By: Kirsten Wreggitt, Chief Puzzle Constructor at Puzzles for Good
My Grandma made me pancakes in the shape of anything I could imagine – giraffes, Mickey Mouse, unicorns, and of course full moons. Those childhood breakfasts are cherished memories of family gathered together with Grandma at the center in her frilly apron. I remember that she laughed easily, always had a lap for you to sit in, and that she loved frogs. Of course, Kermit the Frog was her favourite, but I remember he was among many friends in the room I slept in at her house. That bedroom was filled with frog figurines on shelves covering each wall. There was no doubt that she was a fun loving person; a pretty perfect Grandma and a wonderful wife and mother too.
That is how I want to remember her, spatula in hand laughing with us at breakfast. Unfortunately, we also had to witness a slow and painful decline until we lost her to Alzheimer’s. At first she simply misplaced things or forgot a meeting, but over time it progressed to forgetting people, forgetting how to care for herself, and finally forgetting who she was. Such a terrible loss.
Many of us joke about forgetfulness and old age. I wish Alzheimer’s stopped with a little forgetfulness. The final stages of Alzheimer’s are no joke and it would be a wonderful thing if no other families had to witness or experience this loss of a loved one.
I am the owner of Puzzles for Good. It’s a social enterprise that creates word puzzles and shares the proceeds with organizations doing great work in the world.
I hold the memory of my Grandma dear to my heart and so I picked the Alzheimer Society of Canada as the recipient for this month’s puzzle pack.
Puzzles are great for brain health and are also so much fun! Get your Memory Puzzle Pack here.
The Alzheimer Society of Ontario wants to help you reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia with the #SummerChallenge. This summer we have come up with four simple steps that can help you to keep your brain active and healthy!
Challenge yourself to bring your lunch to work each day, saving you from the unhealthy, but tempting, restaurants near the office! Lucky for you, fruits and vegetables are in season and delicious this time of year! Pick up some healthy greens at your local grocery store and bring some fresh salads and fresh fruit snacks.
Maybe that New Year’s resolution to go to the gym hasn’t quite panned out, but there is no better time than the summer to get outdoors and be active! Explore some of the beautiful Ontario parks and trails, and enjoy the scenery while exercising your body and mind!
Take advantage of the beautiful weather to meet up with friends and family, be it a family picnic or a bar-b-que with neighbors. If you’re enjoying a vacation away from home, write postcards to your friends telling them about the exciting and wonderful things you’ve done on your trip!
Exercise Your Brain:
Have a long list of books you’d like to read? Then jog your brain with some summer reading! Looking for a new activity for the summer? Sign up for an online course or join a cooking class with friends!
It’s never too early or too late to start being brain healthy! So take the #SummerChallenge and help reduce your risk of dementia!
What will your Summer Challenge be?