June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month and the Alzheimer's Association is counting on all of us to share a #MyAlzStory. The more we talk about our experiences and connect with others in the community, the better chances we have to #EndAlz. Read a few of our stories below.
Mary Lynn Pannen, BSN, RN
Founder and President
"I walked into the skilled nursing home dining room and remember it as being bright and sunny. Sitting over at a table with a nurse’s aide was my mother. She was being fed. I told the aide I would take over and sat down. My mother in her last stage of dementia looked up at me and I saw a brief glimmer of excitement in her eyes. Then she was blank. I began to feed my mom and she turned to me and stuck out her tongue! I burst out laughing as she was a feisty woman. Her gesture told me she was done and I gave her a big hug. This was the last memory I have of her and it always makes me smile."
Lynette Boger, RN
"I was a nurse in an assisted living facility and we had several residents with Alzheimer’s disease. We had a female resident whose apartment was right across from the nurses station. She would often visit the nurses station asking where her room was. We would kindly show her to her apartment only to be asked again within a few minutes. I noticed that caregivers and nurses would get frustrated with her repetitious behavior due to her short term memory loss. It was then that I had to remind them, the staff, that even know she had come to the nurses station 10 or more times in the past hour…… to her it was the 1st time and she needed our help."
Angela Garcia, LPN
Manager of Integrated Home Care
"My uncle called my father to let him know that mom would walk to her mailbox daily. She kept on attempting to contact her son and it was clear that she was having issues with dementia. My uncle explained that she would place $5 in an envelope and address it to the post office; hoping the post office would find him. When we came to visit her; my uncle warned me that she would not remember us - we were pretty concerned. As soon as my father walked into the room, she exclaimed, "my son!" It was amazing!"
Country Recording Artist Jay Allen wrote "Blank Stares" in memory of his mother and in support of Alzheimer's disease research and funding.
Published on June 6, 2019.