Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Acorn owners, Mary Lynn Ryerson and Lorenzo Mejia, are Qualified Dementia Care Specialists, the highest designation given by the Dementia Care Professionals of America.  In 2014, Lorenzo was named the Dementia Care Professional of the Year by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Having cared for a parent who died from Alzheimer’s, we understand the stress it can place on families.  Lorenzo’s mom suffered with Alzheimer’s for a number of years.  Her cognitive decline in that period was marked by days and, sometimes, weeks when she showed remarkable clarity and what seemed to be a rebound in mental capability.  We would be buoyed by those moments of improvement, but they were always short-lived.

At the time, much less was known about dementia and much less information was publicly available.  We dreaded the “A-word” (Alzheimer’s).  We took solace when her physician told us that she did not have Alzheimer’s, only dementia.  Today, we know that such a diagnosis makes no sense.  Dementia is brain failure that can be due to a number of factors.  Alzheimer’s is one cause of dementia.  Perhaps her doctor was trying to save us unnecessary despair.

In hindsight, we realize that it did not matter greatly.  Her decline was inevitable.  There was no cure. The only thing we could do was care.

We hope the following resources help guide you in your efforts as you care for someone you love.