One step at a time we have found ourselves at the edge of the weekend! 🙂 I love my job, mind you, but I also love me a good weekend as well. This is also the last regular weekend before my Runnin’ Til I’m Purple run a week from Monday and Tuesday, so I have some preparin’ to do. (There are still 20 days to donate, then I will shut this year’s GoFundMe down and start working on my Walk to End Alzheimer’s Team fundraising. Here is the link: LINK Here is the link if you want to order a shirt today. This is the last day I can order them for this year and they are super cute. Thank you to my friends at Creator Designs for their help with this project. If you need shirts and want to support a Christian business while getting a great product at a reasonable cost, get with them. 🙂
Speaking of one step at a time…I love Dr. Seuss. I know the good Doctor has gotten some bad press. He was a flawed man to be sure, having bad friends and some bad ideas…I get it. However, I am never ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater because, if we did with every bad person, there would be no babies left. Nearly all widely published Dr. Seuss books are a joy to read, especially out loud to a saucer-eyed kiddo. (His illustrations are still the best kid’s book pix around.). Today I want to mention the classic book: The Foot Book. This is the first book that was sent in the DR. Seuss Book Club, so, along side salad shooters, rice cookers, and strange double knit pants, they are a garage sale staple, so you should be able to find a copy for yourself quite easily. Here is a reading of this wonderful book: LINK and here are the words for your consideration:
THE FOOT BOOK by Dr. Seuss
“Left foot, Left foot
Right foot, Right.
Feet in the morning.
Feet at night.
Left foot, Left foot, Left foot, Right.
Wet foot, Dry foot.
High foot, Low foot.
Front feet, Back feet.
Red feet, Black feet.
Left foot, Right foot.
Feet, Feet, Feet.
How many, many
feet you meet.Slow feet, Quick feet.
Trick feet, Sick feet.
Up feet, Down feet.
Here come clown feet.
Small feet, Big feet.
Here come pig feet.
His feet, Her feet.
Fuzzy fur feet.In the house,
and on the street
how many, many
feet you meet.
Up in the air feet,
Over a chair feet.
More and more feet
more and more…………..
……….and more feet!
Left foot. Right foot.
Feet. Feet. Feet.
Oh, how many
feet you meet!”
As strange as it is, and I am never one to shy away from strange methods, please allow me to explain how these words remind me of dementia.
- “Left foot, Left foot Right foot, Right.– One of the devilish means that our disease of interest uses to attack our loved one is losing the ability to walk…while still prompting the poor patient that they should try…a lot. The result: falls. A lot of falls. And head injuries, leading to worse symptoms, more falls, and worse symptoms. My mom, and many others went from left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot to left foot, stutter, drag left foot some more, drag right foot but not as fast…and thwack…a lot. Make your home as fall-proof as you can. Remove area rugs, end tables, and other things that hinder walking. Try to promote using a walker and keep multiple walkers around as a constant reminder…
- Feet in the morning. Feet at night.– Ay Carama… Sundowning. Here are a couple of links: LINK and LINK. Sundowning, if you are not in the club, is where your loved one wanders all night to and from, here and there…because day and night get flipped. You haven’t lived until you spend some time in that little time travel marathon. Try hard to get in a schedule. When it is time to go to sleep, get your PJs on and make a show of it…and be prepared to do so again. It still needs to be safe for wandering around, but it shouldn’t be as inviting. There are lots of tips in the above links and in previous posts at the Cornbread Table. 🙂 Just be ready…
- Left foot, Left foot, Left foot, Right. Hey, blog boy/Dr. Seuss…you said that one already! Yup…and I may yet repeat things again. This, friends, is both extremely common and absolutely mentally taxing. Same questions. Same fixations. Dwelling. Learn to redirect. Don’t argue or correct…it won’t help them and it will make them sad… Just roll with them. Feel free to add a spin to each repeated answer. Improvise a bit and make it fun. 🙂
- Wet foot, Dry foot.– Oh boy…baths. I never gave my loved ones baths, but I have heard many a horror story, including from those who did give mom a bath. Here is a useful video that will help: LINK and another one: LINK
- High foot, Low foot.– Speaking of high…drugs. Two things: 1. Don’t use unhealthy means of self-medicating for stress and/or depression. Find outlets. Get professional help. Get amateur help with your loved one and take care of yourself! Remember that caregivers have an incredibly high rate of getting sick themselves, especially if their support system is weak. It isn’t weak to get help. You are a better caregiver if you do! Need proof? Here are some good links: LINK and LINK and LINK and LINK oh, and this one: LINK 2nd thought: CBD products may help with appetite and, MAYBE stress. However, so do many other things. Don’t get wrapped up in this network of groups that will lie to get what they want legalized. Just don’t.
- Front feet, Back feet.– Lots of feet mentioned in this line. 😉 Two thoughts: 1, Pet therapy is awesome for early stage dementia when the stress level is higher but the mobility and ability to restrain are still there. LINK and LINK and LINK However, when things go south and a real pet is a challenge, consider some dementia-friendly faux-pets. 🙂 Some are expensive, but all (pretty much) are cute: LINK and LINK and LINK and LINK
- Red feet, Black feet.– According to the 2022 Facts and Figures publication by the Alzheimer’s Association, people of color continue to outpace Caucasians in number of cases by a significant amount. In addition, fewer people of color assist in clinical studies, often because of a terrible history of abuse by the government and science communities. These trends NEED to be reversed! “Older Black Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older Whites. Older Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older Whites.” Terrible. We need your help.
- Left foot, Right foot. Feet, Feet, Feet. Did I mention to expect repeating things? Oh…and did I mention to expect repeating things?
- How many, many feet you meet.– Please find a support group. Just do. I lead one on Zoom, but there are literally thousands out there, many of which are on Zoom now. I would love to have you. Here is a link to find one near you should you not want to Zoom with me. 🙂 LINK
- Slow feet, Quick feet.– Just when you thought they were slow, thwap! Remember, be observant in the early and mid-stage to aggressive behavior. It is the disease, not them. Here is a video that will help a little: LINK and LINK
- Trick feet, Sick feet.– Paranoia is extremely common in dementia. Here are some links: LINK and LINK. Also…guns can factor in. Here is a website I helped edit in a small way: LINK
- Up feet, Down feet.– Zoinks, Scoob. Life will be a roller coaster. Be prepared, then expect the unpreparable things. Just do. I have had a support group for a while, help on social media a lot and hear many, many stories…and many are first-timers! Roller coaster. Sigh.
- Here come clown feet.– Laugh with your loved one. I love this piece: LINK Retaining dignity and saving face is very hard with dementia. Help by laughing with, not at. I know this is a fine line…
- Small feet, Big feet.– Just an unfun fact- Dementia hits people of all ages. I personally know a wonderful lady in her 20s with early onset dementia. Sure, age is the single most predictive stat for getting the disease, but there are other factors too.
- Here come pig feet.– OK…don’t kill me for these links…and remember, there are lots of factors, BUT: LINK and a counter-opinion LINK and LINK
- His feet, Her feet.– Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. There are a lot of potential reasons including propensity to be a caregiver, female biology, and the fact that women live longer. regardless why, it is a real thing…and it stinks.
- Fuzzy fur feet.– Tactile experiences like fidget blankets and cuffs/muffs are great for people with dementia. Here are a few examples: LINK and LINK and LINK and LINK and LINK
- In the house, and on the street– Wandering, especially in extreme weather, kills many with dementia. There are many tips that I have shared in the past and will share again in the future. Guard those doorknobs. Light the path at night to the bathroom so they don’t get lost. Use security gear like cameras and door alarms and Airtags. There are few things more sad in my experience than hearing of losing a loved on to wandering. 🙁
- how many, many feet you meet.– There are more than 6 million with dementia today. That is too many, friends. 🙁
- Up in the air feet– The field of processing visually starts shrinking the more advanced they get. Remember to make eye contact quickly and not accidentally sneak up on your loved one. You will scare them as if you appeared out of thin air!
- Over a chair feet.– There are chairs especially for people with dementia and others that are a fall risk. Here is an example: LINK Also, expect mobility to end and an actual wheelchair be necessary…but also expect that they will want out a lot as they typically forget they cannot walk. I have written far too many times on such. 🙁
- More and more feet– By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s may grow to a projected 12.7 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or cure Alzheimer’s disease.
- Twenty-four feet– 24 feet, 24 hours. Caregiving is 24 for them and 12 for you per had. Hence the 36 hour day book found here: LINK This is truly the caregiver’s Bible.
- Here come more and more…………..……….and more feet!– 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Deaths from Alzheimer’s have more than doubled between 2000 and 2019, while those from heart disease — the leading cause of death — have decreased.
- Left foot. Right foot. Feet. Feet. Feet.– Did I mention that they will repeat themselves? Here are some more tips on helping with this: LINK and LINK and LINK and LINK and LINK and LINK Sorry these got a bit repetitive. 🙂
- Oh, how many feet you meet!”– I have met dozens of brilliant folks in the handful of huge clinical studies of which I have taken part. They are working day and night to beat this thing. Don’t give up, friends. The battle is joined. We will someday #EndALZ !
I love the good doctor. 🙂 My mom’s last picture she drew for me was Dr. Suess-ish, especially the first one:
Update: No real change. Mom is quiet, eats well, and sleeps 20+ hours per day, minimum.
Runnin’ Til I’m Purple update- We are over $1000 in donations and still have the best few weeks left. I have high hopes to raise a lot for these two amazing organizations and their work with folks with dementia. Please donate if you feel led. 🙂 LINK