This program is so good, it’s worth a second look.
My friend Carl is a devout Christian. Ten years ago, at a church service, he met an Army veteran named Amy and was immediately smitten. It was on this very date a decade ago, that Amy asked Carl if he’d like to go out for a cup of coffee, and so began a love story for the ages.
Amy’s pre-teen daughter, Julie, gave her mom’s new beau her stamp of approval, and they did everything together, movies, skating, sleigh rides, it was a Hallmark movie come to life.
After a long courtship, Carl asked Amy to marry him, and she didn’t hesitate. To anyone who knew them, they were a match made in heaven. They supported one another’s dreams and ambitions and as a family, couldn’t be happier.
Just before COVID-19 took its grip on the nation and Julie headed off to college, Amy began acting differently. She had a few uncharacteristic outbursts and for the first time since they met, Carl felt a little tense around his bride.
After some testing, Carl learned that Amy was in the beginning stages of dementia. Sadly, living with a combat-trained soldier, who was experiencing more frequent outbursts of aggression became too dangerous for Amy and the mild-mannered Carl. In February he reluctantly signed her into a nursing home where she could be under 24/7 observation, and he was optimistic that she would be back in his arms again soon.
Then the virus forced lockdowns across the country, and it was particularly dangerous in Carl’s state. It’s been 10 months since he’s been able to touch the love of his life, but he is still madly in love with her, and grateful that she still recognizes his face, even if she doesn’t know his name.
No matter what the weather, he hasn’t missed one of the past 300 days to drive 30 miles from their home to visit her and have a chat through her first-floor window. He’s claimed a block of land outside that window to build a garden for her with potted plants, windchimes, and seasonal decorations that he knows will make her smile. He brings her chocolate (her favorite), stuffed animals, and handmade cards, and signs declaring his love.
That is what caregivers do. find ways to keep their loved ones engaged, happy, and present.
Update: Last week Amy tested positive for Covid. She is in isolation and naturally, Carl still cannot get close to her, but, through the closed window, she told him, “You’re handsome.” It made his day.
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or who has suffered a stroke or other debilitating event, you don’t have to figure things out by yourself.
Help is just a click away at dabblesack.com
A new business brought to you with love by local residents Robyn Martin and Rebecca Strichman, two occupational therapists with more than 65 years of combined experience caring for seniors.
The two have dedicated their lives to the specific needs of the elderly patients under their care and learned many valuable lessons on how to best meet those needs. Both have the uncanny ability to walk into the toy expo at the Javits Convention Center in New York and see the endless possibilities in an item that the casual visitor may only see as a fun little board game.
The women have copartnered with Enchanted Makeovers, a group out of Michigan that provides capes to children in shelters. You can make two capes and send them to the organization which distributes them to the children. Kids put them on and they feel empowered.
Operation Gratitude covers a myriad of projects. It collects letters that go into packages for those in the armed forces, frontline workers, and veterans.
If you are an animal lover, perhaps helping a shelter pet find a forever home a little faster is your passion. The ladies will hook you up with bandanas and fabric markers so you can decorate the neckerchief that attracts someone’s attention.
There’s something for everyone on the Dabblesack site, virtual party kits with props and games that you can play on Zoom. What better way to enhance your socially distanced holiday celebration than by engaging everyone in a game?
Robyn and Rebecca put together packages for customers in the US and Canada to help create special moments for everyone involved.
Customers write thank you notes saying that they are thankful because Dabblesack helped create better moments with their family.
One woman said it was a gift to have her mother, afflicted with dementia, smile, and have a good time again.
A customer in Arizona said she feels guilty because she can’t be with her parents while they are on lockdown in a facility. But she ordered a package and after they received it in the mail it boosted their spirits and helps them get through the isolation.
A Dabblesack box sent to a facility in Mississippi that has been in lockdown for a long time was very well-received and helped brighten everyone’s day.
Well Worth The Cost
Visit the Dabblesack website today. The prices vary from $8 – $10 to $20, or $25 or more. Your gift will help your loved one stay engaged, be active, alert, and involved, and connected with caregivers and grandchildren.
No matter what you need or want, the ladies have your back.
If you have questions about how to play games or what would be best for your parent or loved one, just sent an e-mail and ask.
NOTE: This is, by far the best feel-good story I’ve had the pleasure to have written this year. I think that the work Robyn and Rebecca are doing is amazing. I should have written it two weeks ago, but my own residual stroke afflictions have had me in a state of confusion and forgetfulness since we spoke. I apologize for this. Please check out their site and do some holiday shopping for your loved ones right away, and keep them in mind in the future. It is a wonderful resource. You will love working with them.