Alzheimer's disease · Caregiving · Language

The language instinct? / June 7, 2006

Although my mother’s memory lapses and confusion spells have snuck up on me over several years, I can well remember the first time I heard a language failure. I believe this failure is called aphasia, and we were in the emergency room after a long visit for a scary but non-life-threatening situation. It was actually the… Continue reading The language instinct? / June 7, 2006

Alzheimer's disease · Assisted living · Caregiver · Caregiving · Depression · Grief · Language

Blues / April 28, 2007

I didn’t want to let April go by without a word. I’ve started several posts over the past two months but have been unable to finish them. I knew that I would have a period of adjustment to my mother’s new living situation, and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to find myself depressed. When… Continue reading Blues / April 28, 2007

Alzheimer's disease · Behavior · Burnout · Caregiving · Language

Catherine Wheel / October 6, 2006

Today reminded me of why taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s Disease becomes unbearable. In short: there is no smooth trajectory downward–you wake up each morning with little expectation of what the day will bring. Things get horrible, then they suddenly improve for awhile. Then they get worse for a day, then you coast along… Continue reading Catherine Wheel / October 6, 2006

Alzheimer's disease · Behavior · Brain · Caregiving · Language

Deja vu / September 6, 2006

I called my mother from work at the usual time this morning, and she was having the speech difficulties she often has when she’s upset by something. But she managed to say to me, “I have company today.” Using my best powers of interpretation, I guessed that she meant Eva, the homemaker. “No,” she said.… Continue reading Deja vu / September 6, 2006

Alzheimer's disease · Brain · Caregiver · Caregiving · Language

The word / June 12, 2006

I’ve been having a discussion with my friend Gail about spiritual life and whether or not it affects or is affected by dementia. I’m now reading David Shenk’s The Forgetting and in his discussion of the middle stages of AD he describes how the disease progresses systematically through the different parts of the brain. The hippocampus is affected first, eroding the… Continue reading The word / June 12, 2006