World Alzheimer’s Day

It only takes a moment to remember those who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a terrible waste of mind and body.
And while you are doing that, please take a moment to remember caregivers, who give their all to their loved ones.
Please, next time you talk to a caregiver, ask them how they feel. Too often the caregiver gets lost in the shuffle of finding out how the patient is. Not enough attention is given to those selfless beings who give up their whole world for days, weeks, months and years.

Adopt A Caregiver: Find someone in your community who is a caregiver. Become her/his friend. Email, ask how they are doing. And when they say fine, because they don’t want to talk about it, remind them you are their friend. Get them to open up, to vent. Do not judge, not until you stand in their shoes.
Please Adopt A Caregiver, I know there is one in your neighborhood. Give the gift of friendship, it lasts forever and costs nothing.

Hopefully, one day soon, there will be a cure, but until then, remember that Alzheimer’s Disease is not contagious.

Keep love and kisses in your life.
If you don’t know what a caregiver is going through, check out my book, Behind The Mask

Happy New Year

9/4/13  A very Happy and Healthy New year to all my Jewish friends. It is a wonderful holiday full of tradition and family, and of course food.

I gave my writing group a writing assignment this week: Write about the meaning of your life. Just a stream of consciousness, could be an outline of your life, yesterday, today or tomorrow, your legacy, one moment in time, any age and so on. Just let those words flow. Do this for one time, or several times during the week. Next week, we will do it again for one day, and so on until the end of the month. At which time, we will all reread what we have written during the month, and either discuss it or not, and possibly continue this till the end of the year.. Should be an interesting project. I suggest you try it out yourself. Consider leaving a comment about how it’s working out. I will update the outcome at the beginning of next month and let you know how we made out with this assignment.

If I have learned anything this year, it’s take one beautiful day at a time, even one hour at a time. Life is short, and you never know when it’s the end, so enjoy every minute. Keep people around you that you are comfortable with, who lift you up, and not put you down. Get those negative people away from you.

I’ve learned so much about myself and my writing this year. I finally feel like a writer. My writing group here at Coventry Court is wonderful and we have great times learning together. Also, I took an online writing course, Story Cartel, which boosted me up and taught me so many thing. In fact it was so much to learn that I might have to take this course again. I highly recommend it.

Another thing that is helping me personally and in my writing  is Meditation. I try to do it everyday. Just about every time I do this practice, I find my muse (writing) is hovering about giving me insight into something I’m trying to write. Or, I just fall asleep  and that is okay too.

I’m trying to follow a healthier lifestyle. Eating better, trying to walk a little bit and not spending all my time trying to catch up. I know me, and I will never catch up, it’s who I am. I say I am slowing down, and then I buy 3 books in a row, or download several books to review. I am just me.

I’m determined to start a new book about me and how Alzheimer’s Disease is affecting my husband. This time the book will be more of a tribute to him.

Last time Behind The Mask was all about me and my feelings because it had to be kept a secret, that was twenty years ago when he got his first diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. That was really hard. And of course, it never happened. This time, it’s a fact, but we understand and we are ready to do whatever is necessary. I will learn when I have to, to live in his reality.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Being With Family

Being back in California with all the kids, grand-kids and great grand-kids is wonderful. What more can I ask for? We now have two great grand children. A girl, almost 7 months old, and a boy, just a month old. We spend a lot of time together.

Someone in our family made a simple family tree in 1996 and it wasn’t until I added my great grand children that it seems that they are the 8th or 9th generation in our family. So, I have decided to start delving into our family tree. It’s a huge project, lots of dead ends, and a lot of thought and work will have to go into getting into the records. I’m going to try.

Other than that, am looking forward to my birthday in two weeks and one day. Next year I will be eighty! Because of that and my health I have to give up on Adopt A Caregiver. I will still write about it, but I can’t run out to speak to groups like I did in Henderson. This will be an easier path for me.

I thank all of you who have responded to Adopt A Caregiver. And now, all I ask, is for you to be aware of the caregivers in your block, your work, your school, and your community. These people are lonely, scared, don’t want to talk about it, but they need a friend. Send a note, an email, just check in once in a while. Please.

If you don’t understand what it’s like to be a caregiver, read my book, Behind The Mask. I spent seven long years smiling for my husband who was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Stand in my shoes for an hour or two,  read how I felt and have compassion for those around you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

National Caregivers Month

It is National Caregivers Month in November. So what are you going to do locally? If you ever stood in the caregivers shoes, you’d know it’s a lonely, depressing, nothing to look forward to, and your friends usually leave one by one.

My book Behind The Mask is my secret journal I wrote during the time I was a caregiver. I smiled on the outside and wrote out all my thoughts, emotions in the journal.

All it takes is to be a friend to a caregiver. You know there is one in your neighborhood. Or where you work or go to school, play golf, Mah Jongg, anywhere the same people get together is a community.

Send an email, be a friend, do not judge, ask questions, make them feel comfortable and let them vent. Usually they have no one to talk to. As for support groups, they are great…for some people. My husband wouldn’t go, he said that he didn’t want to see what was coming down the road for him.

All I’m asking is put yourself in their shoes. Then Adopt A Caregiver.

Keep love and kisses in your life Helene

Adopt A Caregiver

It’s been a long time since I have talked about Adopt A Caregiver. To all those new to my blog, please know this is my way of giving back.

I have stood in the shoes of caregiver, (for seven years) and I know what it feels like For me, it might have been a little bit more difficult because we were strongly advised to keep the Alzheimer’s Diagnosis a secret.

To smile, to stay sane, to face the challenges, the fear, and the anger, I started a secret journal on my computer. I poured myself into it, all my emotions, my fears, and yes, my tears.

Seven long hard years later, the diagnosis was changed to AAMI (Age Associated Memory Impairment) and we resumed life.

In 2008 I published my journal as Behind The Mask. Basically, to show caregivers that they are not alone in their feelings. But also, so that others could understand what the caregiver was going through.

Thus, Adopt A Caregiver was born. I would love for everyone to look around their community and find a caregiver. Adopt his/her. Just send an email and ask to be their friend. Do not judge, let them vent, let them talk, just be there. You have no idea how much this will fulfill your life. Try it.

Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing.

Then let me know how it feels.

www.adoptacaregiver.org

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Making Mistakes

We all make mistakes. This week I’ve been full of them. Some of them have been frustrating, humiliating, and others I have learned that you can learn from your mistakes.

I failed the written driving test the first time around, and felt foolish and humiliated. I had to rip out several parts of the sweater I’m knitting, and that was frustrating. A lot of stitches to rip out and put back on the needles the correct way. Very time consuming, but I learned what I did wrong. At least I hope I did.

We all make mistakes, if we didn’t make mistakes, we aren’t making any decisions. And that’s a bad thing. In one day we make many decisions, about what to make for dinner, to get the paperwork off the desk, to make those phone calls we keep putting off and to cope with the day with a smile on our face.

A smile on our face shows we care, and that we can cope. A smile makes us feel good. So find something to smile about.

I am smiling, I have my first great grandchild’s baby shower on Saturday. It’s a girl. Four generations of women. This child also will have six, yes, six great grandparents! How wonderful.

Stand in someone else’s shoes, and then make the decision, what would you do? You certainly would understand them better. You will feel their pain, their emotions, and have some compassion for what they are going through.

Can’t find someone’s shoes to stand in? Read Behind The Mask by Helene Moore, a secret journal, written when she was a caregiver for her husband. Then seven years later, the diagnosis was changed. Yes, we were the lucky ones. So now it’s time to give back.

I started Adopt A Caregiver, see www.adoptacaregiver.org then help me spread my word, and plant the seeds for everyone to adopt a caregiver. They need a friend.

Keep love and kisses in your life Helene

Writing Is Addictive

I’ve always known that writing is addictive. The more you write, the more you want to write. Writing in a journal, writing a memoir, writing a story, writing out your goals, lists of things to do, becomes a habit when done every day. And you know what, your writing actually gets better.

My problem: I’ve exchanged writing for knitting. I’ve become addicted to knitting for the new great grandbaby coming the end of November. And then found a few things to knit for myself. Knitting at night with my husband and the tv. on is a good thing.

But, I found that I have missed my writing. And so I want to get back to it. Starting right now. I have missed writing in my journal, and I had started a short story, and only got the first few lines written, and my blog is suffering because I haven’t started my Adopt A Caregiver program here in California. Waiting for the legal issues to be finished. Soon…

In the meantime, I hope you will come back to read my blog because I love writing them. I also hope you look at the website. www.adoptacaregiver.com and help me plant the seeds. Yes, one person can make a difference. And this world needs a difference. Give something back.

Adopt A Caregiver in your neighborhood, and tell them your friend Helene sent you. Just send an email and tell them you’d like to be their friend. You’d like to understand what being a caregiver is and that you know it’s hard.

Read my secret journal, Behind The Mask, and see how this caregiver’s emotions on every page.

Keep love and kisses in you life. Helene

Words Are Powerful

Words can be powerful. Words can hurt. Words can also heal.

Powerful words inspire, create feelings of peacefulness and harmony.

Words can also hurt. Words can’t be taken back. Think before you speak. Once you have hurled hurtful words at someone, you can’t take them back.

Words can heal. I urge everyone to write down their feelings, memories, their hopes and dreams, their goals, their grateful list, and their affirmations.

When my husband was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, I turned to my computer and secretly wrote about my emotions, my thoughts, my fears. That journal saved my sanity.

When the doctor changed the diagnosis, I showed Howard my secret journal, and he said publish it.

I did, and Behind The Mask became that book. Please read about how it inspired me to go on and start

www.adoptacaregiver.org

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Support Caregivers

One day you might be a caregiver yourself. Support caregivers, treat them like you yourself would like to be treated.

Caregivers are working 24/7. They are lonely, exhausted, too tired to go out to support groups, and remember support groups are not for everyone.

You need to look around your community, surely there is a caregiver there. All it takes is an email to start a friendship.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing.

Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Visit www.adoptacaregiver.com

Read Behind The Mask, a secret journal, to know how one caregiver felt. Me!

Things To Do Before I Die

I wrote this almost ten years ago, and it still holds true today.

“Things to do before I die. Now where did that thought com from? It flew into my mind like a tornado and wouldn’t leave. So, lets see if I can come up with some answers.

First of all, assuming I have enough years left, I’d like to continue to sample life, love and family. That’s always my first priority. Then there’s reading, writing, and knitting.

I hope my love of life and learning stays with me forever. I like learning from others, listening, sharing. I like something to do every day, spending time at home and time alone with my thoughts.Spending time with Howard.

I’d like to leave a legacy of love. I’d like world peace. I’d like everyone to take charge of his own life, to share himself with his world and to give something back. I’d like love to be all things to all people”

Yes, it all still hold true to this day. There have been some changes/additions. I have published my book, Behind The Mask, we have moved back to California to be near our family, and we are dedicated to seeing our Adopt A Caregiver grow. You can see what that is by looking at

www.adoptacaregiver.org

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene