I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

28 February 2009

The Power of Belief: Can Uncle Al Manifest his deepest desire?

Today was a big day for Uncle Al, I went and picked him up at 9 am and brought him back to the nursing home at about 6:30. The big hold up was he had to take a crap and I didn't want him to hold it because we were going to be late. My thought was, late for what?

Instead I called the nursing home and told them that Al had to shit and I wasn't trying to steal him. The nurse busted out laughing and told me not to worry.

The day was interesting.

Before I went to pick up Uncle Al I was thinking about candid video and how great it would be to find real answers to what's bugging Uncle Al. Sure enough, I found out when I put the video camera between my legs and aimed it up at Uncle Al. I thought of my nephew Joe and how he would LOVE this whole idea - so, I did this video for Joe. It's really interesting.

Al wants to see Maryann really badly. Every time he sees me he asks if I've had any luck contacting her. Every time I tell him no. I tell him that I write her email messages and send her the links to his videos that I put on YouTube but she never replies. He looks so sad, he misses his daughter, his granddaughter and son in law. I am hoping that one day I can give him a really great answer.

Today I brought him home, fed him home made chicken soup, I swear to God it is a miracle cure for everything that ails you. Then, we played some music. We set up the electric piano and let it play music automagically - Brian played drums, I danced with Uncle Al.

I thought I had set up the video camera to capture our fun but I didn't press the right "on" button. Anyway, wasn't meant for anyone to see. While I was dancing with Uncle Al I thought, "oh no, people are going to see me, I want to be the mystery voice!" Maybe my mind shut off the camera before I even turned it on?!

It was fun.

Uncle Al walked 5 minutes on the treadmill and then we went to Wal-Mart.

Big day out for Uncle Al. He tried on a pair of sneakers with velcro so that he could walk more. I keep telling him to walk. He was pretty psyched that the sneakers were only $18 bucks. Boy, does he remind me of my mother!

We then found a green "Go Irish" type hooded sweatshirt for 15 bucks which we got for Uncle Al so that he could wear it to Brian's Birthday party (Brian was born on 3/17 we're having a party on the 15th) We also bought him the electric razor that he's been nagging me to buy for him. Today we got it. The price was marked 24.97, got to the check out and it was 44.97 - we got it for the lower price... yay!!!

Sometimes I wonder what I'm thinking when I venture to take my mother AND my demented Uncle to Wal-Mart on a busy Saturday afternoon! But, it all worked out. We blocked aisles and aggravated people. I bet the people we blocked in the aisles woke up in a crabby mood this morning and we just helped them to continue on with their expected crabby day. Uncle Al had a great time, he had a great day!

27 February 2009

Uncle Al Talks About LOVE

In February 2008 we were all reunited with Uncle Al. This is a video clip from a year ago.

Uncle Al seemed clearer back then.

Here is a little video clip of Uncle Al telling us that everyone needs love.

Dementia and Hypnosis - the Idea

I've been observing my mom and Uncle Al, seeing what foods they eat and how it makes them react. There are some foods that seem to be worse than others... the culprits, processed food, breads and pasta - pretty much all the comfort foods that have no nutritional value but sure do make us feel satisfied.

This morning I went downstairs to check on my mom. I found her curled up on her bed grasping on to her purse. I knew immediately that she had hallucinations or paranoia which I know is a symptom of dementia.

She didn't eat anything bad for dinner, just Planko bread crumbs sprinkled on her baked haddock dinner with steamed vegetables. Maybe it was the butternut squash? I'm not sure. Looks like Planko breadcrumbs and butternut squash are off the plate for now.

I woke her up and she told me how much she can not stand what goes on in her head. She told me that she knows it's crazy but it seems so real at the time.

She is worried that her kids will suffer from her "crazy gene." Her mom, sister and now her brother all had or have dementia. I promised my mom that I'd do everything in my power to help her and my siblings.

Yesterday, in my Master Training class I learned first hand that the mind has the power to do ANYTHING that you believe that it can do. This gave me an idea that I will try and later report here in a blog post - why not use hypnosis on Josie to see if I can help her overcome dementia?

Each of us has a mind which is a divine tool for all of us to use. Our minds can move mountains, cure disease and bring us happiness. All we have to do is have a thought, believe with enthusiasm and before you know it the thought has become reality.

Now, you can poo poo this idea, that's OK... you are probably not ready to explore the hidden potentials of your mind, body and soul. Let's see if I can make a believer out of you with facts which I'll report here in my blog.

25 February 2009

Uncle Al Discovers Wii Music

During one of Uncle Al's visits to my house I showed him Wii Music and how he could play any instrument.

Back in his middle aged days he played the organ and had one in his foyer to his house. Uncle Al loved to write songs about his adopted daughter, Maryann. I can't tell you how many times we all sat and listened to him play this one song that he had written where he would sing about Maryann, over and over and over again. All I remember from the song are the words, "Oh Maryann... Ohhhh Ohhhh Maryann....". Too bad video with sound wasn't readily available back then, I'm sure I would have recorded it for posterity.

Here's a big key to help you if you ever find yourself demented, make sure you have video and pictures of EVERY IMPORTANT event in your life (and more)so that you can find peace when the world around you is so unfamiliar.

I have been reading up on dementia since it seems to be hereditary. I did learn that the short term memory goes first and the best way to keep someone with dementia from having bad behavior is to bring back memories that they remember. It seems to cut down on their frustration level and they don't act out.

Uncle Al loves music and it's an old memory for him that would bring him peace.

One day I had an epiphany and thought, "Hmmmm, I wonder if Uncle Al will enjoy Wii Music because he can play the piano like a concert pianist with out any skill required."

Here's the video clip of Uncle Al playing Wii Music. He's wearing my mom's red sweater. I'm not sure why but my mom keeps wanting to dress Uncle Al. I think it's her way of feeling needed where she's taking care of her big brother. I love how Uncle Al doesn't care and wears my mom's red sweater. He's a joy to have around.

24 February 2009

Brain Training

I've been making observations about how my mom is responding to her new exercise and nutrition program in order to keep her dementia at bay. She's on a mission to find a cure for dementia with my help, she doesn't want to end up in a nursing home.

One day earlier in the week I noticed that the days where my mom used the Balance game training in Wii Fit were the nights she did NOT have any hallucinations at night. This was proof that the balance games help to improve coordination in the elderly with dementia symptoms.

My mom has improved in just 5 days of 30 minutes a day on the balance game and 10 minutes walking on the treadmill. She is feeling better and her mental ability is coming back. Today, she set up her pill box herself and did it 100% correct!

I did find a cool website to help us to all train our brains, it's free. Try it!

Brain Training to Improve your mind

22 February 2009

Cure for Dementia?

It was an interesting day yesterday with Uncle Al and my mother.

Later when I got back from taking Uncle Al back to the home my mother said, "I don't want to have dementia, I'm not going to have it. Susie, you have to help me fight it off."

We started to talk about the disease, I figured I'd tell her what I had learned about the disease. She wants to read all the information that I read so that she can help me to help her and Uncle Al.

Here's a list that I found on how to prevent dementia -

Current clinic data is not sufficient to provide solid pathways to prevent dementia. However please find below the tips that might be useful to prevent dementia.

Take sufficient amount of vitamin E (800 International Units (IU)) and C every week. Refer to your doctor for the appropriate dose and usage
Eat fish at least 3 times a week. Don’t forget that fat in fish (Omega 3 fatty acids) may prevent dementia
Use antioxidants in your diet
Reduce saturated fats from your diet
Eat British blackcurrant and American fruit boysenberries regularly
Consume vegetables everyday
Keep yourself away from obesity
Monitor yourself, visit your physician regularly to take tests if you are a type-2 diabetes patient
Keep yourself socially active all the time, spend a lot of time with your family and friends
Participate in mentally challenging leisure activities (Ex. playing board games)
Sleep well
Reduce stress from your life
Drink green tea every day
Try to make your self happy and please yourself
Laugh as much as you can
Ask the folic acid supplements with your doctor, discuss the pros and cons of the usage
Avoid depression
Reduce your time with television
Learn about brain workout
Have a dog or cat in your apartment/house
Be aware the risks and prevention of metabolic syndrome
Keep your cholesterol low, avoid high LDL levels
Manage your stress, make yoga and meditation
Music may prevent dementia; listen as much as you can
Don’t take too much alcohol
Treat and manage your hypertension
For females: Discuss the risks and benefits of HRT ( Hormone replacement therapy) if you are in menopause
Avoid any kind of infections especially syphilis
Engage in leisure activities
Quit smoking
Read books as much as you can
Don’t forget to make regular tests for your thyroid function
Avoid any kind of head trauma; If you are riding a bike or chopper always use helmets, while driving your car always use seat belts
Bring daily newspapers and magazines to your work; try to make some time to read them
Solve 3d puzzles, crosswords
Play bridge
Play musical instruments (guitar, piano, flute, double-bass, drums etc..)
Make regular exercises and aerobics
Walk at least 30 minutes everyday
Make team based sports like basketball, football, soccer, tennis, bowling
Engage yourself

My mom and I talked about different activities that she does and which ones seem to keep the people from knocking on the window or doors.

The conclusion that we came to is that the more she uses the Wii Fit balance games, she doesn't hear people knocking on the windows and doors. The balance games improve the connection between the brain and the body, one of the things that deteriorates with dementia.

My mom and I can see it in Uncle Al. In a sense, Uncle Al has helped my mom turn the corner and WANT to help herself because she wants to avoid what he has going on in his life.

21 February 2009

Uncle Al Goes to Building 19

Today I picked up Uncle Al at 9:30pm. He was dressed and ready to go.

All the elderly folks who can barely talk wave and thanked me as I smiled and helped Uncle Al up from his seat. We were off to his room to put on his coat and mittens, it was cold this morning and I didn't want his arthritic hands to hurt.

Uncle Al was happy today. He was so excited about using the treadmill yesterday. I made the mistake of telling his social worker that he used the treadmill yesterday. Now I have to wait for permission from the nurses to allow me to help Uncle Al walk on the treadmill.

Instead of walking on the treadmill, I took Uncle Al and my mom to Building 19, the "Good Stuff Cheap Store." He has been asking to go to one for the last week since we've been taking him out just about every day. Today, he got his wish.

Uncle Al pushed the cart slowly, like walking on the treadmill. He looked around and read all the signs out loud. He was thrilled. He had a cute smile on his face. He LOVED rummaging through the bins and was super excited when he found Obama 2008 hats for 1.97. I bought him 2 hats a red and green.

We walked a bit further and there were bright ORANGE fleece pull over jackets for just $5.00. Uncle Al ran over to the jacket and said to me, I have to have this orange jacket, I LOVE the color. Look at how beautiful this color is!

I led Uncle Al to the mirror and he tried on the jacket. He had a big smile on his face as he looked in the mirror and said, "Boy, I look good, don't I?" He looked awesome!

Uncle Al got new sunglasses for .97, the Stevie Wonder kind that wrap around your head. We found a package of 3 pairs of diabetic socks for 6 bucks and a tee shirt for 1.97.

When we got back to my house Uncle Al said, "Where's our stuff, let's look at our stuff." So, I showed him everything and put his name on it with indelible ink. He was happy.

I took him home with his Building 19 stash and a worn out body around 3:30pm. He was thinking about sleeping all the way home. He didn't even read the road signs on the way home, he was too pooped.

Once we unpacked his things and changed his shirt, I brought him to the dining room and sat him down with his friends. I was able to nudge him to go to dinner by telling him that his friends would love to hear about his day out with me. He immediately shook his head yes as he said, "yes, that's right. let's go!" Up he jumped and off we were to the dining room.

As I was leaving one of the residents in the home raised her hand at me and said, "Thank you. Thank you! Thank you!" I walked over to her and said, "You're welcome, but what did I do?" She went on to try to tell me, but she couldn't get the words out.

I kneeled next to the woman named Barbara Hunt and she reached out and cupped her hand around the right side of my face. She thanked me again but still couldn't form her thoughts into words. I FELT her words. She was happy that Uncle Al was happy.

Later I told my mom about the old lady in the home and that's when she told me how Uncle Al told her that he was a real bastard at the home because he didn't care anymore. Then we all showed up and now he is nice again.

I wonder if Uncle Al was terrorizing the old ladies?

Oh, there was this other exchange between another elderly woman sitting across the table from Barbara. She was trying to tell Barbara to ask me how much I charge. I think she wants me to take her and Barbara out for the day like I do with Al.

I can see it now, I'll have to hire a van and take all the old folks to Building 19 for a day of fun.

20 February 2009

Uncle Al Begins His Training

Today I picked up Uncle Al around 9:30. We had snow last night so I had to clear the driveway before leaving.

Uncle Al fell asleep on his bed while trying on cloths. I guess he got tired. I would have gotten tired too if I was putting on cloths that were 4 sizes too small.

Finally, I bundled Uncle Al up and off we went, dancing to the elevators... another day out with Sue!

All the way to Billerica, Uncle Al read ever sign on the highway and assured me that I was going in the right direction. Thank God for the navigator in the truck, the peaceful voice of the computer helped Uncle Al feel safe and secure.

Yup, here it is, Exit 43, Lynnfield. Every day, he reminds me that this is the exit to his house. He told me today that he's trying to improve his memory by repeating the routes over and over to re-remember.

At my house we had an active day. I checked Uncle Al's blood sugar and it was 223 before lunch! I know that walking helps bring blood sugar down so I got Uncle Al up on the treadmill and had him walk slow for 5 minutes. His blood sugar dropped to 197.

Lunch was baked haddock, baked potato and asparugus. I wish I had a picture of the look on Uncle Al's face when he tasted the fish... definitely the mmmm look.

I told Uncle Al that after lunch, he was on the treadmill for 5 more minutes of walking. Here's the video. He is starting to feel pretty good and wonders why more people don't do it... I love Uncle Al!

Today, Uncle Al walked for 10 minutes and I could see him feeling stronger with every step. All he needed was a little confidence and encouragement that he can do it if he wants to do it... he did it.

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree...

This is the first day that I was able to sign Uncle Al out of the nursing home, so I brought him home with me to the NEW and IMPROVED Camp Sue.

Following is extremely rare footage of my mother-in-law, Rachel singing with Uncle Al and Josie (my mom) in the background.

Now this is magic!

Uncle Al sings with Rachel

19 February 2009

Uncle Al's Trip to the Supermarket

Yesterday was a cold winter day up here in Massachusetts. It was a sunny day so I went to the home and picked up Uncle Al. I had told him that he can spend every nice day here at my house.

It's good for my mother to be able to take care of her brother. It's actually giving my mom a purpose in life, to help her brother.

My mom knows that if I take care of Uncle Al he will feel better and may regain some of his independence. Seriously, showering my Uncle was a trip and if I can help him to take his own shower and wipe his own duppa then AMEN, my work is done.

I know how I helped my mother when she was in a similar state that Uncle Al is in.

We moved. She couldn't drive her car any longer because she couldn't find her way home, not even with a navigation system. In the middle of the night she'd scream about people outside and in the trees. She saw little kids running through her room and worried about someone stealing her purse.

The deterioration of the mind is so sad.

Fortunately, I learned from Marilyn Diamond and Dr. Donald Schnell that the key to good health, regardless of your age is through proper nutrition, exercise and meditation. This is how I helped my mom, but that's a story in itself, now I am going to document Uncle Al's health progress.

I have been feeding Uncle Al bright colored foods for the last few days, all colors of the rainbow in order to bring life into his tired body. He's been eating baked haddock Parmesan and my chicken soup. Salad wraps too. I have been feeding him 2 meals a day, lunch and dinner and sending him home with healthy snacks for the days that I can't be there to bring him home with me.

He seems to be getting better. He was pretty depressed when I found him a couple of months ago, tired and beaten in so many ways. He gave up hope.

Uncle Al prayed to Mother Mary, he loves the Blessed Virgin with all of his heart. He thought she wasn't listening. Then, we all showed up.

My mother had a bad feeling, she kept telling me that she had to go see her brother.

Way to go Ma.

I had to fight a bit to get permission to take Uncle Al out of the nursing home for the day. Instead, I had to visit him at the home if I wanted to see him. During my visits, I started to re-teach him about meditation. After all, he was the guy who was into TM back when I was at an impressionable age of 8ish. Thanks to Uncle Al and my dad, I got into meditation when I was a little kid.

My idea is to have him use meditation to strengthen his brain and be able to find peace when everything around him is chaos. I also know that because he meditated 40+ years ago, it's an old memory that he can easily recall.

Every day that Uncle Al comes to visit, we practice some form of meditation.

Yesterday, thanks again to my mother, we ventured to the supermarket with Uncle Al in tow. My mother thought it would be a good place for him to walk around since that's what I used to do with her when she wasn't feeling the greatest.

We had Uncle Al push the cart and we walked up and down the aisles for a half hour. We did stop and rest, Uncle Al and I stopped... my mom? She had her little running shoes on and was zipping up and down the aisles finding the items that I told her we were there to buy.

Uncle Al was exhausted when I brought him back to the nursing home. I left him off with a nice hot bowl of my chicken soup and a bag of healthy snacks for today when I wouldn't be seeing him.

Uncle Al stood tall walking and pushing the cart. He felt human. It was so touching, especially when he said, "You know, I almost feel good enough to buy another car!"

17 February 2009

Filler background

Everyone in my family can take Uncle Al out of the Nursing Home, ANYTIME we want. You can see the Youtube video of the family Valentine's day party here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBX_Iii0KjM

So, I'm unemployed and figured what's one more elder when you've already got 2 at home with you full time?

Myth: You don't go blind

So, today I took my Uncle Al to my house for the day. I picked him up at 9:30am and returned him to the nursing home at 4:30.

He is demented. No doubt. I understand it a bit because my mother was not far from where he is but I was able to reverse her dementia and it appears to be stable. All through diet and exercise. A total mind body and spirit connection. It's never too late.

Today, my mother was showing her brother how to do Wii Fit. Yes, 80 year old Josie was showing 82 year old Al how good her balance is. Her Wii Fit age was something like 57... she was doing the gig in the corner.

Al was set up on Wii today with his mini Mii. We have a Wii Uncle Al. His Wii Fit age is 71. Oh, it made him stand so tall when he saw his age being 11 years his senior. It was great

The visit at my house was going great until my mom pushed Uncle Al in to taking a shower. Her's Josie, "Oh Al, you can do it yourself, you're not that bad." I was saying to myself, "Ma, yes he is that bad. but couldn't say those words out loud."

Next thing I know I'm in my mom's shower with Uncle Al standing in the shower, nearly naked with just his adult diaper on. Oh Man. Then, the ineveitable happened, he took the diaper off and no, I didn't go blind.

Uncle Al was so happy taking a hot shower, he was in his glory. At one point he looked at me and said, 'how much will you charge me for this shower?" Then I said, "It's on the house, you're my Uncle Al, I love you."

It was intense.... as my loving mother stood outside her bathroom door laughing. Thanks Ma.

You know, it doesn't matter if someone is naked or not, if they need our help to feel more human, we have to help them.

I'm on a mission to help Uncle Al restore his memory. Today I drove him around Lynnfield, he LOVED the drive.

03 February 2009

Nursing Homes: Death before death

So, yesterday I was driving with my nearly 80 year old mom. I was taking her shopping to Costco. While driving she told me that she had a dream (or a hallucination, I can't tell sometimes) of her brother Al who is in a nursing home.

We happened to be 5 minutes from Uncle Al's nursing home when she told me the story. The truck didn't take the turn to go to Costco, it kept driving straight up 128 to exit 22.

When we got to the home, it had that nursing home smell. I never forgot that smell from the very first time I stepped into a mental institution to visit my grandmother when I was 8. Nursing homes smell and they all smell the same.... like old people waiting to die.

In the walls of those buildings that might look nice on the outside and may not even look so bad on the inside, but it's all a big facade. It's all about appearances and keeping a perception of a "nice place for mom or dad" just so the adult child can feel good about themselves.

People are locking up their parents when they get old, tossed away like yesterdays trash. Their usefulness expired in the eyes of their children. It's heart breaking to see all the empty faces, with such deep sadness that seems to be sucked up by the walls.

Rehabilitation Centers... Nursing Homes... they are both the same thing. Rarely do people get to leave rehabilitation centers, just like nursing homes. These places are prisons, full of people who still have life in them but have no one to share their spirit.

When we saw Uncle Al, I could tell he thought he was hallucinating. He had that look on his face as if he was saying to himself, "am I really seeing my family walk toward me?"

He recognized my mom (his sister) right away and only recognized me when I told him who I am. He stood up with tears in his eyes and gave me a big hug. I did everything I could not to cry.

Immediately he told my mom and me about a beating that he had gotten the day before. We were stunned. My mom was really upset and kept asking him questions about the beating. He showed us where it happened in his room.

I'm not sure if it was another resident who beat my uncle or if it was a weekend attendant. His story was a bit scattered. He was trying to tell us so much so that no one could hear.

On our way out, I asked to see his Social Worker. I told her what Uncle Al told me. I showed her where the crime occurred. I asked her to assure me that there will be no bad fall out for Uncle Al and that they protect him from harm.

The woman told me that she needed to call my cousin, my uncle's legal guardian.

It's such a screwed up story that I will keep to myself for now.

Uncle Al is in a nursing home prison. His only crime is getting old. Nursing homes, no matter what the sales person in the nursing home tries to tell you, are really just a holding tank for you to go and wait to die.