"As Alzheimer's disease progresses, the need to nurture, love and be loved increases." American Assoc Geriatric Psychiatrists

Testimonials

An Unexpected Friendship with Gertie and NBA Star Kenneth Faried

An Unexpected Friendship

                Gertie is her name and his name is Kenneth… Kenneth Faried, the star NBA player for the Denver Nuggets. At first glance, they seem to have nothing in common, but they actually have an AMAZING friendship. Gertie first met Kenneth several years ago at  a Special Olympics event with the Denver Nuggets NBA basketball team. Being from Colorado, Gertie has always been a big fan of his. A year later, Gertie was in a Down Syndrome fashion show and her escort was Kenneth! They bonded immediately and never looked back.

                                      

            In 2016 at the beginning of the school year, Gertie told her mother she wanted to invite Kenneth to come and be her Show and Tell friend at her school. Gertie’s mother, Heidi, contacted Kenneth and invited him. Kenneth didn’t bat an eye; he just asked when and where and said he would be there. Both of their lives changed and they have never been the same since.

              Memorable Pets & Believable Babies learned of this story because Gertie’s mother bought one of our handmade art Reborn baby dolls for Gertie’s birthday on October 13th. After her birthday had come and gone, Heidi reached out to us to tell us how happy Gertie was with her new baby. I asked Heidi if Gertie had given the baby doll a name and she then explained to me the friendship and love that Gertie has for Kenneth Faried, the NBA star. Heidi said Gertie named her baby “Kenneth”, even though her new reborn baby doll is a girl.

          

                 Heidi explained that she ordered the doll through Memorable Pets & Believable Babies because we give 10% of the proceeds to Alzheimer’s research. She told me that Gertie has Down Syndrome and that over 50% of people with Down Syndrome get Alzheimer’s when they are young adults, often in their 30’s. Heidi said it is something she is passionate about and that her grandfather had Alzheimer’s.

                Heidi went on to say that Kenneth is such an amazing person. He always makes sure to give Gertie a hug or high five at the games, and he even has let her warm up with him before a game. Heidi said her family is truly blessed to have him in their lives. One cute story that Heidi shared is about how Gertie signed her own gym shoe and gave it to Kenneth. So, after the Nuggets’ last game of the year, Kenneth ran up to Gertie, took off his shoe, signed it, and said now they both have each other’s shoe!

                

To make things even more interesting, our daughter Jessica went to Morehead State University in Kentucky during the same time Kenneth Faried played basketball for Morehead State in 2011. Kenneth put Morehead State on the map by upsetting the University of Louisville’s team during the first round of the NCAA tournament. Kenneth was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft. 

       

                Last year Gertie wrote to The Ellen Show with a request to share her story about her best friend Kenneth Faried. Ellen accepted the request, and they are coordinating schedules to be on The Ellen Show in the near future!

           

                Heidi’s last message to me said it has truly been amazing to watch Gertie and Kenneth together and to see how much love they have for each other. She thanked me for the beautiful baby and for helping make it possible to one day find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Heidi ended her message with, “You are making the world a better place!”

                         

        Kenneth's nickname is the "Manimal" so Gertie nicknamed herself the "Fanimal"!

 

Stuffed Animals for Geriatric Patients

Thank you very much for your donation of 6 pets.  We did received them from the Hospital Foundation soon after their arrival. 

After all the staff enjoyed to look at them we have started to include them in our distribution program.  We gave out our first one today and had excellent results.

On a funny note, our social worker was carrying one of the long-haired dogs donated and a hospital administrator came up to see why an unauthorized animal was being brought to the hospital by staff.

The patient who received it enjoyed it very much as well.

Anthony Arslan, DO, CAQGM

Communicate through Memorable Pets

This week's blog takes a look at an article from The Alzheimer's Reading Room, entitled 'Communicating with the Deeply Forgetful'.

The article seeks to explain and break down how people living with later stages of Alzheimer's view the world around them, and in particular, how their reality is much different from the reality that we are used to.

In order to foster a means of helpful communication, the focus of the caregiver should shift to the new reality of a deeply forgetful personthat iswhat they think and believe to be true. This is sometimes difficult, as it often involves "playing" pretend" or placating them in ways that you are not used to, especially when the person you are caring for is someone you hold to a high degree of respect.

"I feel confident when I say thisyou won't be able to convince a person who is deeply forgetful that they are wrong, and you won't be able to convince them that your reality is the true reality." (source

The goal then, is to discover ways to communicate that benefit both the caregiver and a loved one with Alzheimer's.

Memorable Pets invokes the philosophy of traditional pet therapy; that animals can have a calming and positive effect on people with Alzheimer's, particularly when it comes to helping them become more social and more involved with other people.

These stuffed animals, which are especially crafted to be realistic and cuddly alternatives to real dogs and cats, can provide a very special link of communication between a person with Alzheimer's and their caregiver and/or family. They are capable of not only soothing agitation and other kinds of stress, but also of stirring and rekindling old memories by way of a beloved family pet and companion.

Read more: Communicating with the Deeply Forgetful

At Memorable Pets, we are highly dedicated to raising funds for Alzheimer's awareness and research, which is why a portion of the proceeds from each Memorable Pet goes toward Alzheimer's care. You can learn more about our selection of pets and how you can help at our website: memorablepets.com

 

Alzheimer's Therapy: Keeping Imagination Alive

Our blog today looks at the work being done at Pine Run Retirement Community in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where the residents use painting and clay molding to rekindle their memories.

Kris Sinisi, an art instructor at the community who helps the residents with their projects says that imagination is something that does not falter: "They may lose certain memories, but imagination is key, and it's always there, and it can always be sparked and triggered."

In the same way, Memorable Pets seeks to help patients with dementia and Alzheimer's reinvent memories of their beloved pets, and through the interaction with stuffed animals, act as a social bond they share with their loved ones.

Many patients who receive a Memorable Pet believe it is alive--an actual dog or cat. This sense of imagination and belief is crucial to the outlet for nurturing and caring for something that a Memorable Pet provides.

Read more: Art of Aging: Alzheimer's Therapy

At Memorable Pets, we are highly dedicated to raising funds for Alzheimer's awareness and research, which is why a portion of the proceeds from each Memorable Pet goes toward Alzheimer's care. You can learn more about our selection of pets and how you can help at our website: memorablepets.com

'Baby Doll' brings Joy and Light to the Darkness of Alzheimer's

Our blog entry today is on a narrative by Nancy Wurtzel, public relations professional, creative writer, and owner of the blog Dating Dementia, who relays the story of her mother's gradual decline into the hardships of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 85.

In her later stages after diagnosis, Wurtzel's mother, once highly social and outgoing, began to withdraw from the world and stopped attempting meaningful interactions or conversations. In her earlier stages, she began hoarding containers of old food and became obsessed with winning games like bingo or cards—often sulking like a child when she lost.

As her mother continued to withdraw and her years grew shorter and her world became smaller, Nancy turned to doll therapy, and hesitantly bought a soft-bodied realistic doll for her mother, hoping it would bring some comfort to her.

The effect was amazing. Upon giving her mother the doll, Nancy could tell she was instantly fascinated. Her mother and 'Baby Doll', as they called the doll, became inseparable. Caring for and interacting with Baby Doll gave Nancy's mother a new sense of purpose, companionship, and joy.

When Nancy's mother passed away in Nancy's own home under hospice care, Baby Doll was with her, cradled under her chin.

Read more: Baby doll brings comfort during the Alzheimer's journey

Doll therapy is similar in concept to using stuffed animals for comfort and healing, in the way that Memorable Pets does. Realistic and soft plush animals can give Alzheimer's and dementia patients a new purpose in caring for something, and create a strong bond between patient and pet that can last for the remainder of a loved one's life.

At Memorable Pets, we are highly dedicated to raising funds for Alzheimer's awareness and research, which is why a portion of the proceeds from each Memorable Pet goes toward Alzheimer's care. You can learn more about our selection of pets and how you can help at our website: memorablepets.com

Hilarity for Charity Grants for Alzheimer's Care

Actor and comedian Seth Rogen, along with his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, have dedicated a charity known as Hilarity for Charity to helping families receive free Alzheimer's care for their loved ones. Hilarity for Charity has partnered with Home Instead Senior Care—an organization built around providing in-home care to Alzheimer's patients within the U.S. and Canada.

The charity's care grants have already provided 6,000 hours of free care to more than 130 families, and the organization is still accepting applications for grants, which range from 25 hours of short-term care to long-term care.

To apply for a grant from Hilarity for Charity, please visit Help for Alzheimer's Families.

Read more: Comedian’s charity provides grants for Alzheimer’s care

At Memorable Pets, we are highly dedicated to raising funds for Alzheimer's awareness and research, which is why a portion of the proceeds from each Memorable Pet goes toward Alzheimer's care. You can learn more about our selection of pets and how you can help at our website: memorablepets.com

Alzheimer's Disease Devastating Kentucky and Indiana

As a Kentucky-based company, we at Memorable Pets feel it is especially important to shed light on issues taking place in our area, and in this case, it is particularly disheartening to learn that the death rate for Alzheimer's in both Kentucky and Indiana has risen by over 70 percent since the year 2000. In addition, many Americans are not even being told they have the disease.

This new report comes from the Alzheimer's Association—according to the 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, Kentucky suffered from 1,462 Alzheimer's-related deaths in 2012, while Indiana suffered 2,104. The Association estimates that around 68,000 Kentucky seniors and 110,000 Indiana seniors currently have the disease.

An analysis in the report also shows that less than half of Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer's disease are being told by their doctors about the diagnosis, while the disclosure rates for breast cancer and prostate cancer are 96 percent and 92 percent, respectively.

DeeAnna Esslinger, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association's Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter, says that the poor disclosure rate for Alzheimer's may be due to the stigma that's commonly associated with the disease, as well as some physicians being ill-equipped to talk about an Alzheimer's diagnosis with patients and their families.

Esslinger says the lack of effective treatments and no cure for Alzheimer's may also explain doctors' hesitance to reveal a diagnosis. However, she encourages people who think they are experiencing symptoms, or those who are concerned for a loved one, to be assertive and persistent. "Go to the doctor and ask the questions and keep asking the questions until you are satisfied that you have the appropriate answer."

Read more: Alzheimer's disease takes toll in Ky. and Ind.

At Memorable Pets, we are highly dedicated to raising funds for Alzheimer's awareness and research, which is why a portion of the proceeds from each Memorable Pet goes toward Alzheimer's care. You can learn more about our selection of pets and how you can help at our website: memorablepets.com

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