S: Living in the Moment
FC: Living in the Moment | Story Told by: Amanda Jade Corrales
1: Alzheimer's... is one form of dementia; . a very progressive and fatal disease that directly effects the brain. This disease leads to nerve cell "death" and tissue loss throughout the brain. Over time, leading the brain to shrink and gradually affect all of the body's functions. When living with Alzheimer's disease You are forced to become dependent on others. | As we grow older we don't realize where our journey will take us... Our journey continues and our bodies continue to progress and begin to break down... Those of us that are fortunate may never have to experience a severe decline in health.
2: This is... Nina Salazar She is 86 years old..... Nina has been living with Alzheimer's disease for over five years now Alzheimer's has seven stages. Describing the behavior from the first stage, "normal", to advanced behavior in stage seven. Nina is currently in stage 4.
3: Appoximately 5.3 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's Disease Researchers have yet to find a cure and are focusing more so on the early stages, learning to detect Protein cells. | Nina has issues with remembering those that surround her , as well as, daily activities such as using the restroom or getting dressed for the day. She has no sense of time. Spending time with Nina, you see the progression of the disease in front of your eyes. Seeing Nina struggle to even remember her caretaker who has been with her for more than 5 years now. Moving from stage 4 and entering stage 5. | (Above) Nina Salazar at 20 years of age. (Left) Nina at age 86.
4: Nina takes medications in the morning and one before bed.
5: She is currently prescribed on 5 medications which include Namenda and Aricept, these help slow the process of the body down and help patients who suffer from Alzheimer's disease to be able to have a clearer memory and have her body run on schedule.
6: Nina has had to move in with her son and his family leaving her home and her past behind. Alzheimer's not only effects the physical part of the body but as well as the emotional state of mind; effecting a persons way of life and the people around them.
7: This is Nina's Safe Haven... She feels more at home in her bedroom, photos hung up of loved ones and the important moments they represent surround her. The one place she does not have to wonder where she is or why she isn't home. Nina will often ask to go home or when her husband, Albert, will be there there to pick her up.
8: In order to try to keep Nina's memory alive Nina has a shrine of all the photos from family and friends. | A photo taken on Nina's wedding day. (on the right) A reproduction of this photo made for their 60th Anniversary. | (On the left) Pictures of Nina's grandchildren. Nina and Albert in their later years of marriage. (On the right)
9: (on the left) Modeled for the poster of Carmen, a play that was running in Denver during the 40's. | (Below) a portrait of Nina and her Granddaughter before being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Portrait of Nina's son and Sister, Mona. (on the left)
10: This is Nina's son, Daniel Salazar.
11: He's been happy to have his mother live in close quarters.
12: This is Helen, Nina's Caretaker and closest friend. | Helen Starts her morning with Nina at 10 O'clock sharp. She gets Nina out of bed and motivates Nina to go use the restroom and prepare to shower.
13: Helen does Nina's hair and make-up everyday wanting "mom" to be ready for the day and feel good about herself. This help keeps Nina in a good mood from the start.
15: Helen and Nina take a moment in order to help Nina remember that Helen is not only her caretaker but someone Nina thinks of her as her daughter. | Helen always making it a point to call Nina "mom" giving Nina a sense of comfort.
16: Helen and Nina often like to take "cruises" around Denver. Helen will usually take Nina to her old "spots" where Albert, Nina's husband, used to take Nina on dates.
17: Being that Helen has been around before Nina's husband passed, she can recall memories for NIna in order to get Nina's memory flowing. Helen says she tries to keep Nina in "Nina's Time", the years Nina most remembers.
18: Nina's body no longer sends signals to her bladder or her stomach, Nina no longer has cravings for food or urges to know when her bladder is full, Helen's job is to make sure these tasks get done. Part of Helen's job is to make sure that Nina gets up in the mornings so that Nina may go to the restroom. | Helen orders food for Nina as Nina laughs saying "I didnt know I was Hungry." (To the left) | Helen will usually take Nina out to eat in order to get her to have a big healthy meal for the day and to make sure that Nina isn't fed heavy late night meals.
20: When the weather starts to get cold Helen will take "Mom" to the mall for a good exercise. | "Mom" got a little tired from our long walk.
21: Traveling through the Cherry Creek Mall's North Pole. catching snow. (Below) | Helen will ocassionally treat Nina to gifts. Here Helen is buying her The Notebook to read.
22: Helen is there with Nina three times a week and checks in on her on her daily when they do not see each other. Helen talks to her on the phone on a daily basis just to make sure she hasn't been a "bad" girl and that she wakes herself up and eats a good meal for the day.
23: When Helen isn't able to be there she makes sure that Nina is aware of what must be done.
25: With All of this said...and as her story goes on beyond these pages.. I want others to engage themselves into the future of people. Alzheimer's is a very progressive disease that eventually takes a turn for the worst as it causes your brain to shrink losing most and eventually all of your bodily functions. Being able to make health conscious decisions when living life and be aware of the repercussions, later in life. The ability to be aware and catch these...unfortunate events before they can begin to form. Those that read this will hopefully walk away from this story and strive to be in better health; to be healthy in heart, mind, body and soul.