Category Navigating Alzheimer’s

Dementia-Style Holidays

When Alzheimer’s is on the scale, a drop of anything can send everything crashing. Families long for the traditions that mark the holidays. Special foods, music, colors, clothing, and decor trigger emotions and tie memories of the past with the ones we make today. Sadly, our meaningful traditions are likely to be too much for […]

The Long Inevitable Good-Bye

Marshall passed away 8 months ago today. His passage still disturbs me. Witnessing such a strong, active man decline over more than 15 years and then in the end to become so very frail, dependent on total care for every basic need, retching from drug withdrawal, and unable to communicate, was death by a thousand […]

Walking Away from Alzheimer’s Disease

We are counting down the days to the Alzheimer’s Association Walk in my area. I’ll be walking again in honor of my husband, Marshall Brodien, who passed away this past March. I truly do appreciate all who support me and the rest of us who get out there. More than 5.7 million Americans are diagnosed […]

Easing Our Way Out of this World

We don’t want to talk or think about it. It’s rarely pretty. Some fear what happens afterwards, and we’d rather cling to what we do know, even if it’s not all that great. Death scares most of us, partly due to the fact that those of us who witness loved ones dying often see them […]

Speak to Me

We are people on the move. Work and leisure take us all over the world, and speaking at least a handful of phrases in the local tongue is not only personally helpful but courteous to those we encounter. With a few words, our ability to connect and learn from diverse peoples grows considerably. Actually, there […]

Love Them Where They Are

Like sunshine on an overcast day rays of the man I knew peek through the clouds leaving me longing for more. How well we who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease know the feelings of this poem found in the beginning of my book, Navigating Alzheimer’s. One minute our mother seems to recognize us and […]

Memory Keepers

“You think you’re so smart, but you married me,” Marshall would say when he knew I was right about something we debated. He didn’t like to acknowledge when he was wrong. I was OK with that. His response always made me laugh. Shared jokes such as this are one of the many things Alzheimer’s robs […]

We Can’t Know for Sure

We want to know how and when. And we want to know now! In our age of information, we have little patience for situations that aren’t easily answered with data, definitive answers, and quick fixes. We just want to take a pill or pay the bill and get on with things. Yet, there are so […]

Paying the Managed Care Tab

Providing safe, healthy, loving care for our loved one with Alzheimer’s disease often ultimately means moving them to a care facility. When our loved one’s needs are beyond what one person can provide, a team of caregivers is required. Making that decision is heart wrenching. We begin this path with the full intention of providing […]

The Magician’s Escape Plan

For all the years Marshall’s continued his downward spiral into Alzheimer’s disease, he’s remained otherwise healthy. He’s had symptoms disruptive to daily living since at least 2004. That’s 15 years and counting. Today what he typically remembers of his past is jumbled, understands little of what’s happening in the present, and he needs assistance with […]