Bob DeMarco is a beautiful man.  I only met him yesterday on his website but already he is a person dear to my heart.  Bob lives in Delray FL  and  says, “I am an Alzheimer’s Caregiver. My mother Dorothy, now 93 years old, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. We live our life one day at at time.”  His website, The Alzheimer’s Reading Room,  is called the number one blog on the internet for advice, insight, news, and information about Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving, and dementia.

Right off, you know that if Dotty is 93, her son is no spring chicken.(My prying makes him about 60.)    He, like all the rest of us, is learning in the school of experience, and he is willing to share that experience with us.  His mother is in the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer’s dementia but can still read and do crossword puzzles.  She used to love to play the lottery every day but after Bob started buying the tickets for her (to save a daily trip to the store) he found she soon  became totally unable to buy her own ticket.  Moral:  Let Alzheimer patients do whatever they are able to do.  Once they forget, they will be unable to relearn it.

Apparently Bob moved to Delray in 2007 to care for his mother and the site is jam-packed with all sorts of trial-and-error experiences and helpful information such as  links to brain games, exercising with Nintendo Wii, the importance of exercise and the positive effect it has on his mother, and how he dealt with incontinence .  (“I can say this with some confidence — we no longer experience the flood. Now its more like the little tiny accident.”)    His technique requires getting Dotty to pee ten times a day and obviously needs a very dedicated, patient, full-time caregiver.  I like his humor.  His page on incontinence ends thus:  “Coming soon — the dreaded bladder infection makes my mother pee pee like a mad woman, how we licked the dreaded bowel movement problem, and who knows maybe I’ll publish the pee pee song I sing.”

Actually I found DeMarco’s  site when  looking for the new  Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) test developed by the Ohio State University Medical Center  to help identify individuals with mild thinking and memory impairments at an early stage. The research shows four out of five people (80 percent) with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)  will be detected by this test.  It is a 15-minute handwritten test and of course Bob DeMarco has a link to it.     It can be self-administered or completed by the patient while in the doctor’s waiting room.

He also has a link to a new cognitive test, the TYM (“test your memory”), for the detection of Alzheimer’s disease designed and evaluated by researchers at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.  “The TYM detected 93% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, while the mini-mental state examination detected only 52% of patients, suggesting that the TYM test is a much more sensitive tool for detecting mild Alzheimer’s disease.”

Perhaps his site is not actually the best Alzheimers site (I haven’t looked at every one of them) but when you have a intelligent, loving, well-intentioned, curious, patient caregiver, familiar with Pavlov’s dogs,  who can also write, the result is  likely to be pretty darn good.  Bob DeMarco has rounded up a wealth of material on the subject of Alzheimer’s disease.


Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most. –- Mark Twain