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Advice to Alzheimer’s Caregiver Newbies

Webinar Presentation By: Michael A. Horvich


This presentation is being made for DARI at Homethrive, to support caregivers of friends or family members who are living with Alzheimer’s.

I am grateful to Homethrive for giving me this opportunity and for the work they do to support caregivers in all areas of health and mental well-being.

The presentation is based on an article I wrote called: “Advice to Dementia /Alzheimer’s Caregiver Newbies.”

It is based on my experiences with my husband Gregory, during his 12 years of living with the disease. He passed seven years ago.

On my web site, … scroll down to Homethrive and you can find the text of this presentation, the full article on which it is based, references and resources, and a series of motivational posters about living with Dementia.

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The story I am about to share with you is a very PERSONAL one. I’m comfortable with crying in front of you, however it is very difficult to cry … and talk at the same time.

So, if I get choked up, I will pause, take a few deep breaths, and be right back, probably before you even notice I have gone.

GREGORY, my husband of over 41 years, was diagnosed with DEMENTIA, most likely ALZHEIMER’S, in the 29th year of our relationship. He was 55 years old.

Together, we were on the Dementia Journey for 12 years.

Let me say that I am NOT here today as an EXPERT in the field of Dementia and Alzheimer’s … but rather as someone who has EXPERIENCED it … DIRECTLY and INTENSELY.

Let me tell you a little about me …

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts, a Master’s Degree in Education, and an Advanced Certificate in Education Administration and Supervision.

I am an educator, have worked with children in regular education as well as children with special needs.

I was an administrator for a Talented & Gifted Education Programed & taught Jr High Spanish.

I have taught a number of university level education courses and seminars.

I have been retired for 25+ years but have been more than active as an educator, speaker, writer, poet, blogger, actor, opera supernumerary, children’s museum curator, flea circus ringmaster, and Dementia /Alzheimer’s caregiver partner.

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Next, let me tell you a little bit about Gregory.

GREGORY earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut & received his Master’s Degree from Harvard University in Architecture, with Phi Beta Kappa recognition.

He ran his own high end architecture and interior design firm and served as the architect of record for renovations at the Baha’i National Shrine in a suburb of Chicago, Wilmette, Illinois.

Gregory was a writer, an artist, was well versed in music and art history, was a concert level pianist, spoke French, and won many awards for his architecture and interior design skills.

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As I begin this presentation, let me say … that we cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive, but we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed!

Hopefully this presentation will speak to you in some ways and also plant seeds for the future on your jo