Seeing through Alzheimer’s Colored Glasses 



lenseI’m not writing this piece as one who has Alzheimer’s, but as one who has cared for a person with Alzheimer’s. The title hit me yesterday, for no particular reason, other than thinking about how Alzheimer’s has changed the way I worry and how I view things.

Something as simple as forgetting, where I once would easily laugh or joke about having a senior moment, becomes a pause in my life. A pause on whether I find it funny, because my forgetful moment could be the start of Alzheimer’s and so goes the dialog until I stop myself midway and reel my thoughts back in.

Learning new things has become of greater importance to me, what I do at work, what I do in play, I choose apps where I am challenging myself with words, always keeping in my mind, “to never forget.” I want to take up Spanish again, and other than the few words I do know, I want to get fully immersed in Cherokee; talk about challenging your brain!

I start to question down time, moments when I’m alone, am I eating the right way, am I doing enough to keep my brain as active and busy as I need it to be?, “oh why can’t I remember xyz,”, until BOOM. The worry and release comes out in tears, and then I can begin the self-talk of, “Pam you’re OK, now stop.”

Pictures and making memories are important to me, because I know what Alzheimer’s does. It takes. It takes the who, what and where away. My mom always talked about her childhood friends the Cottons. Thelma Cotton-Johnson or Aunt Tid as I called her was one of her best friends. As her Alzheimer’s got worse she’d ask for them more and more. I decided to take a chance and pull out one of her photo albums hoping not to get her upset, but to see if she could recognize her friends and sadly she couldn’t. The images weren’t familiar, not even my dad’s picture most times, though she always knew who she was married to. Perhaps it’s a familiar feeling the person is left with instead of an image? If anyone’s seen an Alzheimer’s test, one of the things they are asked to do is to copy a simple round clock with hands and it was amazing to see as my mom got worse, so too did her perception and drawing of the clock.

To look through Alzheimer’s colored lenses I guess you can say is like seeing a blurry picture that you can’t quite make out what you’re looking at. Often it’s something, someone, or someplace familiar that you’d never know until that one moment where the blurriness goes away, a moment of clarity hits only to be in the fog again. It’s viewing a world unfamiliar, unsecure, and scary leaving its victim at times for a loss of words and perhaps a loss of action.

So for those who cannot speak, who can no longer remember or act, I choose to do so.  If you asked me five years ago if I would be writing, posting and/or walking for Alzheimer’s, perhaps a little here and a little there as it has touched my family, but God knew I needed a bigger thing to tackle and boy did He find one. This girl is getting to work to make life for those with Alzheimer’s as good as if it’s being seen through rose colored glasses.

And if one day I’m seeing life through Alzheimer’s Colored glasses, then get ready to hear all about Charity, Sharon and Fontella and I’m sure a Roller Castle reference will be in there too.

Seth Rogen’s Halloween

HFC 2016 Los Angeles Variety Show: Halloween (PRNewsFoto/Hilarity for Charity)
HFC 2016 Los Angeles Variety Show: Halloween (PRNewsFoto/Hilarity for Charity)

For the 5th year in a row, Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller Rogen are hosting their most entertaining form of fundraising and advocacy with their annual variety show for their organization Hilarity for Charity®. This year’s theme is Seth Rogen’s Halloween with featured headliner Snoop Dogg.

On Saturday, October 15th, at 6:30 pm, The Hollywood Palladium will be party central with food trucks, music, alcohol (this is a 21+ event), costumes (which are highly encouraged) and of course comedy!

Make sure to visit Hilarity for Charity’s® website for information on what they do, how they do it, their college advocates, how to make a donation, or maybe you just like looking at Seth and Lauren, but go and visit the site. And if you plan on attending in costume, there are a few restrictions, make sure to check those out before you make your purchase or creation.

Hilarity for Charity® (HFC) is a movement led by Seth and Lauren to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation. They later established the Hilarity for Charity Fund as part of the Alzheimer’s Association, through which monies raised are directed to help families struggling with Alzheimer’s care, increase support groups nationwide, and fund cutting edge research.

Tickets and info can be found at, or 818-814-6690.

Another way to get a ticket to the show is by donation. You can enter to win a trip to LA and a ticket to go “trick or treating with Seth” at Hilarity for Charity Seth Rogen’s Halloween. Go to Crowdrise to enter.


Today is World Alzheimer’s Day


September 21st has been designated World Alzheimer’s day, a day aimed at raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and other dementia’s and to honor those who are in the fight against this disease.

Show action by changing your profile picture, tweeting, posting on Instagram, writing legislature, or wear purple… but just take action.

On Sept. 21st and everyday I go purple for my heartbeats my Mom and my Nana.

Follow me on:

Twitter at @pamelarivers

Instagram at @pamelarivers_





I have been stuck at the writing line, stuck at the advocacy line, just stuck. I wrote a post a few months ago about doing better and months later, I deleted it because it didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel as if I was doing better or doing anything that I set out to do or be as an advocate.

My heart and mind have been in the right place, but I felt that I was disappointing anyone who would look to my blog for advice, for resources, for strength, for a chuckle, but most importantly I was disappointing myself. I can’t count the number of times when I’ve thought of a great idea or topic to write about only to get stuck mid-thought. Days and weeks would go by and I had nothing new written on a page.

And these feelings weren’t subjected to my blogging, but I felt a disconnect in many areas of my life. Here I was saying “how can I be X to others when I’m unable to be X to myself.”

I wasn’t throwing in any towels, but I felt lost. The former caregiver who knew her mission or at least knew where the focus of my writing was coming from, was still trying to figure things out in the new normal. And if you haven’t guessed I am the harshest self-critic, but I am learning to lighten up and be more self-forgiving, learning to say it’s OK and that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

I recently took time off for foot surgery and it was the start or restart that I needed. The importance of this time out was to heal, but I knew it had to be much more than that. This was my time to escape from the world, to rest and reset. I took a hard look at ideas, dreams and wrote them down and revisited old ones. I put action plans in place and told myself that no matter how much I dream, write, plan or prepare the most important thing is to move! I was always a person about action and whether I want to call it life, fear, doubt, or over-thinking, I’ve let it all hold me back. I had to be a new me moving forward like the old me would. I can’t allow myself to be stuck anymore, and if I fall there I have to figure a way out. No more crying, I have to push!

Now I can’t take credit for that last line, I have held onto it ever since I heard Dr. Cindy Trimm preach on it. Dr. Trimm was a guest some years back on an episode of TBN that was hosted by Bishop TD Jakes. She was speaking on how people may be going through situations and/or hardships and may take it as the devil messing with us, but she said no it’s not that, it’s not bad, it’s Heaven’s contraction on our lives. And in the midst of this unknowing or uneasiness; it’s not the time to give up or cry; but PUSH.

For every change that had me feeling low, that thought of pushing past my circumstances brought me back to center. I wasn’t giving up, and yes I cried throughout the confusion and I know i will probably have more tears to shed, but as I love to say, I’m putting an H on chest and handling it and oh yeah I am pushing!