My mother loves puzzles. The lower shelf of her plant stand is filled with ones she bought just over the past year at yard sales and second-hand stores. Boxes brimming with intricate, tiny pieces — 500, 1000, 2000. As soon as she got home, she’d sit down at her card table and, following the simple strategy she had perfected decades ago, began separating the edge pieces. She would start with gusto and intense concentration, but I think she only managed to finish one of the smaller ones, and not without some help.
When you’ve lived a long, full life, chances are you have the “stuff” to prove it. Packed away in the attic, strewn about the cellar and garage, scattered throughout your entire home. If you’re like most people, just the thought of having to deal with it is overwhelming, let alone actually tackling the project. When it’s your parent’s house that needs to be cleaned out, the task is somehow even more daunting.
It’s a funny thing, at least for people who are parents, how as you get older, the tables can turn. The child you watched over may now be doing the same to you, which can be rather disconcerting at times. Especially if your children are telling you that they don’t think your home is safe anymore and you are determined to stay in it as long as possible — the term used these days is aging in place.
The stigma of Alzheimer’s and dementia is strong, partly because of a lack of awareness and understanding about the disease. Sometimes it’s even strong in people dealing first-hand with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association has an equally strong opinion about why it’s important to fight stigma.
In winter’s past Maine has experienced winter storms that have left thousands without power. No power means many have probably either hooked up a portable generator or have one that automatically goes on when the power goes off. It’s so important to make sure a generator is used and vented properly to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.