Why I Walk to End Alzheimer’s

My grandmother holding my mom in 1937

My grandmother visited me for a week in 1996 when she had moderate dementia.  To ease the burden of having one caregiver, my grandma traveled between her three children’s homes and would stay for up to four months at a time at each place.  My home was a stop-over one year as she went from [...]

Finding The Happy on September 11th

AutumnLeaves

My mother was born on September 11th, 1937.  And for most of her life, it was a beautiful day for a birthday. You know how it’s easier to remember events that have an emotional attachment to them?  This is called explicit memory and this “emotional memory” seems especially evident in people who suffer from dementia [...]

So I’ve Been “Running”

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When I began Racing Alzheimer’s, my intent was to share the latest research on how to be healthy so that you and I could hopefully avoid or delay dementia down the road. I haven’t been very good at this. With my mother moving into late stage dementia, this blog became more about racing her Alzheimer’s [...]

The Vanishing

Young mom on bike

The strangest thing about the death of my mother is the vanishing.  That a person can be on this earth one minute and gone the next, seems like a cruel magic trick that I’m still trying to figure out.  As I reflect on her disappearance, I realize the slight of hand happened years ago and [...]

Mom’s Remembrance

Ruth Joanne (Hall) Nelson   September 11, 1937 -- July 6, 2013

It’s been a very long two weeks, but I am back home in Virginia and wanted to post something for friends and family since my mother’s passing on July 6th. The service, mom’s “Celebration of Life” was a beautiful tribute to a life well lived.  There were flowers and hymns, prayers and poems, a slideshow, [...]

Mom Update: Her Final Goodbye

September 11th, 1937  ---  July 6th, 2013

My mother’s long goodbye came to an end on Saturday, July 6th at 12:26pm. Thank you for all your love and support. RUTH JOANNE NELSON September 11th, 1937 — July 6th, 2013 **********  A Celebration of Life Thursday July 11th at 11:00 am Living Spirit United Methodist Church 4501 Bloomington Ave. So. Minneapolis, MN  55407

Mom Update: June 2013

Grandma seemed to understand that these two young people were "somebody special."  Jake (22) and Jordan (20) enjoyed visiting with their grandmother.

What I remember the most from my recent visit with my mother is how she looked.  She has a look to her that’s difficult to describe, but which I’ll never forget.  It’s a shuffling, stooped look combined with an ashen complexion and empty eyes that I can best describe in one word — GONE. Does [...]

Mom Update: May 2013

Mom listening a Music Therapist sing some of her favorite songs.  This was beautiful and very emotional.

Many of you know my mom has advanced dementia, had a major seizure in April, and has been receiving hospice care ever since.   Hospice has been trying to reduce her restlessness and bring more sleep and calm into mom’s life.  It’s been a trying time during this hit or miss process of adjusting meds, [...]