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“I listened to the man in the white lab coat ask if I knew what Alzheimer’s was.

Death by inches, I said.

And you have it, he said.

I’m pretty sure the world stopped at that moment, and then there was a roaring sound, like a freight train barreling through my brain pan. I sat there, frozen, and I remember thinking what a crummy job this poor guy’s got.

I call him Al, for short. We’ve been joined to each other for going on three years now. We’re a popular couple – more of us elders join the ranks every year, Alzheimer’s being the name that we used to use to describe “natural causes.” Or, as my grandmother used to say: “Parts just wear out.” (Maude Murphy’s parts lasted 95 years, and I hope fervently that she has passed along that DNA.)

Al is insidious and relentless, a gutless coward who won’t come out and fight. Instead, he lies in ambush in my brain, and the only way I can put a face on him is to look in the mirror.

Of course. Al loves your brain. It amuses him to watch you flail about, trying to free yourself from his clammy, reptilian embrace.” ~ This was a section of a passage written by Bill Lyon. You can read the rest here: My Alzheimer’s Fight.

I had read this story over a year ago and I still think of it often, because my grandmother died of Alzheimer’s.  We didn’t know that she had it at first, and maybe she really didn’t (we’ll never truly know), but what I do know is that I wish we had been more prepared.

A baby lying on his grandma\'s shoulder.

I was recently introduced to GreatCall.  If you are not sure what to get your grandmother for mother’s day, this is it.  I wish that we had used this for my grandma.   It looks just like a fitness tracker and it does everything that a fitness tracker does, but it also gives them a chance to call for help if they need it, with an alert button.  The Lively Wearable works with the app on a smartphone.  The Link app alerts family member when the urgent response button is pressed.   

How it works:

  1. Simply press the button to speak immediately with a 5Star Urgent Response Agent through your smartphone.
  2. Agent will confirm your location, evaluate the situation and even stay on the line until the situation is resolved.
  3. Agents can call emergency services, get roadside assistance or a locksmith, or contact family.

I remember one time when my grandma was on a walk, a walk that she took daily, and she ended up lost.   She had no idea where she was and looking back, GreatCall would have been the perfect thing for her.  She would have kept her independence and we would have had a better peace of mind knowing that she could reach out to someone if she needed help.  It even senses if you have a sudden fall, when worn around the neck.

My grandma was active, so she would have loved that it tracked her steps.  She would probably have called me daily to compare steps!  (And honestly… she would have had me beat daily, too!) 

One of my favorite parts of it is that it is good for your mind, which is the best fight that we have against diseases like alzheimer’s.  The Lively Wearable has MIND.  You complete challenges every day to keep the brain sharp & alert.
A close up of alert devices and watches.I love that you can use it for any kind of help that you need. You can press the button for emergencies or non-emergencies (like locking your keys in the car)    

Oh- and you do not have to charge it (it takes batteries) so that makes it one less thing to worry about.  It is also very sleek looking and it’s waterproof, which is something I always look for (I can’t tell you how many things I have ruined with water!)

If you aren’t sure what to get grandma or grandpa for Mother’s/Father’s Day, give them the power of help at their fingertips.  These  medical alerts could help/give the whole family peace of mind.  I know that from first hand experience.  Plus, you can take 25% off for Mother’s Day (the sale runs 4/21-5/14). Find out more here!


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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