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Comfy chair

Comfy chair for you

It’s a place to take a deep breath, find resources and hope, and have company on the journey with Alzheimer’s.

Please settle in this chair, put your feet up, wrap an afghan blanket around you like your grandmother made, have a virtual cup of tea, read awhile…and have hope.

I am nearby, getting another cup of tea, or available for chatting in between passages. When you go to your own home, take my book with you, and know that I always welcome another visit, any time.

Take care, and stay in touch,

Tryn Rose Seley
trynrose@gmail.com

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Alzheimer’s Resource: Special Offer in September

Tryn Rose Seley, Author

Tryn Rose Seley, Author

I am grateful for Amelia Schafer and her stellar work at the Alzheimer’s Association: Colorado Chapter. She is a thoughtful and caring teacher, program developer and director, and a mentor and friend. As we look at Alzheimer’s during September, the month allotted to awareness for this consuming condition, please read her message below. If you are an Alzheimer’s Association Program Director, and contact me in September, I will send you a free printed copy for your resource library. I’d be honored to support your caregivers across the country.

Tryn Rose Seley / trynrose@gmail.com

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Dear Program Directors,

I’m writing to let you know about, “15 Minutes of Fame,” a resource written by a former Alzheimer’s Association employee and wonderful soul, Tryn Rose Seley. Tryn has been an Alzheimer’s advocate, caregiver guru, and friend of the Alzheimer’s Association: Colorado Chapter for many years.

You can learn more about “15 Minutes of Fame” at Tryn’s website Caregiver Heart. It is available in a print copy or as a downloadable ebook. This is a great resource for both families and professional caregivers.

Please take a look and share this resource with your staff, volunteers, and families.

Amelia Schafer, MS | Director of Professional Education | Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado | 455 Sherman St | Suite 500 | Denver CO 80203 | 303.813.1669 | Fax 303.813.1670 | amelia.schafer@alz.org | alz.org/co | HELPLINE 800.272.3900

 

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Exercise Now, I Don’t Mind How

I just took me a walk. A walk that included rolling a water bottle back and forth between my hands and arms, giving me a wider stretch and a higher heart rate, admiring the birds, flowers and bunnies, singing my favorite song of the moment, and getting to know my new neighborhood streets. It felt great.

I am not a person who exercises as much as I could, and I don’t use the word “should” very often, but here it is. I should exercise more often. Why? Because I am 45 years old, and I want to be well, as well as I can, while I am in charge of my own choices. My family lives long, into their 90’s, wise-cracking and/or waxing eloquent ’til the end of this chapter of living. But I’ve noticed my own lag of energy, or lack of peanut-butter-jar-opening strength, so it’s up to me. Luckily, it’s up to me to get where I want to go.

The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation has promoted The Four Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention for over 20 years now. They are:

1) Diet (Food Choices) and Supplements

2) Stress Management

3) Physical and Mental Exercise

4) Prescription Medications (when needed)

One has to get the blood flowing. Did you know that 25% of every pump of the heart is supposed to go to the brain? If the heart is blocked, or not working at a higher capacity at all, well, that brain is not getting what it needs. It also means one might have symptoms of dementia because of varied health problems: constricted arteries, high or low blood pressure, other heart issues, etc.

I only walked for 40 minutes. I needed to rest at the end. I plan to add more vigorous regimes one day at a time. I have taught chair exercise; fabulous, do that if that fits. Whatever the top level of one’s abilities, one ought to go ahead and get going, for your own sake. Why take the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, when you have the power now to aim at preventing it?

Check out more valuable resources at APRF: 888.908.5766 or info@alzheimersprevention.org

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Hospice Care: Good or Not So Good?

Truth is, with the elder needs of our culture growing by leaps and bounds, there will always be a need for hospice care, and I’ve seen some of the best care provided by skillful, intelligent, patient, kind men and women. One man I knew passed away in a hospice care community the day I visited him, and had told him the best stories about his life that I had come to know. He was peaceful and comfortable. One woman I cared for gently sailed away right before I arrived at her room. Her grand-daughter almost cancelled a lifetime trip for her family to stay with her, but went because she trusted the care of the hospice group. This grand-daughter was on the phone with her, telling her she loved her, as she passed. It was golden and dear.

There was a recent article in the Washington Post describing some very poor care practices in some hospices in America. But lean in here: it is a family member or friend’s job to ask questions, to ask for better results, to advocate for the loved one receiving care. It’s like recommending a restaurant, service, doctor; you share with friends the ones who are good at serving people, right? We can raise the quality of a hospice’s ability to care by being present, by phone or otherwise, and by providing those volunteers with photos, songs, and stories of the person’s life to remind them that this is a *person first,* a valuable human being who deserves respect and the very IMG_2281best care. And, doing this invites that hospice person to join the family, and he or she might become family to you more than your biological family in some cases. Help them join you in caring for your loved one.

We all have to take responsibility to partner with those who can support our loved ones at the time of his or her passing. Please do.

 

 

 

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Touching the Sky from Solid Ground | Dementia Services Development Centre l DSDC, Stirling

Touching the Sky from Solid Ground | Dementia Services Development Centre l DSDC, Stirling.

Review of “15 Minutes of Fame” by Dr Tom Christie. Read, and connect with his supportive and valuable resources at this link.

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One Moment at a Time

Have you noticed when you cut an apple through the middle, there’s a star waiting for you? It’s cool. I learned this years ago from a cousin in Pennsylvania.

It’s a joy of the moment. It only lasts as long as that. I tried to save a slice, like a romantic notion of making a Christmas ornament or something, but no, it browned up and crinkled up. If I had all my sights on saving it for some other time, for the future, I’d have been disappointed. But I didn’t; I enjoyed it in that moment, and so did my husband.

A couple of days later, I cut the apple this way again. I enjoyed it again. And so did my husband.

When I was a youngster, Sandra Boynton, cartoonist/humorist (chocolate-loving hippos, “Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose” in place of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”) came out with a design. Mine was on a mug. It was a little bear holding a balloon that said, “I love you.” On the inside of the mug, it read, “It’s a sentiment that bears repeating” along with a ring of 10 more bears and balloons. I loved it then, and I love it now. It probably formed some of my ability to find little joys in the moment, for myself, for children with special needs, for those with Alzheimer’s. Thanks Sandra.

Create some joys of the moment, and love them in that moment alone. It counts as joy. And you could cut the apple through its core, but why, when the star is waiting for you? Choose joy in the moment, when you can.

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Arizona View

4/14/14

4/14/14

 

It’s a new day, a new chapter of living. I’ve looked at the sky before, but at midnight last night, it felt like I was seeing constellations I’d never seen, smelled flower scents and heard birds for the first time. I love an eclipse, and I share it with you here. May you find strength and inspiration in your next chapter of living.

Tryn Rose Seley, Author, App Designer, Art Class Facilitator Facebook.com/caregiverheart

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BiddingOwl – Loving Arms Mission Auction-Dr Oz, Lisa Oz & Tryn Rose Seley, Among Many

BiddingOwl – Loving Arms Mission Auction.

By clicking on the link above before March 31st, 2014, you create a win-win for yourself and those you love! Loving Arms Mission was created in Nepal as two orphanages, and turned into two large, wonderful families. Their annual auction features many wonderful gifts and services, including 2 tickets to The Dr. Oz Show, Lisa Oz’s book about relationships called “Us,” and my caregiver book, “15 Minutes of Fame: One Photo Does Wonders.” Take action today!

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Valentine’s Day For Both of You

“What if My Valentine Has Dementia?”

Thank you Tami Neumann of Conversations in Care for this opportunity to speak with your listeners. And please, create Valentine’s Day any day you need it with these ideas.

Listen in by clicking here:  http://ow.ly/trPvx 

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Start Small

Start small, start collecting:

photos

song lyrics

poetry collections

spiritual resources

homemade or published works

powerpoint slide shows

YouTube links

Having these resources available at all times will make it easier to do any part of your day together.

“I keep a photo or story nearby and a song on my lips at all times of the day to add focus or to distract a person from perceived difficulties. The flow keeps moving forward at any time of the day during the morning routine of shower, dressing, preparing for breakfast, after breakfast, in the bathroom, while sitting out on the patio, while preparing a meal… It keeps us both entertained, connected, and builds trust during all kinds of tender and personal circumstances.”IMG_8366

~p, 26, “15 Minutes of Fame: One Photo Does Wonders To Bring You Both Back to Solid Ground”

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Care for the Caregiver

IMG_0168I read so much on the world-wide web about self-care while caregiving.

You deserve care, for sure.

I don’t believe in saying, “Take a break, take a bath, have a walk with a friend, make sure you care for yourself…” because the answer is “When? How? I am caregiving full-time, all the time, 365/24/7…”

So instead, from my own caregiving days, I have learned to care for myself *while* caregiving. How? By creating 15 minutes of fame a day for me, the one I care for, and any who join the circle of care. When I am telling great stories of life, every day, then *that* is what we’re doing.

“When you create 15 minutes of fame every day for a person, those 15 minutes improve the daily mood, energy, and hope…When your mood and energy are good, you have a good outlook on life, and you can use that energy to create positive circumstances. When his or her mood and energy are good, he or she has a good outlook on life and you can use that energy to create positive circumstances…You’ve created solid ground for both of you.” ~p. 6, “15 Minutes of Fame: One Photo Does Wonders To Bring You Both Back to Solid Ground”

Photos, songs, stories, books with favorite pages marked, sitting right there on the table, begging to be opened and read aloud for the benefit of all within earshot (and even on Skype for those far away) – generate the fun, the pride, the joy of a full and interesting life, to draw upon, consider, and celebrate, every single day. If a new caregiver joins the team, he or she knows what to say immediately to bring this fun, pride, and joy to this day, in this moment. So do grandchildren, neighbors, family friends who otherwise might not know what to say. Show them what to say, then they can say it, with love, authenticity, and success, for all of us.

May it work for you. Let me know how it goes.

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