In the Words of Krista Creel, Granddaughter

Families with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients Share Their Stories

My grandma lives in a nursing home in upstate New York. I live in Tennessee, so I don’t get to see her often. I was fortunate to be able to take my kids to visit her this summer.

She had only been in the nursing home for three months, but it was difficult seeing her there for the first time. We knew she wouldn’t be able to return home, even though she didn’t always know that.

“I would probably never stay in the house again, nor she, but when I visited her, I tried to focus on the positive.”
She had been alone nearly 20 years after Grandpa died, and she lived in the same little white house at the end of a county highway for at least 60 years. The kids and I had the house all to ourselves during the trip. I looked through hundreds of old photos and learned things about our family I had never known, while they got to sleep in the house in which I had so many fond memories from my childhood.

I would probably never stay in the house again, nor she, but when I visited her, I tried to focus on the positive. Grandma has always had a sweet laugh, more like the soft giggle of a shy child. So the best part of the visit was when my son, Nicholas, made her laugh. Actually, it was his shirt.

“Aliens Abducted My Homework” it read.

Grandma read it over and over again, as if each time was the first. And every time she read it, she giggled.

I told Nicholas he could probably stand there all day long and make her laugh. That made him as happy as it made me.

Takeaways:

  • Visit when you can.
  • Focus on the positive.

DorisKramer

Left to Right: 1: Krista Creel, Nicholas and Annabelle Woodlief, Doris Kramer

Qsource is collecting and sharing these stories in honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. See what else we’re doing to help improve the quality of care for older adults at www.atomAlliance.org.

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Krista Creel, Marketing Specialist

Krista’s 14-year marketing experience covers the scope of retail, service, distribution and non-profit. She currently serves as Qsource Marketing Specialist dedicated to the nursing home and care coordination tasks, focused on quality improvement initiatives aimed at improving the health and care of Medicare beneficiaries.