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The power of written word

September 6, 2011


There have been many times when I can’t be there when Gramps needs me. Although I have told him how to turn on the hot water, there is no way for me to get the message to him when he is out of my sight.  As we spent more time living together, I started to notice that written words stuck for much longer than spoken.

I expected him to quickly forget the article about Alzheimer’s that I had accidentally left on the table. But hours later, there were questions about what it meant.

Suddenly, the light came on and we started taking advantage of this secret.  We created our own notes all over the house.  There are signs to use soap, how to turn on the hot water, and where to find his toothbrush. There are signs on the doors that tell about our alarm.  (Finally, we aren’t woken by alarms in the middle of the night!)

We also created a book of letters and pictures with labels.  Each of his friends and family members wrote him a letter and we attached a picture.  We labeled each entry with a name and add more trinkets as time goes on.  He loves looking back at old post cards and pictures and can now share who people in the pictures are.

Not only are we happier that Gramps doesn’t set off the alarm at night, but he is much calmer knowing how to work things and seeing letters from his old friends!

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