Preventing Her Shutdown

Preventing Her Shutdown

An inside look of an ordinary “John Doe” caregiver, husband, sharing my experiences living and caring for my wife with Alzheimer’s. We have been married 43 years and I am trying to not let go and avoid her shutdown. Writing a diary about the events of the day and expressing my deepest feelings on paper not only helped me alleviate my emotional pain but helped me sort out how I was going to act differently the next day. Keeping up my diary helped me make new decisions on how I was going to react to her continuous behavioral changes. Soon this diary turned into this book. Hopefully, others living this same reality can benefit from my shared experiences.

Many times I wonder what she is thinking or what her feelings are because now she doesn’t speak at all. I only have her facial expressions or sounds. Is she happy? Is she sad? Sometimes I see a sad or “lost” face. When I see a straight face I try to provoke a smile or laughter just to be sure she is not sad. Does she know she is not well? Does she know how she was before? Does she remember her past? What I do to help her restore her past.

Does my wife know she is not well? Does she know how she was before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s? Does she remember her past? Then I realized “what about us”, our 43 years of marriage, does she remember that past? She recognizes me but how far back? Did our marriage begin in 1979 or 2017 when she was diagnosed? I wasn’t sure where I was in her memory, her friend or her husband. I am still not sure how she sees me.

The real scary moment for me is when she wakes up in the morning and I greet her, she stares at me as if she doesn’t recognize me. There is a gaze and no “connection”. Now I am desperate. I ask her “do you want a big kiss or small one” and she sometimes gestures a small one. If no answer I just kiss her anyway and she responds with a smile, now I am “connecting”. I pray that gaze of no recognition in the “wakeup” never lasts forever. “Please God, don’t let her go into Neverland.”

How do I connect with my wife and get her to connect with me? This is always a constant desperation on my part especially because she doesn’t speak. I am always afraid she will stop connecting with me, especially when I get that “blank look”, that “daze into no man’s land.” When this happens I never show my “ real panic” and always act as if everything is normal. Is she losing it? Described in Preventing Her Shutdown is how I learned to “connect” with her when I get that “blank look”, understand what she is thinking and what her feelings are, even though she is silent. More importantly, detailed is how she has learned to reach out and connect with me to communicate.

My experiences and actions in real time “racing against the Alzheimer’s clock” to keep her communicating and interacting every day, even though she no longer speaks, and my very personal unloaded emotions never confided to anyone, are detailed in my never-ending battle to prevent her shutdown.
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Free: Save Your Brain Now: A Functional Medicine Perspective

Save Your Brain Now: A Functional Medicine Perspective
There is an ever increasing epidemic of the decline of cognitive function and the diseases of dementia! Save Your Brain Now describes how a healthy brain functions and what causes cognitive decline that all too often leads to the diseases of dementia.

In addition, the book provides valuable tools for improve symptoms such as poor memory and brain fog, which can indicate cognitive decline and progress to diseases of dementia. We give hope and practical tips to improve brain health using a multimodal strategy. This strategy includes keys to maintaining excellent cognitive function and even successful strategies that can restore cognitive function even if you are suffering from diseases of dementia. Free on Kindle.

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Free: A Caregiver’s Journey: Self-Care For Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

A Caregiver's Journey: Self-Care For Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia and Alzheimer's
This book is for those who find themselves in a primary or secondary caregiving role for an aging parent or other loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or other type of dementia. Part memoir, part self-help guide, I hope it will serve as the roadmap I wish I had and help other caregivers know what to expect and how to plan for the challenges they are likely to face.

Managing the comfort, health, safety and finances of a loved one in their declining years is not easy. Especially if that loved one increasingly becomes depressed, agitated, delusional, or worse. The physical, mental and even spiritual demands can come on gradually, or quickly. They can re-open old conflicts within a family and usually do eventually take over the primary caregiver’s life.

In addition to presenting five rules for being a caregiver that I learned over the course of dealing with my mother’s 15-year plus struggle, in clear, plain, non-medical jargon I discuss the differences between the practical and the clinical definitions of Alzheimer’s and dementia for both the patient and the caregiver. I talk about the stages of being a caregiver in addition to the stages of the disease, the importance of coping with and managing the associated stress that comes with being a caregiver, the pros and cons of different types of care facilities and treatment options to consider, what to look for, what to watch out for and how to make the most out of the time you have left with your loved one.

I hope that by being honest about my journey and sharing tips for admitting to and coping with the stress of being a caregiver, other caregivers will understand the importance of caring for themselves on their own caregiving journeys. Because no matter how great a job you’re doing as a caregiver, a dead caregiver is the worst caregiver of all. Free on Kindle.

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Free: Breakthrough: Surviving Alzheimer’s and Why You Can Too

Breakthrough : Surviving Alzheimer's and Why You Can Too
Ann Dredge was a fit, active woman. A keen cyclist and sportswoman. But after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she became unable to walk or talk and was expected to die within six months Incredibly, three years later, she’s alert and responding to her carers!

This book is a roadmap for those whose loved ones demonstrate early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and shows that, with determination and dedication, it may be possible to arrest their decline and even recover lost function. It’s an inspiring story, offering hope to sufferers and carers alike. Alzheimer’s is fast becoming the biggest medical, social and financial challenge of this century.

“Today around 50 million people in the world display Alzheimer’s symptoms, a figure expected to increase to 150 million globally by 2050. To put it in another perspective, by 2050 nearly half of people over age 85 will display Alzheimer’s symptoms.” This means that soon, if it hasn’t happened already, someone you love will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Free on Kindle.

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