Caring for our friend, Bernice, convinced us that it is possible to live well with dementia.
That is not to say that she was in a good place all the time. How many of us are? She certainly had her moments; her crabby times, her frightening hallucinations, her periods of anxiety and confusion. In fact, she presented with many of the typical behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease at one time or another.
Holly and Bernice
However, Bernice could also be a delight. She had a great sense of humor, was intelligent, and, when her mood was good, she was fun to be around. Even as her dementia progressed, it was obvious to us that our friend could enjoy life in the moment. It became our goal to give her the best quality of life that we could in the time she had left.
The trick was keeping her engaged. An inactive mind allowed for the disease to take control. That is when Bernice succumbed to her agitation and confusion. Indeed, at times she would even become aggressive. We spent many hours online and in stores looking for things to keep her busy without frustrating her diminished abilities or demeaning her adult sensibilities. In fact, we created some activities especially for her.
We also got good at re-writing the rules of many games, simplifying them as her abilities diminished. Qwirkle is a good example of how we kept reinventing a game and were able to keep an activity she was familiar with.
Why Best Alzheimer’s Products?
We created Best Alzheimer’s Products because it was hard to find the information we felt we needed to provide the best possible care for Bernice. It was 2004. The best available information then was found in clinical research reports. Eventually we distilled the advice and the evidence contained in these professional papers into a blog. According to the feedback we got from readers, Best-Alzheimer’s-Products.com made care information available to people who really needed it but might not otherwise have found it.
However, dementia care is more than just knowing what to do and why it works. To be an effective carer you need the right tools. Early on we noticed that the behavioral symptoms associated with Bernice’s dementia lessened when she was involved with one or another of her “toys”. So we eventually created a store to sell some of the products, the games and other activities that Bernice cherished. This led us to concept of “Alternative Therapy” for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
The products we recommend and those found in our store are evidence based. Be sure to visit our blog for current news and research concerning dementia in general, and about dementia care.
Here are some favorite activities, many which Bernice enjoyed