Shelly has been living with Alzheimer’s for several years now. Her wife Joan is her caregiver. Joan emailed me in search of a referral to someone who could advise her about Shelly’s sleep medications, which are no long working effectively. Shelly used to sleep through the night, but now Joan often finds Shelly standing by the front door in the middle of night.
Joan has secured the door in such a way that Shelly cannot open it by herself. She is not worried about Shelly opening the door and wandering off, a common occurrence in Shelly’s stage of Alzheimer’s. But she is worried that Shelly’s.... Read More
Alone but Resilient: What We’re Learning About Social Isolation Among Older Adults Amidst the Pandemic
In January of this year, I traveled to upstate New York to help my very active 83-year-old father move into an independent living building. He had been contemplating this move for a few years since my mother’s passing in 2015, but had wrestled with the decision. What finally pushed him to make the move was his own realization that he needed and wanted more social engagement in his life. And for the first six weeks after his move, he took full advantage of the opportunity to easily enjoy meals with other residents and to participate in movies, lectures and other programming. So when the pandemic hit the.... Read More
COVID-19, aging, dementia and social bonds; an Arab American perspective
DEARBORN, Mich. – COVID-19 has been a difficult ordeal for Sylvana Berry, 24, and her family. Berry is extremely close to, and has been directly involved in the care of her grandmother, Samira Baghdadi, who has Alzheimer’s Disease.
Baghdadi migrated to the U.S. in 1976 with her husband and six children, escaping from the Lebanese Civil War. She ran a resale shop in Detroit with her family.
Things changed for the large but tight-knit family once they learned their beloved matriarch was having trouble remembering things. Back in 2007, it was Berry and her sister Selena who noticed changes in their grandmother, like when she would get lost on her.... Read More