Life after Summer with Grandchildren

This summer was our best with grandchildren. Although we always enjoy having them visit us, for some reason this year seemed to be great in every way. Of course, the trip to NYC with Brian was a highlight, but we also enjoyed the twins as well as Taylor. They overlapped for 3 nights which made all 3 of them happy.

Taylor left a week ago yesterday. The following day I attended a symposium sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association. Kate had received a brochure about it the weekend before and thought I might be interested in going. The focus was on understanding what life is like from the Alzhheimer’s patient’s point of view. I took her suggestion to mean that she might like me to attend; so I signed up.

Much of the information covered was repetitive, but it was good to hear what is currently going on in the field, medications, etc. The bottom line is that there are still no medications that clearly retard or cure the disease. One of the most interesting aspects of the program was a “virtual tour of Alzheimer’s. It was designed to give us the feeling that a person with AD feels. We put on goggles that blurred our vision, wore shoe inserts that had little prickly points, put us in a darkened room, and gave us quick instructions on tasks we were to do. It was hard to find items, we couldn’t remember the instructions, and general felt foolish and dumb.

That night as we went to dinner Kate asked me about the conference. I told her about the virtual tour, and she acknowledged that it was similar to the way she feels. We continue to see things that indicate the nature of the disease. One is that she doesn’t remember new things very well at all. That means if we decide to do something at one point during the day, she won’t remember it later. For example, we discussed getting a present for Jan Greeley whose birthday is today. They are due to arrive for lunch in the next hour or so. This morning when I mentioned the present for Jan, she had completely forgotten.