UsAgainstAlzheimer's Blog

Posts by marie marley

May 08, 2018 - Marie Marley

Pets and Engaging Those Living with Alzheimer's

There is substantial research supporting the notion that activities involving pets (and in some cases stuffed animals) can be beneficial to people living with Alzheimer’s. These activities usually reach those in the latest stages of the disease—even when they no longer talk or recognize loved ones. Here is some down-to-earth, practical advice on how to involve pets and stuffed animals to engage, comfort, communicate with, and bring joy to your loved one who is living with dementia. These tips are based on my personal experience as a caregiver, articles and books I have published, articles and books published by other
March 12, 2018 - Marie Marley

Using Art to Bring Joy to Those Living with Alzheimer’s

Lester Potts, the father of neurologist, Daniel C. Potts, MD, FAAN, had never held a paintbrush in his life. When he developed Alzheimer’s, he eventually began going to a daycare program. While there, they encouraged him to paint with water colors. Lester produced stunning paintings, and later became an artist of acclaim. His work brought joy to him and to all who viewed it. In fact, Dr. Potts and I admired his paintings so much, we chose one for the cover of our book, “Finding Joy in Alzheimer’s: New Hope for Caregivers.” Research supports the notion that activities using art
February 07, 2018 - Marie Marley

Using Music to Engage and Comfort People Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

Music has the power to reach people with Alzheimer’s disease on a deep level. Many patients can sing songs long after their Alzheimer’s has progressed beyond the point of recognizing loved ones, dressing themselves, or even remembering what happened five minutes earlier.I personally used to listen to music on a regular basis with my 92-year-old Romanian soul mate and he always enjoyed it. His face would light up and he would move in time with the music. Sometimes he would hum along.Two instances stand out. One was when I pretended to be conducting the music, emulating the type of “wild”
May 04, 2017 - Marie Marley

Nursing Home Placement: Damned if You Do – Damned if You Don’t

Caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease must make some extremely difficult decisions. One decision they may face is whether to place their loved one in a care facility of some type. Virtually no one wants to do it and few if any people want to go. This will be one of the most difficult, heart-wrenching decisions you, as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, will ever have to make. What if you have to work full-time and can’t provide the 24/7 care dementia patients require – especially those in the later stages of the disease? What if you can’t afford an in-home
February 13, 2017 - Marie Marley

Do You Want to Be Right or Have Peace?

One night I was helping Ed, my Romanian life partner of 30 years, pay his bills. He’d been showing signs of dementia and always needed assistance with that task. Unfortunately, I put the stamp on an envelope a little askew. When Ed noticed, he lost it. “Marie,” he hollered, putting his glass of vodka down forcefully and slamming his fist on the table. “Look what you did. It’s crooked. You r-r-ruined a perfectly good stamp!” “Ed,” I said loudly, caught off guard and angered by his outburst, “It doesn’t matter. The post office doesn’t care if it’s on straight. They