Sharing My Heart…

Hi Friends,

Today I am raising my very quiet voice a little louder. It feels so important for me to share my heart with the world, as I shine light on ways that we can all help.  I hope you will read on…

Although I only write about it here once a year, please know that Alzheimer’s disease is a huge part of my story every day. When a loved one receives the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s (or another dementia), life dramatically changes. Our family received that heartbreaking news two years ago. We are walking along that journey together with someone that we all love so dearly.

My family is certainly not alone. The statistics are alarming!   (Source: ALZ.org)

  • Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s.
  • Currently, 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.
  • There is no cure. No one has ever survived Alzheimer’s.
  • Over the past fifteen years, deaths from heart disease have decreased 11%, while deaths from Alzheimer’s  have increased 123%.

The statistics are particularly alarming for women!    (Source: ALZ.org/women)

  • Today women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s epidemic.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
  • Women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as they are to develop breast cancer.
  • Women also make up more than 60% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in the United States ~ a role that often has a negative effect on their own health and finances.

Brain health is key… and a healthy brain begins with a healthy heart.

  • A study published in the January 2019 Journal of the American Medical Association reports that treating high blood pressure in older adults can help reduce the development of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A person with MCI faces an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  • If you are over 50, it’s very important to talk with your health care provider about your risk for Alzheimer’s  and ways to manage your blood pressure. Genetics also play a big role in heart and brain health. As we age, we can all take small steps every day toward a healthier lifestyle!

Knowledge is power!

My bookshelf at home is filling up with important resources…

Some very helpful books that have helped me grow. I refer back to them again and again along our journey.

 

I spoke to many experts in search of a book to share with my loved one to help explain what is happening to them. This helpful book explains what they are feeling and how things are changing in their life. Together, we have had many valuable conversations while reading this book. We read it often. A valuable resource!

 

A nice reminder about the importance of creating moments of JOY together with loved ones throughout this heartbreaking journey. I’ve been documenting all of the special things we do together to create a Memory Book filled with sweet, happy, moments of joy!

 

Over the past two years, I have been very intentional about attending frequent workshops and family support groups to learn more about Alzheimer’s. I have been able to share what I am learning with my family along the way. It is very frightening to learn about this journey that we are walking together. However, during times when we feel powerless in the face of this daunting disease, knowledge can feel empowering!

Very often, caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can feel isolating. Days are busier than ever…  helping, encouraging, worrying, and learning, every step of the way. Life takes on a very different rhythm. Although time is more limited, connecting with supportive friends becomes more important than ever. Please reach out to someone you know who is also on this incredibly difficult journey with a loved one. You will brighten their day, renew their spirit, and give them strength to carry on!

The Alzheimer’s Association is a vital resource for those suffering with this heart-wrenching disease, their families, and their caregivers. They are leading the fight against this disease! They offer valuable seminars at public libraries throughout our area. The ALZ Help Line (800-272-3900) offers live support 24/7 from caring professionals to answer questions and concerns. Their helpful webinars present the latest research and extremely helpful information for caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association funds vital research and clinical trials in search of a cure. I am so grateful for the work of the Alzheimer’s Association and the difference they are making for so many families, like mine.

Today I am sharing my heart with you

and raising awareness

of an important way we can all help

in the fight against Alzheimer’s,

with great LOVE…

On “The Longest Day” (June 21st), people across the globe

will do what they LOVE,

or what their loved ones affected by this disease LOVE to do.

Together, we will raise funds and awareness

for the care and support of those affected,

while advancing ALZ research.

We are working toward the first survivor

of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

This is a link to donate to ALZ.org

 

I am truly looking forward to

“The Longest Day” 2019.

My husband will take the day off work on Friday

so that we can participate in this important day together.

We will spend the entire day doing things we LOVE

to honor our loved ones.

However, the most important thing we will do

on “The Longest Day”

is make our donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Update: June 21, 2019

Today a very generous donor is matching donations, in honor of “The Longest Day.” Your donation will work twice as hard in the fight against Alzheimer’s!💕

We can all make a difference by helping the Alzheimer’s Association in the fight to end this disease. Throughout the past few years, I have been quietly fundraising and making donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. Now it’s time to raise my voice… and ask for your help, too.

It feels very empowering to make donations to the fight against Alzheimer’s. It makes me very hopeful that one day, in my lifetime, we will find a cure and see the first person survive this disease.

The end of Alzheimer’s starts with me! ♥

The reason is LOVE.

 

With hope,

Dawn

 

 

Save

Save

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Sharing My Heart…

  1. If you decide to purchase Long Term Care insurance for yourself, let agent know someone in your family has Alzheimer’s. Your personal plan will be adjusted for extra years and care as there is a potential genetic component.

    • Thank you, Barbara, for sharing this valuable information about Long Term Care insurance. I’m so grateful to be part of a community of women who share and guide one another! 💗

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart on this subject. I recently found out that an old dear friend of mine’s mother was diagnosed approximately 8-10 years ago. It has been heavy on my heart knowing how much she loves her mother. 🌸💜

    • Oh, Chris, I truly appreciate your warm words. I hope that today’s post will resonate with many readers whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s and will inspire people to take action. I’m very sorry to hear about your friend’s mother. I’m keeping them both in my thoughts. 💗

    • I can feel your tight hugs, dear Alys! You have a heart of gold, sweet friend. Thank you for your generous donation to the Alzheimer’s Association again this year!! I’m looking forward to chatting again soon! Sending big hugs all the way to California! 💗

  3. A topic all of us know about and the one we dread the most. A friend’s otherwise healthy and fit husband is dealing with this right now. It’s progressing quite rapidly, and there are a lot of decisions ahead of her. Thank you for raising our awareness because when it comes to this particular issue we can never know enough or give enough. 💜

    • So very true, Judy! There are lots of small things that everyone can do to make a BIG difference! My thoughts are with your friend and her family. Heartfelt thanks, dear Judy!💗

  4. Dear Dawn, I will look forward and donate on the Longest Day, and I appreciate your effort in all that you do to help combat Alzheimer’s and to support your loved ones. Hugs to you, Dawn.

    • You are such a sweet friend, Penny! Thank you for your generous donation to support ALZ research. I can feel your hugs, Penny. They truly make my heart smile! Sending my love.💗

  5. Dear Dawn, thank you for sharing your heart. It is truly heartbreaking to learn of so many suffering, whole families suffering. I just found out my ex husband in Canada has recently been diagnosed. It’s just so hard to imagine. Though they say everyone has been touched by cancer, I haven’t but I do feel everyone has likely been touched by Alzheimers. You are doing amazing work and I love that you’re learning so much and sharing this with your family. Lots of love and big hugs to you Dawn. I’m thinking of you on our shortest day. Enjoy your longest day with your hubby doing things that bring you joy. xox

    • Oh, Vicky! Thank you for your very kind words. This is a journey that we never expected to walk through. My loved ones have always been very health conscious, with exercise and good nutrition. Such a shock to us all!
      We really must race for a cure to this dreadful disease that affects so many!! I’m keeping your ex-husband in my thoughts. I know you remain close friends across the miles.
      We have a special day planned doing our favorite things together!! It’s fun because we have different interests that very often take us to unexpected places! Always a fun adventure!😊 The most important thing I will do today is make another donation to the Alzheimer’s Association!! They are leading this important fight for all of us.
      Sending big hugs on the your shortest day! Happy Winter, Vicky!!💗

  6. Thank you for sharing your experiences. This could not have come at a more poignant time. Mom, 98, is having hallucinations. They, of course, frighten both of us. I have her at my home regularly to calm the waters. Such an unfair twist in life. Glad you are taking care of yourself. Big hugs.

    • Huge hugs, dear Anne, for both you and your sweet mom. I’m so sorry that hallucinations have now become a frightening part of her journey. You are such a blessing to your mom, Anne.
      My Self-Care journal has been a very important part of my health for the past two years, Anne. My ‘Gratitude’ page is the most important of all. Just ten minutes of self-reflection at the end of the day feels so calming. Walking in nature is also an important way that I take care of myself.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and share your experience here, dear friend. Keeping you very close to my heart. 💗

      • Let’s plan some special walks, Anne! You can walk along the ocean while I walk among the flowers, trees, and the native prairie. So good for the heart and soul!
        Heartfelt thanks for the beautiful, beautiful Happy Mail, dear friend! Your words truly touched our hearts. We had a lovely Anniversary celebration! Love you, too! 💗

  7. Sending you hugs and prayers. Sorry I’m a bit behind. It’s not something I’ll have to be concerned with. IPF will make sure of that. I hate that anyone has to face Alzheimer’s.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.