The Long Slippery Slope of Alzheimer’s

DSC00139“I’m always giving myself the Alzheimer’s test.  My shrink told me to do this.  It takes one minute.  You name every word that comes to mind that begins with the letter F.”  Ray Romano

Thank you to all who wrote to inquire when I’d be posting again. I was thrilled to learn that you’d been enjoying the material, so here’s another post:

Recently, I took a break from writing to care for a family member who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  I dropped what I was doing, packed my belongings, and moved to Saint John, New Brunswick to assist.

When I was studying Energy Healing with Dr. Sharon Forrest in Victoria, I asked her for the cure to Alzheimer’s.  Sadly, she said there isn’t one and explained that Alzheimer’s patients don’t want to be here.  At a subconscious level, they’re ready to move on.  Paula Hunter, a gifted psychic at Celestial Treasures in Saint John, agreed with Dr. Forrest.  She commented that Alzheimer’s patients have one foot in the physical world and one foot in the non-physical world of spirit.

Hmmm.  One foot in the physical world and one foot in the non-physical world of spirit.  Does that sound like anyone you know?  Makes me think of almost every psychic I’ve ever met, including me.  The difference is in the forgetfulness.  Indeed, I’ve been hyper-sensitive to my own forgetfulness these days.

Regarding the desire to leave planet Earth, when I first arrived in New Brunswick, a friend told me that the person in my family had several times expressed the desire to die. This was heart-breaking to hear.  At the same time, I reminded myself of my own experiences.  At the Monroe Institute, I’d discovered that love never died and so far, it seemed to me that Spirits were generally eternal, and bodies were temporarily “rented” to achieve learning experiences on planet Earth.

While Alzheimer’s is a tragic disease, it’s been a learning experience that’s also had funny and endearing moments.  Child-like enthusiasm, astonishment and wonder have been some of the benefits.

“I’ve never seen that before!  Who heard tell of such a thing!  Isn’t that amazing!  What did you call it?  Pizza?”

Visits to the hospital Alzheimer’s wing have been amusing.  Every day, I visit the same floor.  Every day, I am properly introduced to the other patients as if it were my first time.  Some patients remember me.  Most say, “It’s lovely to meet you!”

I did a little research and found that consumption of virgin coconut oil worked well for some Alzheimer’s patients.  Though I tried introducing coconut oil in various forms, straight-up, mixed with almond butter or chocolate, etc., it wasn’t well received and was not consumed.  It turned out that Alzheimer patients could get very particular about what they ate.  This might be resistance.  After all, if their subconscious intention is to leave the planet, they’re unlikely to help their own situation.

So what can you do to help an Alzheimer’s patient?  Dr. Forrest suggested working on forgiveness.  Outstanding issues with people, troubled relationships, are all baggage that weigh patients down.  Forgiveness will lighten their emotional load, and their spirits.  Regardless of your situation, forgiveness lightens everyone’s load.

When you’re angry, hurt or upset at someone, you’re energetically tied to them.  Those bonds, conscious or unconscious, can be emotionally, physically and spiritually draining.  Forgiveness releases the ties that bind you to another person so you can be free in every sense of the word.  Multi-generational healing works wonders for forgiveness.  Ho-oponopono also works well too.  If your loved one can’t do the work for themselves, you can do it for them with EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as tapping.  EFT is one of many beneficial healing modalities that I use.  In my case, I acted as a surrogate and tapped for my family member.

In terms of care, the hospital has been wonderful.  There are also Nursing Homes with different levels of care for the different stages of Alzheimer’s.  For the in-between stage, Private Special Care group homes exist.  Do your research to find the best facilities.  You can learn a lot by interviewing nurses, doctors, friends and family of people who’ve been affected by Alzheimer’s. I’ve found community nurses to be very knowledgeable about which places provide the best care.

It seems to me that, at least energetically and emotionally, Alzheimer’s might be prevented through early healing of the body, mind and spirit.  However, Alzheimer’s crept-up without my family realizing what was happening.  We didn’t recognize the signs until the “disease” was relatively advanced.

For those who’d like to know more about the signs, there’s a web site called  “alz.org” which lists 7 Stages of Alzheimer’s, shown below, plus other information.  For those of you impacted by Alzheimer’s, my heart, healing thoughts, and best wishes go out to you.

Stage 1:           No impairment (normal function)  The person does not experience any memory problems. An interview with a medical professional does not show any evidence of symptoms of dementia.

Stage 2:           Very mild cognitive decline (may be normal age-related changes or earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease).  The person may feel as if he or she is having memory lapses — forgetting familiar words or the location of everyday objects. But no symptoms of dementia can be detected during a medical examination or by friends, family or co-workers.

Stage 3:           Mild cognitive decline (early-stage Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed in some, but not all, individuals with these symptoms)  Friends, family or co-workers begin to notice difficulties. During a detailed medical interview, doctors may be able to detect problems in memory or concentration. Common stage 3 difficulties include:

  • Noticeable problems coming up with the right word or name
  • Trouble remembering names when introduced to new people
  • Having noticeably greater difficulty performing tasks in social or work settings. Forgetting material that one has just read
  • Losing or misplacing a valuable object
  • Increasing trouble with planning or organizing

Stage 4:           Moderate cognitive decline (Mild or early-stage Alzheimer’s disease)  At this point, a careful medical interview should be able to detect clear-cut symptoms in several areas:

  • Forgetfulness of recent events
  • Impaired ability to perform challenging mental arithmetic — E.g., counting backward from 100 by 7s
  • Greater difficulty performing complex tasks, such as planning dinner for guests, paying bills or managing finances
  • Forgetfulness about one’s own personal history
  • Becoming moody or withdrawn, especially in socially or mentally challenging situations

Stage 5:           Moderately severe cognitive decline  (Moderate or mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease)  Gaps in memory and thinking are noticeable, and individuals begin to need help with day-to-day activities. At this stage, those with Alzheimer’s may:

  • Be unable to recall their own address or telephone number or the high school or college from which they graduated
  • Become confused about where they are or what day it is
  • Have trouble with less challenging mental arithmetic; such as counting backward from 40 by subtracting 4s or from 20 by 2s
  • Need help choosing proper clothing for the season or the occasion
  • Still remember significant details about themselves and their family
  • Still require no assistance with eating or using the toilet

Stage 6:           Severe cognitive decline  (Moderately severe or mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease)  Memory continues to worsen, personality changes may take place and individuals need extensive help with daily activities. At this stage, individuals may:

  • Lose awareness of recent experiences as well as of their surrounding
  • Remember their own name but have difficulty with their personal history
  • Distinguish familiar and unfamiliar faces but have trouble remembering the name of a spouse or caregiver
  • Need help dressing properly and may, without supervision, make mistakes such as putting pajamas over daytime clothes or shoes on the wrong feet
  • Experience major changes in sleep patterns — sleeping during the day and becoming restless at night
  • Need help handling details of toileting (for example, flushing the toilet, wiping or disposing of tissue properly)
  • Have increasingly frequent trouble controlling their bladder or bowels
  • Experience major personality and behavioral changes, including suspiciousness and delusions (such as believing that their caregiver is an impostor) or compulsive, repetitive behavior like hand-wringing or tissue shredding
  • Tend to wander or become lost

Stage 7:           Very severe cognitive decline  (Severe or late-stage Alzheimer’s disease)  In the final stage of this disease, individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment, to carry on a conversation and, eventually, to control movement. They may still say words or phrases.  At this stage, individuals need help with much of their daily personal care, including eating or using the toilet. They may also lose the ability to smile, to sit without support and to hold their heads up. Reflexes become abnormal. Muscles grow rigid. Swallowing impaired.