How To Visit Your Confused Loved One-A Follow Up Post With Makenna

Wow, you guys.  I’ve gotten a lot of feed back from my last post, Why You Should Visit Your Confused Loved One-Even If It Makes You Sad.  Thank you for sharing 261 times!  If it makes just one person decide to go visit their loved one, I will be ecstatic.  So, a few people have brought up some questions about HOW to visit your confused one.  They’re ready to put on their thoughtful pants and visit, but they aren’t sure what to do once they get there.  My friend Makenna Buffington lost her father to Alzheimer’s.  She knows first hand how important it is to visit and through her experiences, has given me some great pointers on how to visit someone who is confused.  How do you visit?  What do you say?  What do you not say?  How do you connect?  What about the awkwardness?  Makenna and I have put together some helpful tips through our own personal visits with our family members, while it is aimed towards moderate to severe dementia, these words can serve as a guide for any stage: Continue reading

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Why You Should Visit Your Confused Loved One-Even If It Makes You Sad

I visited my Grandbetty’s old house last week and it brought back a flood of memories (no pun intended).  I wrote a blog about my Grandbetty after Alzheimer’s, but most of my memories are of her before.  When she knew my name.  When she wanted to take a thousand pictures of me by her azalea bushes.  When she wanted to feed me, even when I wasn’t hungry.  I was with her when she died.  I sat with her several times a week for the two years she didn’t know me anymore.  She was still the same person, just confused.  Sometimes, she would get angry.  Not often, but sometimes.  If she got angry with me, I would leave the room and collect myself.  I wasn’t mad at her, but I was hurt.  It didn’t matter that she didn’t know what she was saying.  Words hurt.  I had to cry a little and then I had to come back-because this was the only time in her entire life when she REALLY needed me.   Continue reading

God Never Said Life Would Be Easy

In the midst of another tragedy, the age old question is recirculating: “Why does God let bad things happen?”  If God is real and great and powerful, why does He just sit back and watch as our lives take what seem like meaningless, harsh twists and turns?  Why did He let my grandmother get Alzheimer’s?  Why did He let my friend get murdered?  Why did He allow 9/11?  Why did He let a psychopath go through with a mass shooting?  Why does He allow a woman carry a baby and then let it be born without a heartbeat? Continue reading

The Silver Lining of Alzheimer’s Disease

Colonel C.T. Boys, Betty's husband and my Papa
Colonel C.T. Boys, Betty’s husband and my Papa

There she was, both feet planted on the headboard, staring at the enormous portrait hanging above her bed.  She admired the man in the picture and the work of the artist, not knowing that it was actually she who had painted it.  She couldn’t place him, but she knew him.  She would do this so often that eventually the painting was removed.  It was dangerous for her to flip around in bed all the time and it confused her to wonder who the man was and why she seemed to know this piece so well.  Her son took it home with him and hung it on his own wall.  He could appreciate the memory of his father without doing somersaults off the furniture. Continue reading