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The moment Ron St. John sees his mom, Julia smile, his entire demeanor changes and he feels a sense of relaxation. Most of the time he cannot even recognize the woman who raised him. Watching someone very dear to you lose their ability to simply get dressed in the morning or hold a conversation because of an aging, the reversible disease is absolutely devastating. One day his mom was doing great in her home in Indiana and the next, the doctors are saying she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and cannot live alone for her own safety. After some thinking, Ron moves his mom down to Florida to live with him and his wife as he cannot bear the thought of simply dropping her off in an institutionalized setting to receive care. Every day he makes sure she is safe and happy, but as time passes, he realizes he needs a small break and others to confide in that are going through similar situations. Although the thought of leaving her home with someone other than himself for a couple days breaks his heart and he cannot stop thinking about if she is upset while he’s gone.

Julia used to be an avid bird watcher. While Ron and his wife were down in St Augustine for a caregiver support group retreat offered by the Alzheimer’s Dementia Resource Center, he spots a blue glass figurine of a mother bird and baby bird. Together, they are bluebirds of happiness that symbolize health and prosperity. The perfect gift to bring home to his mom. Once he returns from his trip to St. Augustine, he embraces his mom who was very happy to see her son. They tell each other they missed one another and Ron holds out the bluebird figurine to give her. She asked what it is and he tells her it’s a bluebird of happiness and that is supposed to make her happy always. She smiles at him and they walk into the house together.

Ron St. John, Director of Memory Care at Encore Assisted Living and dedicated Alzheimer advocate reveals his own struggle caring for his mother who lived with Alzheimer’s in Orlando Sentinel’s article “Life Turned Inside Out.”     Alzheimer’s affects over five million people each year. Ron St John’s story was published on May 25, 2003, and still very true to this day for several individuals around the world.

Every morning, as soon as St John wakes up, he would head toward Julia’s room to help his mom get ready for the day. Every day is the same, breakfast made, clothes changed, meds were given, and so forth. After Ron was let go from his job, he felt it was good timing as he had more time to focus on his mom’s care. The best part about caring for his mom is during the days she would laugh, he would catch a glimpse of the mom he once knew. The bluebirds he gave her as a present symbolizes that although this very moment is difficult, find happiness in everything that goes on in life. To live and be in that exact moment and when she is laughing, laugh with her to enjoy the moment; what the two bluebirds represent.

The strain of caring for an aging parent or loved one can become quite overwhelming. All your time is and energy is spent making sure mom or dad is safe and happy. For some, it means having to quit their job or take time away from their own family to care for their loved one. Not only is it physically draining to help care for their everyday needs such as bathing and dressing, it is mentally draining to know you are losing your parent to an awful, reversible disease. At first, their long-term memory is still intact, and only short-term memory is impaired, but not too long after, earlier memories are now forgotten by your loved one. Speaking with them may no longer be an option. You even feel guilty because your parents took care of you when you were young so why shouldn’t you return the favor?  You may even think this won’t last forever, so there is no reason to ask for help as this is what my loved one would want most similar to what Ron said in his article.

Although nothing lasts forever, what really matters most is ensuring your family member is getting the quality of life they deserve as well as yourself. Making certain you are happy is just as important as your loved one being happy.

After her passing, Ron has devoted his time to helping others in similar situations. As the Memory Care Director at Encore Assisted Living, he has the opportunity to educate different individuals on Dementia and hosts weekly caregiver support groups. He also spends time with the residents engaging them in lively activities through Encore’s amazing music and memory program.  We adore you Ron and thank you for being a wonderful friend and role model to those around you.

“Encore’s Music and Memory Program introduces The Songbird program started last year under the name Alive Inside and continues to grow and expand.  The program takes local kids from Avalon Middle School and partners them with our residents to create a musical playlist that our memory care residents can use in both activities and therapy.  The program has expanded this year by partnering with the University of Central Florida’s Research department to be able to measure the experience of the participants. “

North Star Senior Advisors, a local senior advising company in Orlando, is dedicated to helping families find a place for their loved one to call home. If you are going through a similar situation as Ron’s, we are here to listen and help guide you. To learn more about memory care or other senior living options, please visit our website at www.northstarsa.com or call a senior advisor today at (407) 796-1582.

We thank you, Ron St John and the many caregivers out there today who make a difference in countless lives!

North_Star_Senior_Advisors_Julia_St_John

 

Photo Compliments of Orlando Sentinel

-Savanna Chrostowski, Marketing Director.

 

About the author : Veronica Quiñones

headshot of Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

Article by:

Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

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By Published On: March 14, 2017Categories: Elder Care, Memory Care

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The moment Ron St. John sees his mom, Julia smile, his entire demeanor changes and he feels a sense of relaxation. Most of the time he cannot even recognize the woman who raised him. Watching someone very dear to you lose their ability to simply get dressed in the morning or hold a conversation because of an aging, the reversible disease is absolutely devastating. One day his mom was doing great in her home in Indiana and the next, the doctors are saying she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and cannot live alone for her own safety. After some thinking, Ron moves his mom down to Florida to live with him and his wife as he cannot bear the thought of simply dropping her off in an institutionalized setting to receive care. Every day he makes sure she is safe and happy, but as time passes, he realizes he needs a small break and others to confide in that are going through similar situations. Although the thought of leaving her home with someone other than himself for a couple days breaks his heart and he cannot stop thinking about if she is upset while he’s gone.

Julia used to be an avid bird watcher. While Ron and his wife were down in St Augustine for a caregiver support group retreat offered by the Alzheimer’s Dementia Resource Center, he spots a blue glass figurine of a mother bird and baby bird. Together, they are bluebirds of happiness that symbolize health and prosperity. The perfect gift to bring home to his mom. Once he returns from his trip to St. Augustine, he embraces his mom who was very happy to see her son. They tell each other they missed one another and Ron holds out the bluebird figurine to give her. She asked what it is and he tells her it’s a bluebird of happiness and that is supposed to make her happy always. She smiles at him and they walk into the house together.

Ron St. John, Director of Memory Care at Encore Assisted Living and dedicated Alzheimer advocate reveals his own struggle caring for his mother who lived with Alzheimer’s in Orlando Sentinel’s article “Life Turned Inside Out.”     Alzheimer’s affects over five million people each year. Ron St John’s story was published on May 25, 2003, and still very true to this day for several individuals around the world.

Every morning, as soon as St John wakes up, he would head toward Julia’s room to help his mom get ready for the day. Every day is the same, breakfast made, clothes changed, meds were given, and so forth. After Ron was let go from his job, he felt it was good timing as he had more time to focus on his mom’s care. The best part about caring for his mom is during the days she would laugh, he would catch a glimpse of the mom he once knew. The bluebirds he gave her as a present symbolizes that although this very moment is difficult, find happiness in everything that goes on in life. To live and be in that exact moment and when she is laughing, laugh with her to enjoy the moment; what the two bluebirds represent.

The strain of caring for an aging parent or loved one can become quite overwhelming. All your time is and energy is spent making sure mom or dad is safe and happy. For some, it means having to quit their job or take time away from their own family to care for their loved one. Not only is it physically draining to help care for their everyday needs such as bathing and dressing, it is mentally draining to know you are losing your parent to an awful, reversible disease. At first, their long-term memory is still intact, and only short-term memory is impaired, but not too long after, earlier memories are now forgotten by your loved one. Speaking with them may no longer be an option. You even feel guilty because your parents took care of you when you were young so why shouldn’t you return the favor?  You may even think this won’t last forever, so there is no reason to ask for help as this is what my loved one would want most similar to what Ron said in his article.

Although nothing lasts forever, what really matters most is ensuring your family member is getting the quality of life they deserve as well as yourself. Making certain you are happy is just as important as your loved one being happy.

After her passing, Ron has devoted his time to helping others in similar situations. As the Memory Care Director at Encore Assisted Living, he has the opportunity to educate different individuals on Dementia and hosts weekly caregiver support groups. He also spends time with the residents engaging them in lively activities through Encore’s amazing music and memory program.  We adore you Ron and thank you for being a wonderful friend and role model to those around you.

“Encore’s Music and Memory Program introduces The Songbird program started last year under the name Alive Inside and continues to grow and expand.  The program takes local kids from Avalon Middle School and partners them with our residents to create a musical playlist that our memory care residents can use in both activities and therapy.  The program has expanded this year by partnering with the University of Central Florida’s Research department to be able to measure the experience of the participants. “

North Star Senior Advisors, a local senior advising company in Orlando, is dedicated to helping families find a place for their loved one to call home. If you are going through a similar situation as Ron’s, we are here to listen and help guide you. To learn more about memory care or other senior living options, please visit our website at www.northstarsa.com or call a senior advisor today at (407) 796-1582.

We thank you, Ron St John and the many caregivers out there today who make a difference in countless lives!

North_Star_Senior_Advisors_Julia_St_John

 

Photo Compliments of Orlando Sentinel

-Savanna Chrostowski, Marketing Director.

 

Article by:

Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

headshot of Veronica Quiñones

Recent Posts

Topics