Ann Henderberg—a resident at St. John’s Meadows—and Vicky Ruppert shared their personal experiences with dementia to staff and family members at St. John’s Home on October 24. The two read excerpts from Singing in the Rain: Weathering the Storm of Dementia with Humor, Love, and Patience. The book features ongoing email communications between Ann and Vicky as they both cared for a spouse with memory impairment. Ann and Vicky initially met at a local Alzheimer’s Association support group.
Vicky’s husband Jim lived with Alzheimer’s disease for nearly two decades. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia with over five million Americans living with the diagnosis. Alzheimer’s disease typically brings a gradual decline in short term memory, the ability to use language, and continued difficulty completing everyday tasks. Click here to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease.
Ann’s husband Ralph struggled with Lewy body disease, a less common form of dementia. Lewy body dementia also causes a progressive cognitive decline, but is often compared to a roller coaster ride as the severity of symptoms tend to fluctuate sporadically. Similar to Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia causes issues with movement, posture, and balance. Read this resource to learn more about Lewy body dementia.
Although Ann and Vicky each experienced unique caregiver journeys, they were able to help support each other by sharing similar challenges and advice. Hear more about Ann and Vicky’s collaboration: