Press Release

Press Release

Oakville Author Shares Her Caregiver Journey with Video for Alzheimer’s Society Hamilton Halton

in Virtual Interview with Alzheimer Society Hamilton Halton
and Produced by Halton Hills Public Library

Author, Judith Allen Shone

Oakville Beaver
Friday, January 29, 2021

To promote Alzheimer’s Awareness Month this January, the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton, together with the Halton Hills Public Library in Georgetown, Ontario, conducted a virtual interview with Oakville resident, caregiver and author, Judith Allen Shone, to bring the many aspects of dementia, specifically Alzheimer’s and the role of caregiving, into the limelight.

This resulting YouTube video, A Conversation for Caregivers: with Judy Shone,  created for the public to get a sense of the life of a spouse-caregiver and her loved one with several diagnosis.

Shone, author of two books about her world of caregiving, “Is There Any Ice Cream?” (2019) and “Did You Hide the Cookies?” (2020), shared personal experiences in response to questions asked by moderator, Danielle Arbour, Public Education Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton and Halton.

Did You Hide the Cookies?” is the second book about Shone’s journey caring for one with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, (also known as mixed dementia) as well as anxiety and COPD. Robby Henes, a caregiver for her mother, explains on the cover of the book, “…Judith shows us what a deep well of compassion looks like and what is demanded of that compassion and love when you are a caregiver. She walks you through her personal minefield of helping someone with a disease that cannot be pinned down…”


See ACTUAL STORY as appeared in Oakville Beaver and InHalton.


Over 500,000 Canadians are living with some form of dementia. The intention of this video is to enable those living in the caregiving realm to get a glimpse into what it might be like from one who has lived nearly nine years caring for her loved one. The video also reassures caregivers that, during their journey, the services from their local Alzheimer Society can be a lifeline. Free education, counselling, programs, fitness and support groups are offered online, over the phone and safely in person if needed. Producers of this video, the Halton Hills Public Library, have taken a leadership position in reminding us how much on the forefront of education our libraries can be, especially when encouraging caregivers.

Both books

The two books make up the Accepting the Gift of Caregiving series. Find both books at the Halton Hills Public Library, or libraries in Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, or ask the library in your area to order it. Both books can be ordered from local bookstores as well as online at Amazon or similar booksellers.

Information about the books can be found online at www.caregiver-books.com, and www.CaregiverAlzheimerStory.com.

Shone also hosts a caregiving blog, Accepting the Gift of Caregiving, where she shares ongoing experiences, caregiver tips, educational resources, and related activities. In addition, former, as well as current, caregiver-guest authors share their stories. Visit her blog at: www.AcceptingTheGiftOfCaregiving.com

Social media connections:
Twitter: @CaregiverStory
Facebook: JudithAllenShone-author
LinkedIn: Judith Allen Shone
Instagram: caregiverstory
Goodreads: Judith Allen Shone

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 Contacts:
Alzheimer Society
Call your local Alzheimer Society for support
At Home online
– – – – – – –
Halton Hills Public Library
Georgetown, Ontario
Phone: 905-873-2681
Website: www.hhpl.on.ca
– – – — – –

Press Release (c) 2021 Judith Allen Shone

Each day, do something that makes others smile and your heart sing.

Another Day Dawning

Another Day Dawning

ice cream and cookies

Ever since we began our journey in Alzheimer’s world well over eight years ago, My Love has been a Cookie Monster, not to mention his craving for ice cream. Hence the titles to the two books, Is There Any Ice Cream? and Did You Hide the Cookies?) In truth, not a day goes by that he has not asked me those exact questions . . . and, yes, I do hide them.

My Love is now in late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. I see big changes happening, I witness memory slides I would not have believed years ago. I have to be the encourager, keeping him active as much as possible. But COVID-19 has taken a toll on those at high risk, who are restricted to staying distanced, even isolated. He will do some basic chair exercises with me each day. He still smiles when I play John Barry music, so I try to play it often. On the TV, it’s the old black and white, ‘calmer’ movies, with familiar actors and simpler plots, that tend to keep his attention.

Otherwise, I find My Love is not interested in doing more than watching the digital photo frame rotate through the pictures of his family one more time. He still points to pictures of himself to tell me “there I am” or “that is me” almost as if he might be forgetting that connection himself. I rarely ask if he can tell me who everyone else is at this point – it makes him feel bad when he cannot answer.

loved one painting

And so when I hear My Love clattering in the kitchen I recognize that his interest has begun to wander, telling me he is bored.

That’s when I go find a couple pictures for him to colour or paint.

(Download below two sets of free drawings from the internet for colouring )

I put out his brushes and watercolour paints, and a small glass of water (heavy enough so it won’t tip over). Then I drop water on a few colour squares and begin to paint a flower petal or sky so he knows what to do.

Generally, My Love follows my lead and takes a brush from the water and continues to paint the picture. He currently remains engrossed in painting for about an hour, which is a long time compared to other activities. I now offer him much simpler pictures to colour than I did a year ago. In fact, a year ago, he was drawing and painting his own compositions that are now framed on his Gallery Wall. (Read Art and Music As A Brief Intervention in this site.)

When paints no longer interest My Love, I find a picture book he loves to look through. Pictures of the world from the sky. My Love used to look at it for hours. Now his attention span is greatly reduced. But if I sit with him and we talk about each picture, he stays with me and looks at the book. I love doing that, but can’t do it all the time, so I suggest it when I can sit for a while.

watercolour

But time and Alzheimer’s have stolen his desire to do much. Some days I see that the disease has removed his memory of even creating those original pictures. I am glad he still likes to paint. It occupies his time and is something he still can do. But mostly, he truly is happy to have completed a picture when he is finished.

I feel good when My Love smiles and tells me, “I did that.” His tone tells me, “of course!” Watching him paint is a warm fuzzy for me, too. 😚

And the cookies? I just this minute took two little chocolate stick cookies and placed them on My Love’s table with a napkin. He just looked at me.

“What are those for?” he asked me, in all seriousness.

I put my pinched fingers toward my mouth.

“Are they for me to eat?” My Love asked, as he imitated my movement, putting his empty hand to his mouth. I’m not sure he connected with “cookie.” I could not believe what I had seen. I smiled and shook my head yes. He smiled in return.

Does that mean his love for cookies is slipping from his memory . . . is the memory of loving cookies fading? It will be sad for me, but My Love won’t even know.

Another new day is dawning, and as always I just have to remain flexible, in the present and lovingly helpful.💕🌷

colouring book pages
Four of the pictures in the download 1

I share here, a download of 12 drawings on white background I found FREE in various places online. If your loved one likes to colour or paint, use them. You need a printer or maybe someone can print them out for you. Art has been an activity that has provided many happy hours for My Love through the years. I hope it will for your loved one, as well.

DOWNLOAD 1 DRAWINGS (set #1) -14 pages, in pdf format

colouring book pages
Four pictures in download 2

DOWNLOAD 2 DRAWINGS (set #2) -12 pages in pdf format

~jas

signoff initials

Another Day Dawning (c) 2020 Judith Allen Shone


BE PREPARED for the role of caregivermy stories from my life as a spouse-caregiver are written in real time just like the stories I tell here. Read the stories I share to become prepared for life in the world of Alzheimer’s!

book pair

For more book information, visit caregiver-books.com

Order from local independent book stores, in paperback, hardcover and eBook. Thank you. 🍦🍪 LARGE print in paperback and hardcover.
A Different Drummer Books Burlington, Ontario,
The Bookworm in Omaha, Nebraska,
Maria’s Bookshop in Durango, Colorado

or order online from most booksellers, including Amazon.ca