The Wrath of Alzheimer's

Not long ago I began to chronicle my
grandmother's journey with Alzheimer's.
Something so many of us are sadly familiar with.
Nana has become a regular face within my blog,
as I visit with her in her new home each week.

Holding hands with my Nana..
We are so blessed that my grandmother still recognizes
each family member and our names.
She is a delight to spend time with as her memory
is "in the now".
We can have many conversations on many
different subjects.
But, most often, hours later she will not remember
what we talked about.
I try to stay in the *now* also.
Being grateful for what is
And not mourning, what isn't....

When I visit,
 we spend our time watching
classic TV shows, such Andy Griffith,
we read bits of the Sunday paper, clip coupons,
and browse magazines.
We critique hair styles and fashions.
 And gossip about the celebrities in People magazine :)
I always arrive with treats in-hand!

We are currently both hooked on
McDs Mocha Frappes!

Our visits are very simple.
But, full of great Love!

Below are the posts I have written exclusively so far about my beloved Nana.
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This post begins with the start of our
family's journey into the unknown.
And learning about Alzheimer's.
I hope you will take time to read this.
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My first visit with Nana after
she moved near us in east Tennessee.
She had only been living at
River Oaks for one week.
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A visit filled with Nana's new friends!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Giant Called Alzheimer's
The insidious disease that Alzheimer's is.
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In her former place of living,
our family watched a steadfast decline in her memory.
It was heart-wrenching.
And as the "specialists" told us this was a normal
progression of the disease,
we took their answers
to our questions as concrete.
Nana watching a concert at River Oaks!
But, Nana has rallied and thrived in her new home!
For every step she took back
at her first place of living,
she has jumped countless
steps forward at River Oaks!
After moving to River Oaks, we realized the former
memory care facility was not a good fit!
As a family member of someone who has
been diagnosed with Alzheimer's,
always remember~
You have the right to ask questions and be informed!
At River Oaks, Nana has a wonderful suite.
A beautiful view of the Tennessee River,
the mountains, and we can watch traffic crawl
down the little main street in
this picturesque town.
The dining area is small and family-like.
With tables set for 4.
And there is a family room where
residents can gather to watch a movie or TV together.

I took these pics at one of our visits!

What else do you do on a hot, steamy day?
You head to TicToc's Ice Cream Parlor!
Located in downtown Loudon, not far from River Oaks.

Our family is very happy with
the activities that Nana is
able to partake in.
Each morning Nana starts her day
breakfast, then a coffee social and morning devotions.
On any given afternoon,
 she and the other residents may be~
celebrating a month of birthdays,
taking a drive in the country,
crafts and bingo,
trips to TicToc's,
having a picnic on a horse farm,
fun fitness,
balloon volleyball,
*pie of the month* social
moon pie and RC cola social,
story hour,
pampered hands,
and so much more!

And each week Nana still has her hair done
in the on-site beauty salon!
Did you know that each morning,
Nana still does her same beauty routine
that she has followed for years!
And several times a day,
she takes time to freshen up her
Estee Lauder face!
Taking pride in her appearance is still
very important to this lady!

J and I love this place, too :)

If you had told me ten years ago
that my Nana would be diagnosed
with Alzheimer's, I would have not believed you.
I think most of us who have a family member
with this disease feel this way.
I will be honest.
It has been a rough road to get to this point.
Especially for my parents,
with whom Nana lived with for 20 years.
In my post, *Alzheimer's Has Touched my Family*
I go into this in more detail.
There a lot of wonderful resources out there
to take advantage of.
From the Internet to groups that meet monthly,
full of people who have a family member
diagnosed with this dreaded disease.

I will keep updating this page.
As we all know, as time marches on,
so will Nana's disease.
We can't stop that.
But we can participate in her life,
in the *here and now*!

Thank you for taking the time to
read this page.
It means a lot to me..
xo, misha

~Thank you so very much to
River Oaks, for letting me use their
 Face Book pics of resident activities!
And kudos to your awesome staff!
Our family truly appreciates
each and every one of you!

me just walking and thinking...