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I would like to share my personal story on how grateful I am for the Helpline staff at Alzheimer's Orange County:

My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2015; the first person in our family to be diagnosed with dementia. Little did I know that the organization I work for would become the organization I rely on for support. Last holiday season, my grandmother really started to decline. We knew the usual routine of dinner, games and presents was going to be different this year, but we weren't sure how different. My grandmother could no longer play her favorite game of dominoes as counting became a challenge. It was time for me to accept that we needed help on how to make the best of the holiday season. So, I called the Helpline staff at Alzheimer's Orange County! After our consultation, our family ran out to purchase a smaller dominoes set and see how she would respond if we play by colors instead of numbers. It worked perfectly! We also made sure one family member was "secretly" on her team by sitting really close to her and suggesting what tiles to play. Again, all advice from the Helpline team.

Another concern we had was the Christmas dinner toast. We knew that we couldn't give my grandmother champagne, but weren't sure what to do to ensure she felt included and like an adult! It was suggested that we buy sparkling cider, put it in a champagne class, and that we all drink the sparking cider. My grandmother absolutely loved the "apple" taste to the campaign and it worked like a charm.

Without the advice from the Helpline staff at Alzheimer's Orange County last year, we would have not been able to enjoy the holiday traditions that make us all enjoy our time together. I look forward to using the same advice this year knowing my grandmother will have a wonderful time with friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving,

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