Thursday, August 2, 2007



My FIL has Alzheimer. It’s a dreaded disease inflicting itself upon individuals at random with no reason as to whom it selects. My FIL has gone out of his way to take care of himself physically, in fact, at 82 he’s still in top physical condition. He’s an artist, he’s intelligent and he’s active, yet he’s been plagued with the dreaded demeaning disease of Alzheimer.

Symptoms start out as simple as forgetfulness; summing it up as getting older. Yet as time goes on other symptoms include confusion, trouble with organizing and expressing one’s thoughts, misplacing things, personality behavior changes and unfortunately getting lost in their familiar surroundings.

Having to watch my father in law on occasion, giving my mother in law some much-needed rest, I’ve already had to experience all of the traits above with the exception of getting lost. He rarely goes out at all anymore simply because leaving his home causes extreme confusion..

With being a part of this, I can also testify how much this affects everyone around him, especially his wife and his sons. I know that when I’m there, it consumes nearly all my time just watching over him, making sure he eats and doesn’t wander away. Even being in bed at night, turning it off for a peaceful sleep is impossible for fear he’ll get up and who knows.

I understand we are just a few short years away from a medication that will help Alzheimer patients. In the meantime, my hat is off to those who work hard, bringing money to the research. One of the ways that I have found is through Ami Simms. She’s created the “Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative”.

Right now, a quilt exhibit is going around from August of 2006 to July 2009 in which 52 quilts are being displayed interpreting Alzheimer’s in some way. If you get an opportunity to check it out, please do so. We need to support this research in full force..

Also, Ami Simms, founder of the “Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative” has published a book based on these 52 quilts. The book is $20 and $18.00 of those dollars will go directly to the Alzheimer’s research. Check out her site and please consider purchasing one of these books. You won’t regret it. Your money will go to a great cause that will change all our lives.

And, while you are there, check out her whole site. She brings great information to quilters plus she’s humorous to boot.. I, myself, get her monthly newsletter and I love it..

Thank you for letting me ramble on today but this has touched me deeply and with being at my Inlaws last weekend you can imagine how sad my heart is watching someone so full of life, not even know who I am half of the time.. When the newsletter came out last night, I decided to not only buy this book but to do all I can to encourage others as well. It’s important to all of us and to the quality of all our lives.


Tonniece said...

Hi Skye

My heart goes out to you and your family. I have an inkling of how devastating this disease can be.

My mother has been diagnosed with dementia, and she is haveing a very hard time of it.

Anyway, I just wanted to sent you hugs, and well wishes to your family in these trying times.


Dianne said...

Hey Skye
I too can relate this is a dibilitating disease and a heartbreak for the familys.
You have such a kind heart and feel things deeply. I know you are an old soul like I am..
Tonniece's Mom is my adopted Mom so its so sad to see this happen to our loved ones..
If you want to you can send the site for the book to the group, I too think its a great cause and I'm sure the book must be wonderful with all those beautiful quilts..
I to am sending well wishes to your family and a HUGH hug to you my dear....

Wendy said...

Dear Skye,
I happen to see your blog on the hand-embroidery group and I want to say that I am with you on this horrible disease. When I was about 20 I went to live with my grandmother to help because of her alzheimer. I thought maybe I could help her remember if I gave her 24 hour attention. After an exhausting time of it and many tears I gave up. She has since passed on and hopefully they will find a cure soon. What a great blog about it though.
Wendy Blake