Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimer’s Association’

Grief WritingWorkshop

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I will be making my first visit to offer a caregiving workshop session on Maui next month. For those of you on Maui (or with family or friends there who could use some insight), please consider attending. Thank you to Lynsey and the Maui chapter of the Alzheimers Association for inviting me.

May 23, 2015 |  9am to 11am
Hale Mahaolu Elima Community Hall | 11 Mahaolu St. Kahului, Maui
(Please park in unnumbered stalls or outside of the housing facility along the road.)
For more information call Lynsey 242-8636 or Kathleen 871-5804

Refreshments provided for attendees
Open to the public. No reservation required.


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Yes, please make a line twice around the block.

from: a shameless dreamer

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11-2014-Art-of-Caregiving-MMy marketing manager at my publisher’s office says she wants to apologize for working on my event calendar before having coffee. The wrong date for my Modesto workshop was posted on my web calendar for a few days. (Thank you to Alison H. for calling this to our attention!)

The correct date is Wednesday, November 12. The session will be held at the Alzheimer/Dementia Support Center in Modesto, California (700 McHenry Avenue, Suite B). I will be sharing tips on caregiving and how writing can help you on your caregiving journey (even if you’ve never written anything longer than a grocery list). Check-in and refreshments start at 10am. Lecture begins at 10:30, followed by resources and book signing at noon. To register, please call 209.577.0018. Respite will be available.

This event is presented by the Alzheimer’s Association and co-sponsored by the Alzheimer/Dementia Support Center. Refreshments provided by The Stratford at Beyer Park.

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Drop by and say hello…these are my Fall lecture events:


Sat., Sept. 20 at 1:30 pm

Basically Books

160 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo, Hawaii 96720

I will be on a panel with other authors to discuss memoir writing based on Writing the Hawai’i Memoir by Darien Gee

Contact:Christine Reed

808-961-0144, Fax: 808-935-1553

Toll-free: 1-800-903-6277




Wed., Sept 24: Hilo Hawaii @ 5 p.m.

The Art of Caregiving…

Hilo Alzheimer’s Association

County Office of Aging: Kinoole St.
Contact: Chris Ridley: 808-443-7360
Mon., Tues., Sept 29 & 30: Honolulu HI

Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society 18th Biennial Conference: Imagine 2030…Mobilizing

Our Communities Across Generations.

My session: The Future of Caregiving: Writing and Poetry to Preserve Our Humanity”

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach
Tues., Oct 7: Honolulu HI

Kapoho, Memoir of a Modern Pompeii

15 Craigside, 3:30pm

Contact: Cookie Nakai: cookie.nakai@15craigside.org


Fri., Oct 17: Leeza Gibbons radio Talk Show: Leeza’s Care Connection

Poetry and Caregiving

Time: 10 – 11 a.m.


Mon., Nov 17: San Mateo

Kimochi: 453 North San Mateo Dr

Time: 1 – 2:30

Title: I Am Somebody: Dignity in Caregiving

Contact: Liz Bissell (650-346-0849)


Tues. Nov 18: San Francisco

San Francisco Family Caregiver Alliance

1715 Buchanan St San Francisco

Title: I Am Somebody: The Art of Caregiving

Contact: Fumiko DiDomizio (425-931-2294) ex.127


 2015 ( Details to follow )


Tri-Isle Resource Conservation and Development Council. Inc.
Kahului, Maui
Executive Dir: John Tomoso


Maui County Office of Aging



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Yes, I am now a columnist for the Hawai’i Herald! Read the intro to the first column by Hawai’i Herald:

Hawai’i Herald Columnist

…With this issue of The Hawai’i Herald, we welcome author, poet, teacher and seminar speaker Frances Kakugawa to our ‘ohana of monthly columnists. ..
…Frances was in Hawai’i last month to deliver several talks on writing and caregiving — she spoke on Oahu and in Hilo. We got together on a Saturday for a won ton mein lunch and sealed the deal on her penning a monthly “Dear Frances” column, sharing her perspectives on caregiving issues sent in by you, our readers. You can email your “Dear Frances” questions to me at kchinen@thehawaiihochi.com — or mail them to me the Herald: 917 Kokea St., Hon., HI 96817. I will forward your questions to Frances for her to answer in future editions of the Herald.

Omoiyari . . . Think of others first and good karma will return to you. — Frances H. Kakugawa


The first question discussed :

Dear Frances,
I am a caregiver for my mother-in-law. I’m having a difficult time because she treated me badly before she got ill. She never accepted me. And now I’m her caregiver. How can I deal with these thoughts of resentment and give her the care she needs? I can’t forget what she did.


Dear Jane:
We, both caregiver and the one being cared for, bring our own personal history to caregiving. I am very familiar with your feelings. As difficult as it is, it may be time to let that part of history go. See if you can be in the present and embrace your mother-in-law as a woman who needs your care, not as that woman who left you residues of negative feelings.

She may have no recollections of what she did. If you can do this in the spirit of humanity, with compassion and respect for who she is, a fellow human being, you may discover like many of us did, that rising to the occasion with love, compassion and dignity will bring peace and appreciation.
This disease will run its course no matter how we feel or behave, so for our own benefit, why not the positive so that at the end, we’re able to say, “I feel good about myself. I am a good human being, after all,’’ which often leads to that undefineable joy, for whatever we do to others, we do to ourselves. The gift of self is a powerful gift. Let me know if this works for you. Frances
The other two questions discussed are:

Dear Frances: I finally found adult care for my wife, but she refuses to go. How can I get her out of the house?


Dear Frances,
My friend’s mother has Alzheimer’s. What can I do to help her?

If you’d like to follow my column, subscription to the Hawai’i Herald can be made at the following:

Hawai’i Herald

$48 a year
$85 domestic airmail
Check to: The Hawai’i Herald
P.O. Box 17430
Honolulu, HI 96817-0430


Someday I will tell you the story of my dream of writing for a paper since grade school years and how I failed twice in my efforts in becoming one. And here, after all these years, the Hawai’I Herald is making that dream come true.

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Juliefhk Yaeko
Julie and I grew up together in Kapoho. She lost her mother when she was three so my mother became her surrogate mother. She became an RN. After Kapoho was condemned after the eruption, we bought adjoining lots in Pahoa to remain neighbors. Our kitchen became one. When I needed a can of tomato sauce or corn, I went into her kitchen and helped myself and she did the same. Our doors were never locked. We never returned these items.

Every New Year’s Eve, at midnight,  I prepared  the Japanese Soba noodles  and she had the traditional mochi soup ready and two other neighbors joined us in welcoming the new year.

After my father died, I lived with my mother and taught in Hilo. It was Julie who encouraged me to leave home.
“Go,” she said, “Go have a life. I’ll be here looking after your mama. When she really needs you, that’s when you return. ” So I left and my mother felt safe having a nurse near-by. In fact, the entire neighborhood felt safe having Julie as a neighbor.

I heard Julie was now in a care home because of dementia. She no longer answered her phone.
(Julie attended the Baptist Church so whenever we spoke in the past, I would tell her, much to her delight, “God bless you, my child.” I can still her burst of laughter.)

On this visit, I planned to see her, a bit sad that she would no longer recognize me. In the middle of my presentation, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association in Hilo, I looked at the back row and there sat Julie. After my talk, she came to me and said, “Hideko, I’m so proud of you.”
Her minister’s wife had brought her. During our conversation, I knew why she was in a care home.  I also knew when she hugged and kissed me, that when the day comes when she will no longer know me, it won’t matter because on this day, she did. I whispered to her, “God bless you, my child.”







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The Uncaring Caregiver


I am that uncaring caregiver:

I don’t care if I’m late for her appointment

Or totally miss a calendar date.

I don’t care if she doesn’t eat breakfast,

Or refuses a snack or two.

I don’t care if we miss a bath time

Two days in a row.

She’s not meeting the President

And if she is, I’m sure President Obama

Wouldn’t know.


I don’t care if she lets out a yell

In a restaurant filled with diners,

Chews her food without etiquette rules

And spills her water all over me.

I don’t care.


I don’t care if the flowers have died,

I don’t care if the dust leaves finger prints

On table tops and furniture and yesterday’s

Dishes are in tomorrow’s sink.

I don’t care if the telephone’s been cut off

And my paper pile grows by day and night

When we’re both sound asleep.

I don’t care.


I don’t care if my jeans are on backward,

Or my shoes are of two different styles

 On each swollen foot. And my grey roots

Are an inch long, my bangs over half my sight.

 I don’t care.


I’m a caregiver and I don’t care

Of stuff that means nothing

When my mother’s smiling and asking,

Are you Hideko?

That’s when I care.

Written on 2-4-14

Anniversary of my mother’s 101 date of birth.




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straw upright

Sometimes, it takes a very simple image, like a crushed box of straws, to jar a memory.

  A Box of Straws


There’s a box of Party Flexible Neon straws in the kitchen drawer.

It’s been here for more than four years now.


When Genie brought her mother here for a visit

I didn’t have straws. Straws help loved ones with Alzheimer’s

Suck water or juice into their parched throats. I knew that.

My mother needed straws, too.


I bought this box of straws for Genie’s mother’s next visit.

But she never returned.


There’s pink ones. She would have liked the pink ones to match

The pom poms on her hat. Yes, sipping grape juice through pink straws would have

Delighted her. I’ve heard her laughter so many times.

She would have liked the lime green ones, like the color of trees

She so loved. Or maybe the blue ones that match her eyes.


She’s gone now, but each time I open the drawer, I pause.

The box is torn and crushed with the opening of the drawer,

Crushing the box to make room for a new box of toothpicks,

Pairs of new chopsticks, a box of matches.


She would have liked the neon colored straws.

Written for Genie, Dec 25, 2013

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