PWD Cecil Ristow August 2015a

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Alzheimers:

The issues of aging continue.

Silence in the ranks concerning medicines, treatments and practices are lax at best. How do we come up with a plan to cope? Some strategies are forming as groups begin to Mentor and gather together in their combined efforts to get the message out.

What is that message? Root word being mess, one could argue that the silence is largely due to nobody wanting to admit they are getting old, have a terminal diagnosis and looking at the end-game. How do you accept all of that when it’s some Doctor that decides to ‘flip’ your “Old Switch”. Worse yet, when things stop working ? Questions most of us have nobody to ask. Grandpa’s gone. So is Dad. Mom can’t remember, and just smiles. The mess is in finding a way to face it.

Senior Centers are being replaced with Senior Day Care. Which costs even more money. They have those “Soup Places” downtown which could work in a pinch. Parks are an old standby “just park me anywhere” just don’t forget to come back and get me. Which I hear happens a lot. The National Parks service had an application for a free Disabled parks pass. Can’t get into trouble in a park. If I do, you can’t be held responsible. What a deal!
I have my dignity to consider. Dignity, sounds like something like laurels. You know laurels. They are that thing that looks like salad that sit on your head and is supposed to get you out of work. Like my dignity, I think I sat on mine and I can’t get up! I have to figure out my “face time”. Now I use a white cane because my vision is gone. That keeps me from falling on my face. I have to ask somebody else if I got it all, again with the face! Somehow, I try to end the day having something to show for it in order to save face. We won’t talk about the other “face time” which is non-existent anyway. Face the Nation is still on Sundays – right? Facebook may or may not be doing anybody any favors.

Social media. Interactive, vibrant , colorful and free. If I stick to the relevant and appropriate mature sites would that be called “Smurfing?” I think that out of that can come a great abundance of information. I would have to pick and choose. Carefully decide what works for me and then share it’s unworthiness’ with others so the valuable stuff doesn’t get lost. Like that never spill gyro bowl for feeding babies. Has a lot of different uses. Experienced parents know it will be used for a Frisbee immediately, but if you put my Scotch in it, it could keep me busy all day! Libraries were another old standby. They only have two drawbacks, both an opening and a closing time. Even so, if I get in trouble there you are still not responsible. Another great deal.

Inner City Subways, Ferries and Transit systems. Self-Explanatory.

At the end of the day. What is there? What remains is the eternal struggle to connect with somebody. In the beginning we are all connected. Then somebody cuts the cord. We struggle to reconnect. The stigma is, that when we get old wanting to reconnect is somehow taken away from us. I suggest that it is not and that it just changes. We are left with those around us having to make the decision of whether or not to connect. Some do, some don’t and that’s OK. By this time I got enough connections still working in my brain to last a lifetime. Most probably a lot more entertaining than anything you can come up with.

Whenever I feel down about aging I remember what my Kids’ Room used to look like, and I go to sleep, like my Mom, smiling.

   Sincerely Cecil

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