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When The Alzheimer’s Patient is Your Neighbor With Two Dogs

Within my circle of friends, I have known and/or heard tell of several extremely brilliant, extraordinarily strong-willed people felled by Alzheimer's disease, their once-beautiful minds...

Julia Szabo  |  Mar 21st 2011


Within my circle of friends, I have known and/or heard tell of several extremely brilliant, extraordinarily strong-willed people felled by Alzheimer’s disease, their once-beautiful minds reduced to ash. The injustice of this motivated me to research a variety of ways to prevent, or at least slow down, this dreaded diagnosis.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, and no known cause. But thanks to the scholarship and generosity of Dr. Joseph Mercola, there is a glimmer of hope. With a quick Google search,those interested in boosting brain health in themselves or their loved ones can learn about two secret weapons which, added to the diet, can work wonders: Coconut oil and curry.

In India, the Alzheimer’s rate is thelowest in the world, and scientists believe that’s because so much curry is eaten there every day. It’s rarewhen food items that are good for you also taste delicious! So if you like to cook and you want tofight offAlzheimer’s, start cooking with coconut oil and lots of curry to boost brain health.

Curry’s active ingredient, Turmeric – the yellow spice whose anti-inflammatory propertyhelps our beloved dogs cope with arthritis – can also be taken in the form of highly concentrated Curcumin supplements.

For what it’s worth, I make everything with coconut oil -even baked goods andpopcorn! -plus I add turmeric to everything from eggs to salad dressing to, yes, popcorn. I’ve alwayssprinkledturmericover my dogs’ food; recently, to be sure my two senior dogs stay physically andmentally agile (they are 14+), I upped the supplement ante by giving them CocoTherapy, a coconut oil packaged just for pets, plus a curcumin supplement – the same one that I take.

For curcumin dosage ratios, holistic veterinarian Dr. Michele Yasson – who is herself the picture of health and an Iron Man triathlete to boot- recommends administering a quarter curcumin capsule for dogs up to 25 pounds; a half capsule for dogs 25-50 pounds; and a full capsule for dogs over 50 pounds.

Another option is to give acurcumin supplement designed for dogs and made by Ayush Herbs, above, and simply follow the dosage instructions on the package.

So, why am I talking about all this now? Because yesterday, one of my neighbors revealed to me that she’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

This is one tough lady, and I’ve always admired her obvious love for dogs. Years ago, she rescued an abusedDobermanand turned him intoone of the handsomest and best-behaved dogs in the neighborhood; he also had the best name, Polo. These days,the former big-breed fancierenjoys the company of two much smaller, fluffierdogs. They are her constant companions,and theyclearly worship the ground she walks on.

There’s a saying that goes, “God is an old black woman,” andmy neighboralways seemed to me perfect proof of this, whether or not you believe in God. As she held court on her stoop,passersby (myselfincluded) enjoyedstopping to listen to the divine wisdom that comes onlywith age. Except yesterday, for the first time,something the lady saiddidn’t sound so wise to me:”My grandmother had [Alzheimer’s], then it skipped a generation, now I have it,” shetold mewith a shrug. “It’s my turn.” Her passive acceptance was uncharacteristic, and chilling.

I am much less accepting when it comes to health matters, especially where my dogs are concerned, so I told her about coconut oil and curry. She saidshe loves curry, and coconut oil sounds delicious, soshe would look into it. Already a year ago, her doctor advised her to have someone helpout with bill payments, so she doesn’t fall behind. She said she’d been in denial until now. Of course, I’m extremelyconcerned aboutthose two little dogs. Who will care for them in the event thatshe forgets to? I pray that she can fight this with her characteristic toughness,so she and her dogs will be OK.

My fellow Dogsters, do you have any ideas on how and when to offer help toa formerly strong-willed personon behalf ofher pets? I’d be grateful if you’d please sharehelpful advicein the comments – andplease say a prayer formy neighborand her dogs.