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November is Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month! Featured

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Meet Karen Garner:

I am a 43-year-old Mom of two and I have been married to a wonderful, smart, loving and steady man for almost 16 years.  Oh yeah, and he is a handsome man too.

I started this blog with the backing and encouragement of friends and family.  It was a tiny seed in my mind but really only came about with full on props and help from some pretty awesome people.  I can never re-pay them for the depth of support they have shown to me and continue to show me daily.

My friend and lover and the father of our children has Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  That is a mouthful.  It is also a life full.  A life full of hopes dashed.  A life full of new beginnings.  A life full of learning patience and accepting what life throws at you and realizing the universe laughs at you every time you think that you control your own destiny.

I write this blog for many reasons.  The first and foremost is to share our story in the hope that someone, maybe you, will read my words and feel compelled to do something.  To donate money, time or services to an organization like the Alzheimer’s Association or maybe a smaller one in your local area that helps families facing this long journey.

I write this blog to share our story with friends because I am asked every week how Jim is and how I am and how the kids are and how do I do it?  I don’t really feel different or special, but I know that I am in a situation that is unique and at times unfathomable.

I also write and cry and reveal our voyage through this journey so openly because I know I am not alone.  I know there are tons of others in this world that are going through similar situations.  I speak out for them.  For those that don’t have a voice or at this point just aren’t able to share their tale.  I speak for you.  For all of us.  This is more than forgetting where you place the keys.  This affects relationships, finances, emotions, lives.  It is all consuming. It is my hope that with an understanding of what life is like in an Alzheimer’s home, a change will come about.


Patience is Indeed a Virtue Patience

How I wish to the heavens above I were a more patient person. Unfortunately, all of my life I have struggled with this very thing. I distinctly recall as a young girl my Father talking to me about being patient and learning to relax. Many years later he is still telling me these same things. It seems such a cruel joke for me, of all people, to be put into a position where each day brings a new level of need that I could never have foreseen. When you are a mother, a full time employee and a care partner to someone with Alzheimer’s Disease, patience seems to always be flittering just out of reach.

I somehow find the patience to deal with work, although there are times I can tell I am not quite as tolerant as I used to be. I have patience to deal with the person who just cut me off while driving. Or the call center person that answers when I call for the 3rd time about a bill that is incorrect. I have patience for the person talking loudly on their cell phone next to me in a restaurant. Somehow I manage to tolerate a rude server or incompetent customer service rep.

Where I seem to be lacking in patience: a combination of two kids and a husband that sometimes makes me feel like I have a 3rd kid. The people I love the most are the very people that will bring out the utter lack of restraint I possess. By the time I get through my workday, I am sometimes on the cusp of a meltdown. Then to find out one of the kids forgot their homework or that Jim didn’t check to see if Brad had homework and instead stayed at the park way too long so we are now rushing to get something to eat and out the door to practice or piano and homework and reading will have to wait. Homework comes first, right? Or when someone finishes up the bread, milk, bagels, cereal, fruit, etc. during the day and doesn’t mention it to me so I can pick it up on the way home. I find out we are out of something the next morning when it isn’t there to fix for breakfast or to make for lunches.

If I only had to deal with one area of my life that needed patience, maybe that would work. But it seems that I am constantly needing to use every ounce of tolerance I possess and search within me for any reserves. Sometimes there isn’t any to be found.

Then the guilt comes. Although I am getting better about the guilt, I see it as a gift to keep me in check and to encourage me to be the calm I want to see in the world. Especially my own world.

Those of you that read my words who have traveled this path will certainly understand and probably relate. Those of you reading my words without a personal experience living with someone with Alzheimer’s Disease will hopefully become more educated and garner a better understanding.

In the past two weeks I have: walked in the door to find that Jim has taken ALL of the fire alarms down and laid them out on our bar in an attempt to find the one that was beeping (he even grabbed the one out of the attic); found my treasured “Life Is Good” mug hiding above the dryer with a huge chip missing after Jim had told me weeks ago he had broken it and thrown the pieces in the trash outside; had to reprimand Brad for disrespecting his father and taking advantage of our situation, while Jim was standing there aloofly listening; discovered Jim sleeping with his jacket on in our bed with two quilts and a blanket also covering him; found an overflowing basket of wet clothes sitting outside and Jim not recalling when he took them out there; asked Jim to keep an eye on the heat pump I had just turned on for the winter to make sure the water was flowing through the radiator pipes, upon returning a few hours later from softball practice I realized the heat had not come on, Jim had completely forgotten and the house was freezing. I have witnessed a slight decline in Jim over the past few weeks that starts the heartbreak train and the emotional inner-turmoil churning. Yes, you can know that someone is going to get worse and read all the books and speak to all the specialists. But it cannot prepare you to be a bystander as it unfolds in realtime.

By sharing these stories I am not putting Jim down or trying to have anyone feel sorry for me. I think it is important for everyone to understand that having Alzheimer’s Disease is just that; A DISEASE. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It is more than forgetting who someone is or getting lost. It is a frustrating life that can wear even the strongest person down.

The REAL irony and truly sad part is Jim is probably THE most patient person on this Earth. If the roles were reversed, I cannot imagine him not being patient and understanding. He always has been, even now. He doesn’t get mad and angry and just accepts what comes as it comes. He continues to teach me so much and is helping me grow into a person that is so much better and stronger than ever before.

The next time you see someone in the store, or driving down the road or in a restaurant and they snap for something that doesn’t seem like that big a deal, please stop and remember you don’t know the fifty things that happened before that moment they had dealt with. One minor thing can release the flood gates that have been held together by a wall of crumbling rocks.

See more at: Missing Jim:Confessions of an Alzheimer's Wife


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Sallys Stuff

Senior Citizens Discounts

This information was passed along to us; we thought this would be interesting information to post on our website, since we all love a good deal!

In order to receive the Senior Citizen discounts listed below, you have to mention the discount prior to paying.

If you find that some of these locations do not offer the discount any longer, or if you come across a vendor that should be added to the list, please go the “Contact US” Tab on the homepage of the website.  Send us an email, for a vendor to be added or removed. Happy Shopping& Saving! ~ From the staff at Sallycares.com

Applebee's: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby's: 10% off ( 55 +)
Ben & Jerry's: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan's: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob's Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee ( 55+)
Chili's: 10% off ( 55+)
CiCi's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny's: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members ( 55 +)
Dunkin' Donuts: 10% off or free coffee ( 55+)
Einstein's Bagels: 10% off baker's dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddruckers: 10% off any senior platter ( 55+)
Gaetti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)

Hardee's: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off ( 55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off ( 55+)
KFC: free small drink with any meal ( 55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off ( 50+)
Long John Silver's: various discounts at locations ( 55+)

McDonald's: discounts on coffee everyday ( 55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Shoney's: 10% off
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak 'n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday ( 50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off ( 55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off ( 50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy's: 10% off ( 55 +)
Whataburger: 10% off (62+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+)

Banana Republic: 30% off ( 50 +)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month ( 50 +)
Belk's: 15% off first Tuesday of every month ( 55 +)
Big Lots: 30% off
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days ( 55 +)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (50+)
Clarks : 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 20% off ( 55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 40% off (Wednesdays only) ( 50+)
Kohl's: 15% off (60+)Modell's Sporting Goods: 30% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday ( 55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off ( 55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month ( 55 +)

Albertson's: 10% off first Wednesday of each month ( 55 +)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday ( 50 +)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)

Food Lion: 60% off every Monday (60+)

Fry's Supermarket: free Fry's VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday ( 55 +)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday ( 50 +)
Publix: 15% off every Wednesday ( 55 +)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe's Marketplace: 15% off (62+)

Alaska Airlines: 50% off (65+)
American Airlines: various discounts for 50% off non-peak periods. (Tuesdays - Thursdays) (62+)and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations.
Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount).
United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount).
U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

Amtrak: 15% off (62+)

Greyhound: 15% off (62+)
Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+

Car Rental:
Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 40% off; up to 50% off for AARP members ( 50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off ( 50+) Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members

Overnight Accommodations:
Holiday Inn: 20-40% off depending on location (62+)
Best Western: 40% off (55+)
Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Waldorf Astoria - NYC $5,000 off nightly rate for Presidential Suite (55 +)
Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Econo Lodge: 40% off (60+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 40% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler's Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 25% off (62+)
Motel 6: Stay Free Sunday nights (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 30% off ( 55 +)
Quality Inn: 40%-50% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 40% off (60+)

AMC Theaters: up to 30% off ( 55 +)
Bally Total Fitness: $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $13 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)
Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
Massage Envy - NYC 20% off all "Happy Endings" (62 +)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 50% off Ripley's Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket ( 55 +)
SeaWorld, Orlando , FL : $3 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)

AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $19.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service ( 50 +)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).

Great Clips: $8 off haircuts (60+)
Supercuts: $8 off haircuts (60+)