If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, one of the many difficult decisions you will face is when to hang up your car keys. Driving is such a routine freedom and pleasure that for most people it is quite painful to think about losing that independence. But the disease impacts the concentration and quick reactions that safe driving requires, so needing to stop is inevitable. The question of driving – whether to continue and if so, for how long – needs to be evaluated as part of your ongoing health planning.
You’re likely to have conflicted thoughts about giving up driving, so acknowledge and share your feelings about it. Talk with your caregiver about how the driving decision should be made, balancing your desire for continued independence with the need for everyone’s safety. In the early stages of the disease, you may be able to simply transition your driving to be more limited, perhaps only driving familiar, short drives during the daytime. You could use a GPS tracking device to reduce a caregiver’s concerns. Continue reading “Hanging up the Keys” »
It was a soggy morning in Sacramento, but more than 200 dedicated Alzheimer’s Association volunteer advocates still showed up in good spirits to the 2012 Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Among them: people with early stage Alzheimer’s, family caregivers, healthcare professionals and other Alzheimer’s champions.
Following a light breakfast and overview of the day, we were welcomed to the Capitol by Senator Tom Berryhill who thanked everyone for their work as volunteers.
“What you’re doing up here today is very important because education of these legislators in that building is so necessary.”
Training for the group continued with an overview of “legislator meeting Dos and Don’ts” by Assemblymember Holly Mitchell.
“We work for you and that can be a one sided relationship unless you make it otherwise and reach out to us on a regular basis,” she said. “That’s your responsibility as Californians. I have a job to do and you have a job to do to make us informed of issues that are important to you.
Continue reading “California Advocacy Day: rainy and inspiring!” »
A year or so ago, my aunt gave me a message from her husband. She told me that Uncle Dan had asked her to deliver to me a one word message: recalibrate. She asked if I knew what he meant. Yes, I knew. Not just the meaning of the word, but what he was trying to tell me.
At the time we were busy doing chores around my house and although I heard what she said, I didn’t want to concentrate on the message. It was just another thing to put on my ever growing to do list.
Recalibrate. Continue reading “Recalibrate” »