew. He was an engineer, an inventor. He had worked on the NASA missions in the 60's back when they were flying the Apollo aircraft out in space. He helped design huge plants out west that turned shale into oil. He traveled around the country to work on various engineering project over my lifetime, and I never thought his life would have come down to what it did.

My dad suffered a stroke just before Mike and I were married in 1991. My parents had been divorced since I was 8 year sold, so I only visited my dad during my growing up years (a subject for a whole different column.)

After his stroke, he lost his engineering job in AL where he was living at the time. He had lost all his engineering abilities. He looked normal on the outside, but his brain was not remembering things.

So he moved to Rhode Island and got a new job there. He got that engineering job based on his resume (which was quite impressive) and his salesmanship (again, quite impressive). Once he began working, it became clear to his new boss that he was not able to perform the work. So he was fired.

Then he tried to get a cashier's job at a department store. He was hired and then quickly fired. This intelligent man, this inventor of things, could not remember how to run a simple cash register.

He fell into a deep depression and did not leave his apartment for over a month.

That's when his landlady called me here in Ohio to let me know what was going on.

We had no idea what my dad had been going through at that point.

As soon as we found out, with the financial help of my mom and step-father, and my in-laws, we drove to RI, picked up my dad, loaded a U-Haul, and moved him in with Mike and me.

That was in 1992. We cared for my dad until his death in 1997. He was only 64 years old when he died. So young. So sad.

During those 5 years of caring for my dad, I learned a lot about dealing with a loved one with memory loss. Peter had dementia, and though his long term memory was good, his short term, memory was terrible.

He could talk to you the post

********From Susan Berg**********************

Some slight memory loss is normal as we age. However this memory loss should not impact our daily lives.

Mainly what we see in normal aging is that it takes people longer to retrieve information stored in their brain.

In order to maintain our brain and keep it working properly, we should do some basic things

Eat right
Stay mentally and physically active
and NOT partake in any bad habits such as smoking or heavy alcohol consumption.

There has been a lot of research on supplements, new drugs and other devices to prevent, stop and repair memory loss.

However what works right NOW is taking care of yourself.

Make sure to visit her blogs

My blog

shares information on what you can do to prevent dementia. Sometimes I site new research studies on various aspects of memory decline, improvement, and even memory activities for those with dementia. Right now I am talking about New Year's resolutions that are sure to keep your brain in tip top shape

On my blog

I discuss activities to keep those with dementia mentally and physically active. Caregivers, Activities Directors, other health care professionals, and anyone interested in dementia care can use these activities.

On my blog

I discuss ways to to maximize positive relationships with those who have Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, I teamed up with Brian Willie of the Alzheimer's Legal Resource Center to share helpful tips on paying for dementia care as well.

read the whole post

finally if you would like to make money blogging, not a get rich quisk scheme or anything like that go to and click on the red box on the right which says "Get Paid to Blog"

Thanks for your attention

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