Third Annual World Alzheimer’s Month

September 28, 2014
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World Alzheimer’s Month™, a global campaign aimed at bringing awareness and advocacy of the disease, is ending in two days.  For the month of September, Alzheimer’s organizations around the world have been raising money and awareness through memory walks, screenings, social activities and other events. In Dating Dementia, I often cite U.S. statistics, but the […]

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Short Tales From the Dog Park

September 24, 2014

Overheard at the dog park: “I thought Emma would calm down a little after I got her the kitten.” The attractive, professional-looking woman, standing next to a small pack of canines, was not referring to a child named Emma.  Instead, she was talking about her frisky, four-legged, Sheltie-mix named Emma.  That’s right, earlier this year, […]

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Teen Steps Up With His Invention to Help Those Living With Alzheimer’s

September 22, 2014
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Sometimes the mother of invention isn’t necessity, it’s a 15-year old boy scout. Kenneth Shinozuka wants to become a neuroscientist and find a cure for Alzheimer’s, a disease that has nearly incapacitated his grandfather.  Someday, he may well accomplish this goal, but right now Shinozuka is still in high school, and instead of a cure, […]

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Do I Long to Be a Grandmother? This Baby Boomer Says, ‘No, Thank You’

September 3, 2014
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Sunday, Sept. 7 is National Grandparents Day. I thought about this day of recognition when my best friend told me she and her husband will soon have another grandchild, their sixth. My friend is excited, and she can’t wait to learn if it is boy or girl and what name the parents will choose. When […]

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In Retrospect: Five Lessons I Learned From My Years as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

August 12, 2014
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Why is life so much clearer in retrospect? With the passage of time, it is easy to look back, see the big picture and think: “If I’d only known then, what I know now.” I often hear caregivers voice this sentiment. And, as a long-time Alzheimer’s caregiver myself (for my mother, father and other relatives […]

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Can a Person Ever Be Fully Prepared to Care For Someone with Alzheimer’s?

August 5, 2014
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Earlier this year, I attended a caregivers conference at the University of Minnesota.  The morning keynote speaker was absolutely terrific — an engaging, informed speaker who was also funny and self-deprecating. The speaker’s bio was also impressive.  He was a physician, a teacher, an author as well as a long-time caregiver for his mother who […]

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AARP Feature: When Dementia Symptoms Are Not Alzheimer’s Disease

July 30, 2014
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Although it was years ago, I clearly remember the phone ringing on a hot California morning.  My mother was calling from Minnesota and she sounded a bit frantic.  Earlier that morning, she had taken my dad to the emergency room.  Dad was having a “spell” as she described it, exhibiting confusion, irregular heart rate, muscle […]

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The Mini-Cog, A Memory Assessment Tool

July 24, 2014
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Have you heard of the “Mini-Cog”?  I had read about it several years ago but a recent front page feature in the Star Tribune, our major daily newspaper in the Twin Cities, piqued my interest.  The story focused on Dr. Michael Rosenbloom, clinical director of the HealthPartners Center for  Memory and Aging, in St. Paul, […]

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Mayo Clinic Identifies New Brain Protein That May Cause Dementia Symptoms

July 22, 2014
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Another day, another Alzheimer’s announcement.  This news was announced by a team from the Mayo Clinic at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen.  Could it be a big discovery?  The Mayo team seemed to think the answer is yes. The four-year study has uncovered a third component — another protein — to the […]

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Five New Trials Target Alzheimer’s Disease

July 17, 2014
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Last night I noticed a tweet from TIME magazine about some new research trials focusing on Alzheimer’s disease.  Intrigued, I visited their website to learn more.  You can read a very brief overview of each trial by going to the TIME website and reading, “5 Groundbreaking Trials are Testing Ways to Prevent Alzheimer’s.” The headline […]

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Childhood Memories of the Sixties Remixed. Saturday, June 28 is Paul Bunyan Day

June 24, 2014

The first time I met Paul Bunyan I wet my pants. In my defense, I was only four years old — a skinny, sickly kid who was scared of most everything.  That summer our family had traveled to Brainerd, Minnesota to spend the day at Paul Bunyan Land, a small amusement park that had recently […]

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Puppy Post: The True Meaning of Pooped

June 20, 2014

It was raining.  Raining so hard it was downright torrential.  Sometime in the predawn hours the downpour had progressed beyond cats and dogs, making a leap straight to deers and buffalos.  I know exactly when this happened because I was outside with Callie, my new puppy.  Callie, a ten-week old goldendoodle, is beyond adorable. Adorable […]

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FaceTime Dinner With My Canadian Friend Paula is Always Cool & Groovy

June 11, 2014
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I have a friend who lives in Canada.  Paula and I met years ago at a writer’s conference and became good friends, sharing a love of words, travel and adventure. Mainly, Paula and I keep in touch by email and Facebook.  However, last year, we started connecting every month or so using FaceTime, which allows […]

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Memories of the One-Room School House. Thanks, Sunday Morning

June 4, 2014

Sunday Morning, my favorite television news show, featured some great reporting this week.  There was a profile of author and nerd-champion John Green, a segment on the flying-female WASPS of World War II and a lengthy cover story about one-room schoolhouses. The segment on the lessons of one-room schoolhouses really caught my attention. I grew […]

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Is it Alzheimer’s? When Memory Loss Signs Are Not the Obvious, Classic Symptoms

May 20, 2014
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My mom, who died late last year from Alzheimer’s disease, began to show the first signs of memory loss about a decade ago.  During these very early stage of the disease, I didn’t fully comprehend what was happening. I already had some experience with Alzheimer’s, since my father had the disease during the final six […]

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My Mother’s Particular Brand of Humor Was Like a Seinfeld Episode (Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That)

May 15, 2014

What makes someone funny?  I think my parents were funny people.  While my dad was sly and understated, my mother was more overt with her humor.  Her gig was telling the same stories over-and-over-and-over or invoking odd family sayings, which my sisters (and, now my daughter) and I still repeat (often in unison) today. These […]

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Baby Boomer Memories. Let’s Play, “When I Was a Kid…”

May 13, 2014
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I’m a baby boomer who grew up in a rural farming town in the middle of Minnesota.  My family consisted of a mom and dad, two older sisters and a succession of black Labradors all named either Candy or Princess. Everyone has stories — both good and bad — about their childhood.  Here are a […]

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Alzheimer’s Caregivers Need Support and Understanding, Not Attitude

May 6, 2014

A few months ago, I attended a memory loss conference and encountered what I refer to as an “Alpha Alzheimer’s Caregiver.”  I’ll call her Deborah. Deborah is the type of women who who brims with confidence, seems to have all the answers and uses every opportunity to share her own personal experience and opinions.  Deborah […]

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Still Alice, a Moving Novel and Soon a Movie

May 1, 2014
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There are hundreds and hundreds of books on the topic of the Alzheimer’s disease, the brain and brain health.  But there are few novels that feature the disease as its central plot. One single novel stands out. Still Alice is the best-selling book written by first-time author Lisa Genova, a Harvard-educated neuroscientist.  Published in 2009, […]

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Divorce, Moving On and Ex-Spouse Day. BlogHer, Thanks for the Shout-Out!

April 29, 2014
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Yesterday was Ex-Spouse Day.  Who knew?  Not me, that is for certain.  Thankfully, I am on very good terms with my own FH (former husband) which is a big relief after enduring several years of a contentious separation and divorce. I guess the fact that I don’t think much about my divorce actually says quite […]

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The Sexes and Alzheimer’s Disease: Why Do More Women Develop the Disease?

April 24, 2014
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Recently, I turned on the radio in my car and heard the last few minutes of an MPR All Things Considered segment about Alzheimer’s disease.  A few days later I googled the subject matter and found this MPR link to the audio and an accompanying online story. Take a few minutes to read or listen […]

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Alzheimer’s Association Releases its 2014 Facts, Figures and Video

April 22, 2014
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The Alzheimer’s Association annually releases the latest facts and figures about the disease.  In case you have not seen it yet, I’m posting their 2014 video, which will take you less than two minutes to view.  As usual, the video is incredibly moving. In my view, the Alzheimer’s Association is the thought leader for bringing […]

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Alzheimer’s Disease and the Early-Onset Colombian Connection

April 14, 2014
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I’m a huge fan of the CBS news show Sunday Morning.  It’s 90 minutes of quality programming that I look forward to every week. This week’s Sunday Morning cover story was about Alzheimer’s disease.  Titled, How One Family May Raise Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients, it was reported by Mo Rocca, one of the my favorite […]

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Caregiver Quandry: What to Buy for Mother’s Day When Mom Has Alzheimer’s Disease?

April 9, 2014
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What to Buy When Mom Has Alzheimer’s? Mother’s Day, always the second Sunday in May in the U.S., falls on May 11th this year.  This means you have a little more than a month to pick out that perfect piece of jewelry or perhaps the ideal perfume.  It’s estimated Americans will spend upwards of $2.6 […]

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Could Identical Twins Help Unlock the Mystery of Alzheimer’s?

April 7, 2014
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There is the saying in the Alzheimer’s community, If you met one person with Alzheimer’s disease, then you have met one person with Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, the disease seems to follow no one path and affects everyone differently.  However, a recent comparison of identical twins may debunk this conventional thinking. Part of a […]

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Alzheimer’s Tool Kit for Caregivers. Cool Graphic With Tips and Ideas for Caregivers

March 26, 2014
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If you’re caring for someone with dementia symptoms you’ll already be aware of the complex challenges it presents. People with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia are affected by a range of symptoms, including memory loss, difficulty communicating, changes in mood, agitation, depression, physical issues and so much more. These symptoms are not just difficult […]

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In Spite of MNSure Website Massive Fail, I Now Have Obamacare Health Coverage

March 24, 2014
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On Friday, with the help of two highly capable individuals from the Minnesota legislature, I was finally able to obtain my affordable medical coverage.  Their assistance and follow through is most appreciated. After five long months, I was finally able cross MNsure off my to-do list.  Those of you who read Dating Dementia may remember […]

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Obamacare Made Me Cry. My Five-Month Quest for Health Care Coverage

March 19, 2014
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Post Update: Thanks to some helpful staff of the Minnesota State Legislature, I am happy to report I now have my health care policy in place and retroactive to the beginning of 2014.  I do not like to use my blog and social media platform for this purpose, but I felt I was out of […]

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Minnesota. Welcome to the Land of Whether

March 19, 2014
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Recently, I was walking around Lake Calhoun under a spring sun.  Huge puddles of melting snow were everywhere and the temperature felt balmy.  Sure, the lake was still frozen, but the possibility of spring was in the air. Last night, it snowed.  Again. Welcome to Minnesota, or what I like to call, the “Land of […]

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Sheryl Sandberg: When it Comes to Bossy, Let’s Own It, Not Ban It

March 16, 2014
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Dear Sheryl, You really know how to get a national conversation going. Overall, I’m an admirer of yours.  However, when it comes to this whole “Ban Bossy” business, I’m not really on board.  In fact, this time you may have leaned in just a little too far. Yes, the “Ban Bossy” campaign that was unveiled […]

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New Test Can Predict Alzheimer’s Disease

March 13, 2014
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Last night I had trouble getting to sleep.  Tossing and turning, I attempted to clear my thoughts, but my brain had other ideas.  My mind was on an instant replay loop: A new study reveals researchers have developed a blood test that will predict if a healthy person — someone with no symptoms — is […]

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What’s the Difference Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia?

March 11, 2014
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About eight years ago my mom began to demonstrate personality changes and memory issues.  Mummy, as we affectionately called her, was repeating herself, having difficulty communicating and had begun hoarding — plastic bags, Kleenex, pennies and even little pats of butter. Looking for answers, my sister took Mummy to see her family doctor, calling ahead […]

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Study Reveals Alzheimer’s a “Sleeping Giant.” Now Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

March 7, 2014
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Deaths From Alzheimer’s are Undereported A new study about death and Alzheimer’s disease made headlines yesterday.  It revealed what all of us in the Alzheimer’s community already knew: Alzheimer’s disease is a “sleeping giant” and it is dramatically under-reported as the cause of death, especially in older Americans. The study, published in the medical journal […]

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What’s Cookin’ on Fat Tuesday? Hot Cakes. March 4 Is Also International Pancake Day

March 2, 2014
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Tuesday, March 4th is Fat Tuesday.  It’s also International Pancake Day.  Will you be marking the occasion? I’m planning on whipping up a batch of flapjacks and enjoying them with a side of scrambled eggs and some hot coffee.  I like my cakes made with traditional batter and topped with butter and real maple syrup. […]

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Thank You Seth and Lauren Rogen. Now We Need Others to Tell Their Alzheimer’s Stories

March 1, 2014
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Seth Rogen Stands Up For Alzheimer’s Mr. Rogen went to Washington. I’m referring, of course, to the actor and comedian Seth Rogen, who was invited to Capitol Hill to speak to a Senate about Alzheimer’s disease.  He made headlines.  First, he delivered moving/funny remarks and he called out the need for more money to combat […]

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Combining Efforts for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Research

February 18, 2014
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Collaboration.  When people and organizations work together for good, great things can happen. That’s why I was so excited to read recently in USA Today that three foundations have teamed together to search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. The article, written by Karen Weintraub and published on Feb 5 outlines how […]

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Bloggers, Don’t Do What I Did. Pay Attention When Selecting Images and Make Sure You Have Permission to Use Them

February 9, 2014

*Tree of Life image created by Marian Osher ©2001 and now used with her permission. It was last November.  I was writing a post about my mother’s final days on this earth. Mom had battled Alzheimer’s for more than eight years, and her sad, long journey was almost at an end. The image I chose […]

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Florida is Just a Balmy Dream, Welcome Back to Minnesota and Reality

January 30, 2014
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I just returned from eight days in Southern Florida, where the palm trees were swaying, the sun was shining and the water was sparkling.  My sister and I strolled on the beaches on Sanibel Island and ate lunch at the very tip of Captiva.  I walked every single day and loved every single minute. When […]

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A Modern Dilemma: Can Society Require Adult Children to Visit Aging Parents?

January 24, 2014
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When my mom was still alive, my sister and I often visited her in assisted living and later in memory care.  Many times, we would be the only outside visitor. In fact, there were many residents whose family didn’t visit them.  Sitting hour-after-hour in the lobby, these aging seniors would watch the front entrance intently.  […]

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Midlife Bloggers Want a Seat at the Table

January 21, 2014
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It is that time of year again.  Almost daily, I receive an invitation or update in my inbox about upcoming blogging conferences.  Since I started blogging three years ago, I’ve attended my share of blog events, from small gatherings with only a handful of attendees to huge conferences with thousands of bloggers from far-flung locations. […]

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