A daughter's musings on life post Alzheimer's, unexpected caregiving, and new OMG moments.

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Confessions From The Master

Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey, Kenya Moore, Andy Cohen, NeNe Leakes, Phaedra Parks. Photo credit: Bravo TV.

Sooo I haven’t written something personal in a minute, in a long minute and I needed to remind myself – self, “that it’s just as  important to continue to share my personal story and perspective as it is to share information.” I mean this is why the blog was started, so I’m sharing.

I’m no different from anyone else, but I feel I’ve waaaay too much change  between, driving cross-country, twice when it should have been once,  but I own up to my return to NY. I’m crying, hoping, and crying some more, I miss my mom and dad terribly and my Polo gone in august, but my heart still aches. And all of this has led me to struggle with what is my purpose. Now I’m probably over thinking things as my peeps say I do, but this place where I am in life is so new, so raw and still unsettling to me.

I was a daughter, yes caregiver and pet owner and all three were going in less than two years. So I know I could go on and on about my sadness, but I don’t want to bring you all down, so look…I wish I had a great joke to tell you right now, I do want to learn how to be a comedic writer but until then, I’m going to keep my somber thoughts to self as much as I can bring you light, levity and the truth. Which may, Oh, goodness bring you to somber.

So have you seen the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion part 1?….random comment.

As I’ve mentioned for those of you choose to read my posts, that I wanted to up my advocacy. Baby steps, and well I finally reached out to the  Alzheimer’s Association of NY. I want to be a part of their speakers bureau and there are some seminars you have to take. While I feel I could rock talking about Alzheimer’s and Caring from experience it’s good to have the organizational foundation. The first seminar I attended was about different forms of Dementia and one of the biggest forms, Alzheimer’s.  And not to boast. but I am going to, but I tell you, when the seminar leader started talking about Alzheimer’s I felt I could get up and give that part of the class. Everything discussed I knew and/or experienced  firsthand, from changes in behavior, negative random comments, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, sundowning. I know it all. Perhaps this Padawan (OK if you start scratching your head here….lets talk, those in the know, yes, I love Star Wars) is growing into my blog title…a Master!! And I’m going to be chairing an athletic committee, but I’ll more on that at another time.

In the meantime this former caregiver has been trying to figure her own life out and not that I thought life post caregiving would be easier, but when I was in the midst of it I could clearly see things I wanted to do and try, but felt they were so far- reaching because my life evolved around my mom. During that time I was encouraged to get outside help which I did for a spell, so that I could have some sort of “me time”, but once mom passed, everyone was saying  that it was now my time. A kitten curled up on top of a dog curled up on a bench

They weren’t being insensitive, but it seemed anything I wanted to try or accomplish I just couldn’t muster up the strength to do or remember for that fact. Because even in my wanting to do for me, I still wanted my mom there, even if she didn’t know who I was, having her physical presence was all that mattered.  

Most days I want to crawl in a ball. But I know it is about living for myself now, which I honestly was never great at. Oh I did things for myself but there was always someone or a pet to think of as well. Now it’s me, myself and I who have to get to know and like one another. I’m dealing with some outside challenges that have nothing to do with my thoughts, but I am re-learning how to stay in the positive and have faith like a grain of mustard seed.

 Well lets see….I’ve covered, life, death, Alzheimer’s, my thoughts, reality TV and Star Wars, so I guess this is a good place to end. Know that I may be putting myself through circles, but I am very clear in my mission to help caregivers and to help in the fight against ALZ!

P.S. I know the picture has nothing to do with ALZ but a change is good every now and then.



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From CBS Sunday Morning: How One Family May Raise Hope For All Alzheimer’s Patients

Every 67 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s….OK…pause! It’s all a sad numbers game, 67 seconds, 16 million patients by 2050, costing 1 trillion dollars and numberless lovegivers in the trenches caring for loved ones.

On twitter today I came across this link from the Alzheimer’s Registry about one family’s challenge and hope for Alzheimer’s. This story begins with Jose and Marta (not her real name) in Medellin, Colombia, who has early onset Alzheimer’s, that eventually led to her passing.

Here’s the video:


 For more information on the Banner Institute go to:

For more information on the Alzheimer’s Registry and to cast your vote go to: End Alz Now 



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I Would LOVE Your Vote….My Blog Is Nominated For SeniorHomes 2014 In Best Blogs By Individuals Category


You did it for me last year and once again I would GREATLY APPRECIATE your vote!!

Confessions of a Master Caregiver has the honor of being nominated to the Best Senior Living Awards 2014 in the Best Blogs by Individuals category.

For those of you unfamiliar with my story, I became a reluctant blogger about my journey as a caregiver because my life had become very unfamiliar, very uncertain, heck my life was tough and there I was in the midst of putting my life togther and BOOM became an unexpected caregiver (former title line in my blog).

But as I learned more about Alzheimer’s and the effects, I knew there were others new to this walk like me, new to the life as a caregiver and to the new normal that has become their life and perhaps in sharing my story thoughts and things that were happening in my life, it could benefit them. It could show them that though yo may feel alone, you are not alone in this walk.

Confessions was started out of confusion, but greatly out of love and I am so ever greatful for starting this blog!  Your vote for my blog is a vote supporting another voice, my voice for Alzheimer’s and those who do the Care and Love-giving.

I say thank you to my readers and followers and hope you click on “like”! To vote you may click on the “I’ve been nominated button” on my sidebar or vote here

Thank you in advance for your vote and support of this blog.



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New Study In Neurology Reports: Deaths From Alzheimer’s More Than Reported


A new study that came out in March in the journal Neurology, found that annual death rates from Alzheimer’s should be closer to 500,000 putting its numbers on par with the biggest killers, heart disease and cancer.

Here is the report:

Alzheimer’s disease accounts for many more deaths than we’ve realized, a new study concludes, making it nearly as lethal as the nation’s two biggest killers, heart disease and cancer.

Death certificates record immediate cause of death, but often miss the underlying cause, which is why Alzheimer’s has been undercounted, according to Bryan James, an epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who led the research.

The new study, published today in the journal Neurology, found that annual death rates from Alzheimer’s should be closer to 500,000 than the 85,000 currently counted by the government. Heart disease and cancer both account for more than 500,000 deaths per year

James and his colleagues followed more than 2,500 older adults who had agreed to donate their brains to research upon death. The autopsies that accompanied that donation allowed researchers to definitively determine whether they had Alzheimer’s, and to calculate from that the percentage of Americans who die with the disease.

“There’s no doubt that Alzheimer’s is underreported” as a cause of death, said James Leverenz, an Alzheimer’s expert and director of the Center for Brain Health at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. He was not involved in the new study.

“Having Alzheimer’s listed as only 5% of individuals who are dying is a disservice to the disease,” he said. “Knowing more about precisely how big a contributor it is helps us make better health policy.”

Alzheimer’s rates are also expected to skyrocket as Baby Boomers reach their 70s and 80s, when Alzheimer’s is most common. Roughly half of people over 85 have some kind of dementia, other figures show.

“We need to come to grips with how we’re going to manage this in the future,” Leverenz said.

Research last year also suggested that Alzheimer’s is nearly as lethal as heart disease and cancer, and that it may be costlier than the other two, said Kenneth Langa, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of Michigan who helped conduct that research. Both cancer and heart disease receive far more federal research funding for basic research, however, he said.

Alzheimer’s is always lethal, but because most people think of it as a memory disease, they do not always connect the disease with death, said James, the new study’s author. He estimates that dementia cuts five to 10 years off the lifespan and is not a normal part of aging.

“If you develop Alzheimer’s, you are going to die a lot earlier than someone who does not,” James said.

The confusion of dementia can lead to lethal falls that would not have happened otherwise. Pneumonia is also common among with people with Alzheimer’s, whose bodies have literally forgotten how to shift the throat muscles to keep food from the lungs.

Sometimes, the cause of death is listed as something other than Alzheimer’s because a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s was never made or because of a combination of denial, ageism and stigma, said Meryl Comer, CEO and president of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative, and a board member of the advocacy group USAgainstAlzheimer’s.

“If you look at many of the obituaries, they rarely say Alzheimer’s, it’s usually pneumonia — for many of us, that’s the unspoken line that says they probably had Alzheimer’s,” said Comer, a former television personality who has spent more than 18 years caring for her husband who has early-onset Alzheimer’s. “No one wants to be remembered that way.”

Leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2010

(A new study suggests that Alzheimer’s actually kills approximately 500,000 people per year, and so should fall third on this list instead of sixth)

• Heart disease: 597,689

• Cancer: 574,743

• Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080

• Stroke: 129,476

• Accidents: 120,859

• Alzheimer’s disease: 83,494

• Diabetes: 69,071

• Kidney disease: 50,476

• Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097

• Suicide: 38,364

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Article source: USA TODAY