Sunday, March 28, 2010

Young Caregivers: Important Pieces of Alzheimer's Care

I was reading the Winter/Spring 2010 issue of care ADvantage. The magazine is a free publication from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. I am always impressed with what I learn when I read one of the magazines.

Carol Steinberg, Executive Vice President at Alzheimer's Foundation of America, wrote about Max Wallack - Pay It Forward: Teen Puts Pieces in Place for Puzzle Project. He is a 13 year old who started a nonprofit company two years ago - Puzzles to Remember. He has been collecting and distributing them to adult day care centers, nursing homes and other facilities whose residents suffer from Alzheimer's.

Max was one of the 1.4 million young American caregivers aged 8-18 years old; he helped take care of his great grandma. During the last few months of her life she lived in a dementia unit. While visiting his great grandma he noticed other residents working on puzzles. This activity seemed to keep them calm. He did some research and confirmed that he had discovered a piece of the Alzheimer's puzzle.

He discovered that working on puzzles is an example of an activity that helps stimulate the brain cells that may help slow the progression of the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease. Young Max said the best puzzles have less than 200 pieces and have an adult theme.

In November 2009 he received an American Express grant from the Do Something organization, for his work with Puzzles to Remember. The organization helps young people under the age of 25 by giving them encouragement, resources and grants so they can Do Something to make a difference.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Simply Box - New Tool for Collecting Information

I love my technology class. What great tools we are learning about. One is Simply Box. You can set up an account for free. Sadly you cannot set up an account on a Safari browser.

For people who are visual this tool lets you take a picture of the logo or page and drag it into a box of like items. See an example on the student resource page that I made for my 6th graders. Check out the link Famous Scientists. This is an example of a public box.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Keeping The Brain Active

When I was taking care of my mother I often used kids material and games. I know there is a lot of controversy about using "kids" material with mature individuals. My decision to do it stemmed from several things: 1. My mother had been a elementary teacher and enjoyed children's art and learning 2. It was what I was familiar with 3. I did not find similar leveled things with content for adults.

That said I would like to share a site I found that has many educational games linked to it. I played many of them and found them funny and entertaining. Sometimes it is just quick things to keep our brain thinking in new ways. As an adult you are probably good with multiplication. It is surprising when it is in a game format and speed is a factor how are brain responds to this challenge.

With that in mind I would like to share this site for your enjoyment Fletcher Elementary School Weblinks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Slice of Life

Memories - funny, sad, bittersweet, they all swirl together as I remember my mother. I tried to have everyone who took care of Mom keep a daily journal. They usually wrote down what she ate how her day went what her moods were when she took her meds. Sometimes when I was lucky some of the funny things that happened.

I wish now I had known more about keeping journals. Had more experience and knew more about writing than I did. I never knew what to say. Mom's caregivers would ask what I wanted. At the time I wanted to make sure everyone knew what was going on. I wanted a record of how Mom was doing.

Sometimes I felt such a deep grief. I couldn't bare to poke at the pain and examine it. I was afraid that I would lose control. Other times I just felt overwhelmed and I didn't know where to start. I didn't think I could do anymore than what I was already doing.

I was reading a couple of blogs the other day that got me thinking. The first one is the Two Writing Teachers Blog , they have issued a challenge to all their readers to write a "Slice Of Life Story" everyday for the month of March. I started late but believe it is a great challenge. I would encourage everyone to accept the challenge and discover your own insights.

In accepting my "Slice of Life" challenge I decided to focus on the here and now and to try and explore the funny perspective of my life now. I have been writing some brief entries about our newest puppy at The first entry is Lost and Found.

I wish i had accepted a challenge like this while I was still caring for my mother.