FOR GREGORY

Periodically I will add posts here if the sources provide additioanl informaiton on how to think about and deal with Dementia/ Alzheimer's Disease.

PLEASE NOTE:


SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT and BIBLIOGRAPHY from DAI WEBINAR 2/22-23/2017. You can also find this information on my website: www.horvich.com


Even though this blog is now dormant (see info below) there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. My guess is that you could spend a lot of time here and maybe learn or experience a thing or two about living with and loving someone with Dementia/Alzheimer's or maybe come away with the feeling that "you are not alone" in YOUR work with the same!


• • • • •


THIS WAS THE FINAL POST TO THIS SITE BEFORE IT WENT DORMANT.


Happy New Year 2016. With a new year comes new beginnings and sometimes endings. If I am personally progressing and if I am doing a good job in my grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring this Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing has been dealing less with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and more with life after Dementia/ Alzheimer's.


Of course, I will always continue to work for and support fair treatment on behalf of people with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and may post here from time to time. Also, there are many wonderful posts here through which you may browse.


With this change, I will continue and reinvigorate my "michael a. horvich writes" blog which deals with grieving Gregory's death, life lessons, personal experiences, observations, memoirs, dreams, and humor in essay and poetry, as well as an attempt now and then at sharing a piece of fiction.


Please follow me there by clicking http://mhorvich.blogspot.com or click the link located on the right side of this page.


Finally, COMMENTS are always important to me and you can still comment on the posts on this blog! CLICK "Comments" and sign in or use "Anonymous." Leave your name or initials if you wish so I'll know it's you? Check the "Notify Me" box to see my reply to you.



Sunday, August 30, 2015

Forgetting

In response to a recent blog (Click here to read. Opens in a new window.) by fellow blogger Kate Saffer I wrote:
Wow Kate. This blog hit home several times. Forgetting vs Being Forgotten. Anticipatory Grief vs Phobia. During the last very difficult year of transition for Gregory, I never once asked him to tell me my name. I was so afraid he would not remember. Your are right. Anticipatory grief. Eventually, I think I asked for name verification only once and he failed. I refused to ask again because I am terrified of the results.
Recently when I arrive for my daily visits, he will look at me a little longer before recognizing me but then again he has had trouble focusing on things for maybe a year or so. So I stand at what I have learned to be the correct distance, I speak loudly (which I usually do, being used to teaching a classroom of 200 :-), and sometime repeat, “Hi. It’s me! Hey I’m here! I love you! Look at me!” Sometimes I will say “Look at me in the face,” sometimes twice or three times and he will be able to eventually do that and he will smile at my presence.
Sometimes I realize that he is too distant in contemplation and instead of forcing him to respond, I either come back later. Sometimes I shower him with kisses and either he receives them, waves them away, or ignores them. Having acted however, I feel successful in having announced my arrival.
More often than not he gets very exited to see me, he laughs, or reaches out for a kiss and hug. Once in a while (I usually melt when this happens) he will say something like, “Oh my Michael. My Michael.” That is enough for me.
Being a teacher of young children, you get used to not getting reinforcement for the work you do, rarely do you discover what your efforts turned into. So you get used to giving yourself compliments, knowing when you did a good job, sometimes knowing when you failed and trying to learn from it, but basically learning how to self reinforce. You get used to never seeing a finished product in your student. So that ability I have developed helps with Gregory, I do a lot of self reinforcing. In fact when others reflect on “how good I am” I get embarrassed.

Kate's blog was prompted by another Dementia/Alzheimer's blog at https://frangipanisingaporenicum.wordpress.com

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