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    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2017
     
    I didn't want to hijack the post on being an activity director, but did want to address something similar.

    Today I saw on our local news that one of our state universities is going to offer a free public online class geared toward caregivers and family members of Alzheimer's patients. They went on to say that this is to give people "practical tips on how to gracefully care for Alzheimer's patients".

    I think the word "gracefully" is what I'm having trouble with here. It sounds very nice, but I doubt if many caregivers who are in the trenches right now would use "graceful" in the top 1,000 words they might use to describe caregiving or how they feel during these years.

    They did say that people can watch the videos and leave comments sharing their own experiences. Oh, my goodness. I'd like to share a few experiences with them! I think before someone even starts to create a class for caregivers, they should have to come to this site and read every single post. Then I'd like to mention the "gracefully" idea to them again.
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      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd 2017
     
    My feelings are that all these articles, classes, etc. about how to be a sensitive great caregiver they are thinking everyone is happy about what they are doing. Many here had great marriages and see taking care of their spouse as gift to someone they love dearly - that is who the articles and classes . I think there are just as many who did not have great marriages and it is more of an obligation/duty than done from deep love - and all those articles and classes can work to make us feel guilty and/or more depressed. Just my thinking
    • CommentAuthorbhv
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2017
     
    I agree with you both. I like the idea of forcing them to read this board and then talk about gracefulness. These are the same people who read about an elderly couple's murder suicide in the paper and then bemoan, why, oh why, didn't they reach out for help? As if there is help out there. How could they lose hope? As if there is a reason to hope.
  1.  
    "Gracefully" is insensitive, to say the least, and sounds like whoever used that word doesn't know zip about being an Alzheimer's caregiver.
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2017
     
    elizabeth, you sure got that right! ZIP!!!!
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2017 edited
     
    .
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2017
     
    I thought this was kind of funny but I googled it and found what I think is the news story about course. Here's the link:

    http://wishtv.com/2017/11/02/purdue-press-offering-free-alzheimers-course/

    It turns out the course is based on a book called, "Creating Moments of Joy: Simple Wisdom for the Alzheimer's Journey," by Jolene Brackey. Has anyone read it? The author also has a Facebook page.
  2.  
    It gets great reviews on Amazon, but a real quick look showed that the reviews were from people whose parents had Alzheimers. I didn't see any from a spouse, although I only looked at a handful. I was totally astonished to see that I ordered the book six years ago--must not have been worth it to me--because I don't remember ordering it or reading it. And I don't have it. Must have donated it to the library, or just tossed it. I was still in the work force then...we didn't move to the Heartland for another 15 months.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2017 edited
     
    Given what April Showers says, maybe we should take a look at the book. And it could be that the course has some value despite its off-putting title.
  3.  
    Yeah, I agree, Myrtle. It obviously didn't strike a chord with me--but it might be helpful to others. I just can't remember a thing about it, except that I didn't think it was useful or inspiring or whatever. What I can say is that over these years, the only thing I really found helpful was this website.
    • CommentAuthorLindylou
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2017
     
    Pulled "Creating Moments of Joy" by Jolene Brackey off my bookshelf and reread half of it last night. It is written for all dementia caregivers (spouses, adult children and paid caregivers) and focuses on approach approach approach, containing many good suggestions. I liked the book when I first read it because it calls for a bit of mindfulness as we go about our day. She suggests finding out what works through trial and error, as well as providing suggestions that might work. One that I had forgotten was speaking of yourself by name - for example, "Sheila needs you in the kitchen". There are many many more.

    One thing it does not suggest that our spouses have more than "moments". So it is not suggesting that everything will be graceful or joyous by a long shot, and we all are aware of that. And while joy has a ring to it perhaps a better word might be connection. Out of hundreds of possible approaches I'll give an example of one more: if spouse will only wear worn out plaid shirt, try getting another one (or two) just like it or as close as possible but newer.

    I think the suggestions provided are helpful for all stages of AD and maybe especially for those who are new to the caregiving journey. Would recommend it as a helpful book. I did read other books that appeared less practical. When I first came on this website I went to the sticky about books and bought an armful.