“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” –Proverbs 8:17
Hi all! Happy Monday to each of you! I hope your weekend was as much bomb-diggity as possible! Mine was great. We prepped for the first day of college for my 2 remaining kiddos and had some fun too. My son, my youngest, is a first-timer while my daughter is now a junior. My wife also works at the school and reported to duty as administrative assistant to one of the college deans, as she has for 6 or 7 school years now. But things are not the norm, with the Rona lurking behind every bush. Praying? Yes, me too…
Such was our topic, to an extent, in my 2-day training Thursday and Friday. (Reminder: in addition to being IT director, I am also disaster planning/preparedness director for my 17 counties in Mo.). In said training, we spent 8 hours disaster planning for winter emergencies. I know…it is 90 degrees here right now. I also know that the training was Zoom-broadcast from Hawaii (insert your own joke here…) who would SEEM to not be as big on winter emergency planning as it would appear on the surface. However, I gleaned a tremendous amount and will now slice, dice, puree and press the topic into a discussion on dementia thusly:
Five Things You Can Learn About Dementia From Studying Winter Storms in August when it is 90 Outside
- Be prepared for the unexpected– During an informal part of our disaster training, we were discussing the many extreme and odd things that have happened in 2020 (re: Murder Hornets!), and we came to the safe conclusion that there will be hurricanes this winter that sling Yetis down on us. In dementia, it is safe to expect the unexpected…but go extreme with it. It was somewhat unexpected to have expected mom to forget my name so quickly. It was extremely odd to have her remember how to play a piano so well even being practically non-verbal….or to have her sharing teeth with the others…
- Prepare when you don’t seem to need to– Quick quiz: When do you need to prepare for a toilet paper shortage? Before, during, or after it has started? A disaster kit should include things that could be a problem to do without. (I know…nobody could have predicted that…but we will next time.) As we age, especially if our family seems to have a propensity for dementia or if we have other health concerns that could enhance risk, we should prepare early for dementia. Make a trust with the help of an elder law attorney. Be sure your loved ones know your plans. Discuss with family/friends all of the aging issues and work through them early…before the Yetis start falling.
- Take notes– I am a note-taker. I took quite a few notes on winter weather preparedness. (70% of all fatalities in winter weather emergencies are completely preventable!) Sometimes I share notes with others and other times I just do so to hammer home a memory…but they are important. In dementia, notes come to mind twice: Take notes as in the previous tidbit. Make notes of your accounts, your passwords, your favorite things, the stories, your favorite recipe. There are so many things that will be gone if we don’t document them…do it early and often even before warning signs. BUT, excessive NEED for notes and lists to perform daily living can actually be a sign you are struggling. Do you need a recipe on a dish you have cooked weekly for 25 years? Do you write directions to a location you frequent in case you lose your way? Excessive lists can be your sign that it is time to visit the doc. Remember, there are many things that mimic dementia and remember that there are some treatments that help in early stage dementia…but you have to catch it quickly.
- Seems odd– It does seem odd to think about excessive cold when it is excessively hot outside. I get it. However, there is time to do so then… Another odd temp issue: Dementia patients can completely get hot and cold confused. My mom used to demand (!!!) to wear mittens when we would go on walks in August. I realize that your extremities can get cold in certain circumstances as you age…I get it. However, not at 100 degrees. Such a sad disease. 🙁
- Time flies– It will be winter before you know it. It just will. Time, as I age, speeds faster and faster (or maybe I go slower and slower and live passes me by??). However, it trees will be changing, the pumpkin spice will be on every Wal-Mart end cap and the summer will be forgotten. Whether you have dementia, have a loved one with it, or are just riding the age train waiting, remember that time is flying and, statistically-speaking, even if you know nobody with dementia now, you will. Make the most of every day. Live for something bigger that a paycheck or a sports season (Go Cardinals!). Join in in the fight to #EndALZ . The clock is ticking…
Update: Nothing new to report. I get to hang with mom Wednesday again and I will have more to report.
Weight Watchers update: List nearly 2 this week for a total of just over 80 lost since January. 🙂 Woot…
Dad joke of the day: Q: Why did the kid throw the clock out the window?
A: He wanted to see time fly.
and a bonus:
“I was going to tell a time-traveling joke, but you guys didn’t like it.”