Adult Family Home Care

The simple act of caring is heroic.

– Edward Albert

Dementia Toolbox Journal

Your Story

Phillip is lost

Monday October 26 2020, 2:49pm

The local news has issued an alert asking we keep an eye out for Phillip, age 72, and his snazzy, red Mazda.

He drove away from his assisted living facility and has not been heard from since.

What happens? 

Short term memory slips from the present and the person with dementia attempts to return to a place in their long-term memory. This can happen quickly and without warning.

The following is a true story.


She's My Mother

The puzzle

is that she can be so logical,

so manipulative, so intuitively knowing

the effect of her protestations.

I distrust the doctor who talks

at statistical charts, all warning

of what happened to another

mother--not mine.

Then my mother missed her exit to church

and drove to the Canadian border.

Her friends waiting for their ride

phoned, worried. My brother called

as he achieved her release

from U.S. Immigration,

and we began our emigration

from home to a foreign land

with unmapped borders.


Send me your stories to share with others who may have similar experiences.



Wednesday October 21 2020, 12:53pm

Mike understands that his reality - the real reality - is no longer real for his mother. This change came about over the summer.

But needing to repeat the same information until he is not certain she will follow his instructions, is frustrating. And he misses the mother he enjoyed being with.

Frustration causes him to repeat in a tone of voice that is less than patient and his mother hears the temper. She withdraws and fails to respond.

Mike and his siblings now recognize that their mother's care needs to change. She can no longer live on her own, even when they stop in every day with cooked food.

They are moving South for the winter months and the question is with whom their mother will live. 

Their mother's change in demands comes when they are retiring and looking forward to freedom to travel.

Multiple changes equate to frustration. A family gathering to discuss changes may bring out old family tensions.

And frustration.

Mike S.


Has your Dementia experience been similar to Mike's? 

Send us your story:




Window into my mother's memory

Wednesday October 21 2020, 12:51pm

Dementia threw mud on the window into my mother’s memory.

She fought back, in clearer times writing herself post-it notes and leaving them around the house to guide herself in more challenging times.

She cherished her long-term memories trapped on her side of the dementia-dirtied window. Mom knew us for awhile as our younger selves.

As more and more mud of dementia coated the window into Mom’s mind, she drifted further from us in the present. We could not wash the window for her to see the present, but we could enter her memories of the past to connect and find joy still alive.

Miracle of miracles occurred one day, as the window to her memory opened, and she recognized each of us as we visited. She called us by name and remarked how we had changed since how she last remembered us. It was her last precious gift to us before she went home to Jesus a couple weeks later. She had not given up hope, and neither had we.

Sheila S.


Tuesday July 28 2020, 10:06am


 The heron stands

Motionless, balanced

Between one meal and the next.


The swallow turns

And banks, nipping insects.

The dragonfly wings away.


I rock feebly.

They bib me for dinner,

But when did I eat breakfast?


The beginning of brain damage may be as subtle as a gray hair appearing on the back of our crown. We don’t see it.

Gradually other indications of pigmentation change become visible. People close to us may see it first.

Balance becoming fragile is one of the first indicators of brain cell change.

Bank accounts are not balanced and overdrafts accumulate. Vocal reaction to small frustrations. Missed appointments. Stacks of unopened mail tipping off the kitchen counter.

As the damage accumulates and affects more brain cells, we make excuses to ourselves. We accuse our family of not telling us family information.

Lack of balance cannot be medicated back into alignment. Imbalance can be excused until our family needs to step in.

My grandparents lived in their small home because neighbors were willing to do shopping and look in on them daily.

When my father received their phone call describing the reality of his parents’ situation, he realized a weekly visit was inadequate. He needed to check his balance and lean heavily into more involvement.

Have you experienced similar changes with your loved one? What did you do?



Phillip is lost
Window into my mother's memory