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Dealing with Alzheimer's: 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer's

I've included pictures from the recent 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer's

The 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer's was held this past Sunday at the STAC campus in Sparkill and was a wonderful event.  The threatened rain held off just long enough to allow the walkers to complete the loop and get back inside. 

The crowd packed into the Romano Student Center to enjoy the donated food (hot dogs, hero sandwiches, cupcakes, bagels, soda, water, coffee, etc.)  There was a face painter and a hair stylist putting in purple hair extensions.  It was a wonderful day!

I've attached some pictures that I took at the event.  Enjoy!!!

Also, I wanted to include a little tip for you caregivers who might be dealing with a loved one who is not sleeping well at night.  Many people suffering from Alzheimer's have issues sleeping at night and end up wandering around the house at night.  So, when we were faced with issue, we struggled to find a solution.  For us, my dad would snooze on and off all day and then would be up all night and refused to stay in bed.  This can be incredibly dangerous in light of the fact that they might have balance issues and confusion. 

On one occassion, we had taken my dad to Philadelphia to visit with his sister who was ill and we were staying in a hotel.  My mother woke up to hear my father walking towards the bathroom so she got him in and left him for privacy.  She must have nodded back off because the next thing she heard was the door shutting.  He had come out of the bathroom and walked out into the hallway and was all disoriented.  Luckily, she heard it and went right out to get him.

On another occassion when he was home, he got up and was wandering around the house.  He ended up falling down the stairs and we awoke to hear him screaming out for help.  Luckily, he was more shaken than anything else and didn't actually hurt himself. 

So, here's what we tried after hearing it from someone else - Melatonin. It's a natural supplement that helps you sleep better at night. We started giving him Melatonin in an herbal tea every night around 7 p.m. and sure enough, he started sleeping like a baby. Make sure you check with your doctor before taking it because I have heard that it can interact with other medications.  But it works for us and is a handy little trick when dealing with sleeping issues.

-Siobhan O'Grady, a care-giver daughter.

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Patricia October 10, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Siobhan...Thank you so much for the sleeping advice. I am also a caregiver to a parent with Alzheimer's disease. We have tried two different prescription medications to aid in sleeping but they both made my mother semi-psychotic and anxious. Not the result I was hoping for. I will speak to her doctor and hopefully will be able to implement Melatonin into her evening routine. Thanks again & good luck to you. Patricia

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