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Puzzles To Remember

PUZZLES TO REMEMBER is a 501(c)3 organization that provides puzzles to nursing homes, veterans facilities, and other facilities that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. Puzzles To Remember was founded in 2008 by Max Wallack, who recognized the calming effect of puzzles and many other benefits on people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Max graduated from Boston University, Summa Cum Laude, in 2015, and is now a medical school student.

Since 2011, Puzzles To Remember’s Associate Director, Hailey Richman, now age 10, has been helping distribute puzzles to nursing facilities around the globe. Hailey also spends time doing the puzzles with nursing home residents. She always brightens their days.

If you have puzzles that you would like to donate, please contact us at PuzzlesToRemember@gmail.com and we will find a location near you where you can bring your puzzles. We can also provide you with a donation letter so that you can claim the value of your puzzles as a tax deduction.

To see a short video from WCVB Ch. 5 "BOSTON STRONG" about Max's efforts on behalf of Alzheimer's patients, click here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Important Questions About Alzheimer's

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Carole Larkin, from Third Age Services in Dallas TX was asked these common questions by a student at Goddard College. Her answers are very informative.

By Carole Larkin
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Q. If Alzheimer’s cannot actually be determined until viewing the brain after death, does that mean all current Alzheimer’s cases are actually only presumed?

If so, is there a proper medical term for this?

A. In my opinion, it’s kind of a cop out to say that Alzheimer’s can’t be determined until autopsy. PET scans show beta amyloid collecting in the brain, and beta amyloid is considered to be one of the main biomarkers of Alzheimer’s, by a good percentage of current researchers. You can measure Tau, another naturally produced protein and another generally recognized biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease by doing a spinal tap. Atrophy of the brain (a sign that brain cells have died in a certain area of the brain), can be seen on an MRI. Given the right diagnostic procedures, neurologists, geriatricians and geriatric psychiatrists can diagnose Alzheimer’s at over a 90% accuracy rate. The deal is that most people don’t get a “proper” diagnosis. They go to their family physician; he or she asks a few questions of the patient, throws some Aricept at the patient and says “I’m done with you. You’re on your own. Good luck.

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Q. Does there seem to be a correlation between a personality type and people who get Alzheimer’s? (Is an introvert more likely to be affected than an extrovert?

A. As far as I can tell, personality type has zero correlation to getting Alzheimer’s. It’s a biological disease not a psychiatric or psychological disease. Most current research points to beta amyloid plaques and tau tangles in neurons (brain cells) to be the biologic markers of the disease. These two are normal proteins that we have in our bodies, and that we need for our continued existence. For some reason, they go haywire and start killing brain cells. Research is trying to figure out why this happens and how to stop it or fix it.

Q. In my research, I have found that chronic stress, anger, neurosis and holding in emotions can possibly contribute to Alzheimer’s. Do you agree with this?

Absolutely not! Like I said in my answer to the last question, Alzheimer’s is a biologic disease. I can tell you though, that a person with these attributes before the disease stands a better chance of becoming a nightmare to those caring for them. Sometimes the disease works in a way that people become more of themselves. If they were nasty before, then all they become is double nasty. Some caregivers are lucky though, their person becomes the opposite of what they were before. In other words nice, for the most part. You never know which way it will work out. I’ll tell you this much; if I’m a caregiver, I’m praying for the second scenario! I find the description of chronic stress, anger, neurosis and holding in emotions far closer to describing the caregiver than the care receiver.

Q. Does retreating into one’s own head (becoming quiet, shy, withdrawn) worsen symptoms?

A. Retreating into one’s own head, as you put it, is many times a symptom of the disease itself. The disease can strike area of the brain where our ability to communicate comes from. That means that people can lose the ability to recall words they used to know, or lose the ability to know the meaning of words, thus substituting an incorrect word for another word in speaking. Also, in the beginning of the diseases people can be/are aware that they have deficiencies in their speech. Therefore, to save themselves from embarrassment, they simply stop speaking as much. That seems to be a natural enough reaction to me. Not particularly helpful in the long run, but useful to the person in the moment.

Q. Does depression worsen symptoms? If so, would antidepressants ever be prescribed to assist?

A. An excellent question! Absolutely depression can proceed or coexist with a dementia. Some research points to depression being a risk factor for dementia. I don’t know about that, but I’ve seen a number of cases where someone with dementia and depression was treated for the depression, and it helped their mood. I have also seen where doctors have treated depression instead of dementia. Those treatments didn’t help the memory issues at all, and became less effective on the behavioral issues, as more neurons died. I guess the easiest thing to say is it varies with each individual.

Q. At what point does a patient lose the ability to understand that they have Alzheimer’s?

A. excellent question! Some people never understand that they have Alzheimer’s or another dementia. It’s called Anosognosia (a lack of ability to know that they have a disability). The portion of the brain that controls our awareness about ourselves is damaged by dying neurons. Biologically they can’t know that they have a cognitive illness. That’s different than denial. Denial is a purposeful thought process that rejects something they inherently know to be true. Some people do know and are aware that something is wrong with their thinking processes. They may not know exactly what it is, but they know that something is not right, that they are different than other people. Some people will say “I have Alzheimer’s” some will say I have memory problems” or any one of a number of similar things. It’s really depends on the individual. I can say that if someone understands that their thinking is impaired, it happens fairly early in the diseases. Sometimes the knowledge stays with them months or years, sometimes not. It depends upon how fast the disease proceeds and which portions of the brain become impaired.

Q. Are visual cues (photo albums, trinkets, memory books) recommended as memory aides? Might these cues become upsetting to a patient in later stages and be taken away?

A. Very early in the disease visual cues are useful to a certain extent, but as the disease goes on their usefulness begins to fade. That is because of two reasons: one, the mental connection of the object to the memory related to it begins to fade and two; the meaning of the object itself may become not understandable to the person. For example; a souvenir of a boat may represent a cruise that the person has taken, but if the person no longer understands what a boat is, then they would not be able to make the mental jump to a memory of their own that happened on a boat (cruise). Some individuals may become perturbed if they were reminded by an individual that they were on a boat like this, and they didn’t remember it, but much more often they wouldn’t believe the other person when they said that they had on the boat. Their thought process would go something like this, “I’d remember if I were on a boat that looked like this. Since I don’t remember it, it couldn’t have happened. Therefore this other person is lying to me.” The thought that they couldn’t remember events doesn’t enter their minds. (More of the lack of self awareness thing.) The objects may not be upsetting, they just may be ignored, it’s the other person insisting that they did something that they know (in their minds) that they did not do that needs to go. The person is the antagonist, not the thing. That said simplifying a person with dementia’s surroundings is a good thing later on in the diseases because too many things to look at could cause visual overstimulation which then becomes confusing to the person and may result in agitation or anger as a behavior displayed to others.

Q. When a patient does not recall a person, is it recommended to introduce yourself, even if the result might be upsetting the patient? (i.e.: “I am your wife.” Or “I am your son/daughter.

A. I think that it all depends on the individual with the dementia. Some people would not be upset learning for the first time (to them) that they had a son or daughter or husband or wife or aunt or uncle, and so on. Others will get very upset being told that they have any of the above because they may think that they are a different age than they really are (usually younger) and they couldn’t be married or have any children because the are too young (if they thought that they were twelve for instance). Or perhaps they know that they know you, but they are just not sure of how they know you, or if you have a relationship to them. You could start by simply stating your name, as in; Hi, I’m Emily and I’m a person who (likes) loves you very much. That way, you skirt around the relationship issue while making them feel good, because someone feels warmly toward them. It’s about respect for the individual, and not pointing out their deficiencies. It’s not like they can do something to fix their memory loss, so why point it out to them? All it can do is hurt their feelings.

Q. caregiving, is there an increased amount of concealing things/telling “little white lies” patients to keep from upsetting them? Do you have any examples?

A. I suppose they could be called “lies”, but to me, they are told because the person telling the person with dementia loves that person and doesn’t want them to be hurt. We can’t change the bad things that happen to people, but we can soften the blow to people who love them and would get upset, anxious, cry and grieve every time they were told of the bad event. I call that “compassion”, not “lies”.

The classic example is of course the person with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia asking where a spouse or sibling or child is, and in fact the person has died (sometimes many years ago). Telling them the “truth”, i.e. the person is dead could cause the person with dementia immediate grief, as if their loved one had died that second. Deeper into the diseases (say early mid-stage) when the person cannot record and keep new information, they may ask twenty times a day, “where is {so and so}”; how cruel would it be to tell them twenty times that {so and so} is dead, so that they grieve twenty times a day? Now it’s a different story if they didn’t like the person who is dead. You see? It’s all about sparing someone who is very vulnerable feelings that hurt.



Carole Larkin MA,CMC,CAEd,QDCS,EICS,
is a Geriatric Care Manager who specializes in helping families with Alzheimer’s and related dementias issues. She also trains caregivers in home care companies, assisted livings, memory care communities, and nursing homes in dementia specific techniques for best care of dementia sufferers. ThirdAge Services LLC, is located in Dallas, TX.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dreyer’s Donates $250 to provide puzzles to Alzheimer’s Patients

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember


This week PuzzlesToRemember received a $250 donation from Dreyer’s. The money was used to ship out the puzzles that were collected by Philips Corporation. About 12 Alzheimer’s facilities are receiving boxes of puzzles for their patients to enjoy.

This is the meaning of microphilanthropy: each person/company doing just some small thing within their capabilities builds to make the world a much better place.

Here is a photo of someone enjoying her life just a little more because of Dreyer’s and Philips:


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Philips Healthcare Donates 148 Puzzles

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember



Philips Healthcare in Andover MA has taken on collecting puzzles for PuzzlesToRemember as an important project. Yesterday, they donated 148 puzzles. They have also publicized the cause on their internal website, and employees from many departments have been contributing.

In January, I will have the opportunity to visit their company and give a presentation about PuzzlesToRemember and, possibly, about some of the Alzheimer’s research I am doing at Boston Medical Center. The Philips employees have decided to continue collecting puzzles, showing their commitment to help patients who can benefit from this activity.

Below is a photo of the puzzles Philips Corporation donated yesterday. Even the soccer ball can be useful as tossing a ball around the room is often used as a physical therapy exercise for Alzheimer’s patients.


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Empire State Building Celebrates Alzheimer’s Month

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Here is a beautiful photo of the Empire State Building lit up in purple to celebrate National Alzheimer’s Month. In the words of a three-year-old whose grandmother has Alzheimer’s:

"All the people who forget, like grandma, are being remembered by the people who are able to remember!"


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Springbok Puzzles Donates Springbok PuzzlesToRemember for Alzheimer's Patients to 11 Adult Day Care Centers

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Last week, Springbok Puzzles, at their own expense, shipped their specialized Alzheimer’s puzzles to eleven additional Adult Day Care Centers.

These puzzles continue to receive outstanding reviews from Alzheimer’s caregivers and Alzheimer’s facilities. They provide a sense of calm, well-being, and accomplishment that stays well beyond the puzzle making session.

The holiday season is approaching. There are several Springbok PuzzlesToRemember that would make wonderful gifts for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease. Below are a few examples. Click here to order any of these puzzles.







Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Philips Andover Employees Help PuzzlesToRemember

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

The employees at Philips in Andover MA are collecting puzzles for PuzzlesToRemember.

Andover is the global headquarters for Philips Healthcare and U.S. headquarters for Philips Electronics North America. The Andover location employs about 2,600 people.

Philips’ employees pride themselves because

“ Most are involved in creating, engineering, marketing, and manufacturing imaging and information solutions designed to improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world.”

Thank you, Philips. I look forward to coming to your offices in January and speaking to you about PuzzlesToRemember.


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wandering: Try these tips to prevent wandering out of the house by your loved one

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By Carole B. Larkin

1. If there is a securely locked high fence around the whole perimeter of the property, let your loved one go outside, in good weather. Go outside with them.

2. If there is no secure fence or there is other danger to allowing them to go outside at will, try these approaches:

A. Remove from site triggers that would make the loved one or person with dementia think of going out, such as coats, umbrellas, shoes, purse, etc.

B. Tell your loved one or person with dementia frequently where they are and why, in a calm tone of voice. Reassure them with words like, "XXX will return in an hour to be with you" or "Your family knows where you are".

C. Don't confront or argue with the person, walk with them and redirect to another part of the house or to an activity. Use humor if possible.

D. Purchase childproof doorknob covers, or deadbolts to put on the door above the loved one or person with dementia's eye level, or slide bolts on the top or bottom of the door. These items will never be used when the loved one or person with dementia is alone in the home, only when someone is with them.

E. If you don't want to do any of the above, place warning bells above the
outside doors, or activate the house alarm system, or get a monitor that
goes on the loved one or person with dementia (such as a toddler monitor) or
a pressure mat alarm, so at least you know when your loved one or person
with dementia has left the house.

F. Try putting a full-length mirror on the inside face of the outside door.
Sometimes people don't recognize themselves and think someone is standing
there and turn around and go back.

G. Try putting a black throw rug in front of the outside door. To some
people, it looks like a hole in the floor and that they won't attempt to
cross it.

H. You might try to hide the outside door by putting a curtain in front of
it, or maybe by making sure it is the same color as the surrounding walls,
that way it may not be seen by the loved one or person with dementia.

I. Put a big sign on the outside door saying "Stop" or "Do Not Enter" or
"Danger- Do not Open".

J. Sew ID labels in the loved one or person with dementia's clothes, or get
a special Medic alert bracelet for the loved one or person with dementia, if
they have a history of escaping the house. Also they need to have a current
picture and a piece of unwashed clothes (for tracking dogs) handy to give to
the police, in case the loved one or person with dementia does escape.

K. If the loved one or person with dementia escapes while you are in the
bathroom , grab your cell phone, and run out side, look around the whole
block the house is on. Cover the whole block, if not found, call 911 and
tell them that a person with dementia has escaped the house and is lost. Try
to convince them that this person needs to be found immediately, they need
their medicines badly.

L. If the loved one or person with dementia doesn't recognize his or her
home as where they live, they may want to leave to go "Home". They may be
thinking of a home they lived in previously, such as in their childhood.
Instead of telling them that this is their home, talk about the home they
are thinking of. Reminiscing about it sometimes lessens their urge to leave.

M. If they still want to go "home" tell them you will walk with them, and
take a walk with them or tell them that you will drive them there, and take
them out for a drive. It may help if you stop to get a treat, an ice cream
cone, or snack. They probably will have forgotten about the other home by
the time you get back, and may even recognize where they live now as home.



Carole Larkin MAG, CMC, CDP, EICS,
is a Geriatric Care Manager who specializes in helping families with Alzheimer’s and related dementias issues. She also trains caregivers in home care companies, assisted livings, memory care communities, and nursing homes in dementia specific techniques for best care of dementia sufferers. ThirdAge Services LLC, is located in Dallas, TX.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nestlé UK and Ireland Donate Over 350,000 Pounds to Their Alzheimer's Society

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember


Nestlé UK and Ireland donated over 350,000 pounds to their Alzheimer's Society. Nestlé chose the Alzheimer's Society as their "Charity of the Year, 2011".

For the past 12 months, Nestlé UK and Ireland's employees have conducted many fundraisers. These have included bicycle challenges, marathons, quiz nights, football tournaments, raffles, and treasure hunts. Some even participated in a sky dive!

Paul Grimwood, CEO and Chairman of Nestlé UK and Ireland, said:

"I am proud that Nestlé employees have smashed our target. The money will help fund the Alzheimer's Society's National Dementia Hotline and valuable research into finding the cause and a cure for dementia which affects over 750,000 people in the UK."

You can read more here.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Alzheimer's Dilemma: I Don't Want My Grandchildren to See Me Like This

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If an early stage Alzheimer’s patient states that s/he does not wish to have her grandchildren visit her, or see her when she no longer recognizes her loved one's -- should an Alzheimer's caregiver abide by these wishes?

What would the effect be on the grandchildren when they are not allowed to see their grandmother?

By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

As an editor for both PuzzlesToRemember and the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, I get some interesting questions, but none has been so difficult to answer as the question above.

This question has been on my mind for almost a week. I can imagine that this subject alone could be the focus of an entire course in medical ethics. Below are my thoughts. I am interested in learning what you think about this issue.

If an early stage Alzheimer’s patient, still capable of making rational decisions, said they did not want to see their grandchildren, for whatever reason, I would try to abide by that decision.

I don’t think this would be good for the grandchildren. I would try to explain the decision to the children by saying the grandparents' brain is overwhelmed right now, and can’t bear to deal with any additional emotions -- even the love of the grandchild.

However, if an early stage Alzheimer’s patient, capable of making rational decisions, said they did not want to see their grandchild later, some time in the future, I would not react in the same way. I think each person should be allowed to change his/her mind.

What is good today, may not be what is best tomorrow, and this is especially true for Alzheimer’s patients.

My plan would be to ask the Alzheimer’s patient at the time when the visit would take place. If, at that time, the patient beamed at the idea of seeing the grandchildren (which, in my opinion, would be very likely), I would consider the patient to have made a different decision, under different circumstances.

Often Alzheimer’s patients who can no longer speak, light up when they see their loved ones. I remember how overjoyed great grams was when she saw me.

In Alzheimer’s World, we have learned that the truth is not always the best medicine. Not allowing the interaction between two people who need and love each other because of a desire to keep an old promise, just isn’t the way things work best in Alzheimer’s World.

In Alzheimer’s World, there is only today, and the today of both the grandparent and grandchild would be best served by allowing them to interact.

It could be harmful to the grandchild if they are not allowed to see the grandparent. I think it would be very frightening to a child to think that the grandparent was so bad off that it would be too horrible to see them.

The imagination can be even more frightening than the reality, even in this horrific disease. Perhaps even more devastating would be thinking that the grandparent didn’t want to see them. I think it would be easier to accept that someone can’t know me because they are very ill; than to accept that someone who loved me, no longer wants any involvement with me.

There is no question that this is a very difficult moral dilemma.

I am interested to see how others feel about this subject.




Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

Alzheimer's Disease -- Advice and Insight


Original content Max Wallack, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

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Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is Sponsoring the National Brain Game Challenge

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Merl Reagle, whose puzzles are syndicated in over 50 newspapers, has created a special series of challenging puzzles for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) presents the inaugural National Brain Game Challenge, an exciting online game of skill created by renowned puzzle master Merl Reagle. Designed for novices, puzzle buffs and anyone else up for a challenge, the contest sends the message—in a fun way—that it’s never too early or too late to embrace brain health.

Anyone who wishes to participate can sign up at http://www.alzfdn.org/challenge/. There is a $25 registration fee which will give you online access to the puzzles beginning at 3 p.m. ET on September 25. On September 28, the Alzheimer’s Foundation will announce the winners. There will be a $5000 grand prize, as well as other prizes.

According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation,

"The educational and fundraising event is aimed at boosting awareness of lifestyle choices that promote brain health; alerting the public about AFA as a resource for support services and information about memory concerns, successful aging and caregiving; and raising funds for AFA’s programs and services nationwide.

It stems from research that suggests that regular mental workouts may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease—an incurable brain disorder that is increasing in incidence nationwide and primarily affects the older population."


I recognize the value of this kind of mental activity, not only to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, but also as a valuable therapeutic treatment for those with the disease. That’s why PuzzlesToRemember exists.

You have to be 18 years old to sign up, so, unfortunately, I won’t be competing.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

BestAlzheimersProducts Donates Puzzles to PuzzlesToRemember

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember



I want to thank Holly at www.BestAlzheimersProducts.com for donating 24 nice puzzles to PuzzlesToRemember. Her company thought this group of puzzles was a bit too complicated for Alzheimer’s patients, so I agreed to find them a home where they can help elders with early mild cognitive impairment.

BestAlzheimersProducts was founded by caregivers to help other caregivers. Their reason was that

"One of the first things we learned when we started caring for Bernice was that she was less moody, more energetic, more communicative and happier when we kept her active."

BestAlzheimersProducts provide “cognitive and sensory stimulation and . . . inspire conversation and socialization.” They also have a growing inventory of Aids for Daily Living and safety products.

I, personally, am very proud that BestAlzheimersProducts has chosen to carry the Springbok’s PuzzlesToRemember. They can be seen here. I receive constant feedback about the value of these puzzles.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Clementoni Donates Puzzles for Alzheimer's Patients

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember




Today, I received some beautiful puzzles from Clementoni’s Museum Collection. The puzzles are 1000 piece puzzles depicting the painting “Coronation of Napoleon” by David. They are beautiful, high quality puzzles. They are really too difficult for most Alzheimer’s patients, so I will have to put lots of thought into where they might do the most good. Perhaps they would be well used at a Senior Center where patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment meet regularly. It would also give these individuals an opportunity to appreciate some beautiful art.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Do You Really Get to Choose the Facility for a Dementia Patient?

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The last time I saw Great Grams, a few days before her death, she was restrained in a chair sitting near the nurses’ station, watching everything......
By Max Wallack

Great Grams (Gertrude Finkelstein) and Max Wallack

No matter how hard you try to keep a dementia or Alzheimer’s patient at home, eventually the day may come that it is not possible.

We had planned that that day would never come for Great Grams.

She had spent about a week in a major teaching hospital because of leg pain. The doctors tried a great number of medications. Nothing really seemed to help. I suspect the pain was really caused by some of her faulty wiring in her brain.

However, while she was in the hospital, the doctors realized just how much she had deteriorated mentally. She was choking on food and rarely communicated.

However, Great Grams had a compulsion to run, and she was going to run every chance she got. They had to hire a “sitter” to stay in the room with her. Even the sitter couldn’t handle her. When Great Grams saw a young child visiting someone, she was running to play with them. Eventually, they used diapers to tie her to the chair.

Great Grams had been on Reminyl. Her own doctor had told us that when a person who is on Reminyl stops taking the drug, they decline rapidly, quickly losing all the abilities that the drug had help maintain.

During that hospital visit, some physician decided that the Reminyl wasn’t doing her any good because she was in such poor condition. So, he stopped the drug. That was really the beginning of the end for Great Grams.

Great Grams came home with us soon after. She had been put on hospice home care. Included was a 24 hour nurse available by phone. The nurse was called many times those first few nights.

Great Grams wouldn’t sleep. We rented a special bed with sidebars. You would think that would work on a small 93 year old woman, wouldn’t you? Nope. All that did was make a higher surface from which Great Grams could fall on her climb out.

Grandma was exhausted. Grandpa slept on the floor at the door to Great Grams room just to keep her inside for a few hours so Grandma could rest.

After a few days, hospice took her off their list, saying they couldn’t handle her. They suggested maybe she had another urinary tract infection, and we should take her to the local hospital. Great Grams “agreed” to go, even taking off her rings and handing them to Grandma. She must have understood at some level.

Of course, the hospital did find a urinary tract infection. They always found one whenever they tested Great Grams. They kept her for several weeks. But, she did not improve. The doctor there, who had seen her only a few months earlier, was shocked at her deterioration. (No Reminyl).

In that hospital, she climbed out of the high bed frequently, and fell on the hard tile floor. Eventually, they also tied her down.

Then, the hospital decided they could no longer keep her, and that she was too ill to be cared for at home. They said we had to get her out of there within a few days, or the bill of almost a thousand dollars a day would be ours to pay.

A few days later, an “opening” happened in a dementia ward in a facility in a neighboring town. We were told we basically had no choice. Great Grams would be sent there in an ambulance.

Grandma went over to see the place. She had read about nursing homes. One thing she had read was to make sure there was no urine odor.

When Great Grams went to the dementia ward, she was almost knocked off her feet by the stench of urine! When the nurse showed Grandma what would be Great Grams’ bed, Grandma saw a small insect crawl across it. It was a nightmare!

HOWEVER, first impressions can be wrong. It turned out that the odor had been caused by a defective bathroom toilet which was being repaired. Insects were never seen again.

And –MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL- the nurse in charge of the unit was a man with a huge heart! He treated each patient as if they were his own mom. He had eyes “in back of his head” and was aware of where each patient was and what they were doing.

Each afternoon, he would put on Sousa marches and march in the halls with each patient who could do it. His staff took their cues from him and treated the patients with respect.

They made every attempt to avoid restraints. They even put mattresses on the floor on both sides of Great Grams’ bed for when she got up at night.

Every day, after breakfast, chairs were all lined up around the nurses’ station so the patients could sit and be entertained by watching the nurses come and go. When one patient had a visitor, it was a visitor for all the patients.

We still hoped to take Great Grams home. The head nurse told us that the hospital had “warned him” that we still felt that way.

However, Great Grams continued to decline rapidly. She couldn’t and wouldn’t eat. Soon, we had to give permission for restraints because she kept falling and falling. The head nurse was very, very kind to her. She couldn’t have been in a better place.

It didn’t matter that the rug was old. It didn’t matter that the nurses’ station was all scuffed and banged up. It didn’t matter that the physical therapy was in the basement of this old, old building which had once been a factory.

It mattered that the people who cared for Great Grams were very kind.

The last time I saw Great Grams, a few days before her death, she was restrained in a chair sitting near the nurses’ station, watching everything. She played tug of war with me -- pulling me toward her so strongly that I really could barely free myself. Then, she would pull again. She was still communicating with me.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

American Express Gives Its Support to PuzzlesToRemember

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

I want to take this opportunity to thank American Express for its ongoing support of PuzzlesToRemember. Several employees at American Express have pledged to make monthly donations, and American Express is matching those donations.

I receive many donated puzzles, and they all have the potential to bring feelings of joy and fulfillment to Alzheimer’s patients. However, I also rely on companies with heart, like American Express, to supply the funds that it costs to ship the puzzles to where they can do the most good.

Thank you again!


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Alzheimer's Dilemma: I Don't Want My Grandchildren to See Me Like This

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If an early stage Alzheimer’s patient states that s/he does not wish to have her grandchildren visit her, or see her when she no longer recognizes her loved one's -- should an Alzheimer's caregiver abide by these wishes?

What would the effect be on the grandchildren when they are not allowed to see their grandmother?

By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

As an editor for the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, I get some interesting questions, but none has been so difficult to answer as the question above.

This question has been on my mind for a while. I can imagine that this subject alone could be the focus of an entire course in medical ethics. Below are my thoughts. I am interested in learning what you think about this issue.

If an early stage Alzheimer’s patient, still capable of making rational decisions, said they did not want to see their grandchildren, for whatever reason, I would try to abide by that decision.

I don’t think this would be good for the grandchildren. I would try to explain the decision to the children by saying the grandparents' brain is overwhelmed right now, and can’t bear to deal with any additional emotions -- even the love of the grandchild.

However, if an early stage Alzheimer’s patient, capable of making rational decisions, said they did not want to see their grandchild later, some time in the future, I would not react in the same way. I think each person should be allowed to change his/her mind.

What is good today, may not be what is best tomorrow, and this is especially true for Alzheimer’s patients.

My plan would be to ask the Alzheimer’s patient at the time when the visit would take place. If, at that time, the patient beamed at the idea of seeing the grandchildren (which, in my opinion, would be very likely), I would consider the patient to have made a different decision, under different circumstances.

Often Alzheimer’s patients who can no longer speak, light up when they see their loved ones. I remember how overjoyed great grams was when she saw me.

In Alzheimer’s World, we have learned that the truth is not always the best medicine. Not allowing the interaction between two people who need and love each other because of a desire to keep an old promise, just isn’t the way things work best in Alzheimer’s World.

In Alzheimer’s World, there is only today, and the today of both the grandparent and grandchild would be best served by allowing them to interact.

It could be harmful to the grandchild if they are not allowed to see the grandparent. I think it would be very frightening to a child to think that the grandparent was so bad off that it would be too horrible to see them.

The imagination can be even more frightening than the reality, even in this horrific disease. Perhaps even more devastating would be thinking that the grandparent didn’t want to see them. I think it would be easier to accept that someone can’t know me because they are very ill; than to accept that someone who loved me, no longer wants any involvement with me.

There is no question that this is a very difficult moral dilemma.

I am interested to see how others feel about this subject.




Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Springbok’s PuzzlesToRemember are Being Shipped to 11 Additional Alzheimer’s Facilities

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

This week 11 additional Alzheimer’s Facilities will be supplied with puzzles. These will be the specialized Alzheimer’s puzzles made by Springbok in consultation with PuzzlesToRemember.

These puzzles will have either 36 or 12 large, easy to handle pieces. They are colorful and have serene, memory-provoking themes. These puzzles can be seen and ordered here.

I receive consistent feedback that Alzheimer’s patients are greatly enjoying the feeling of success they receive from working on these puzzles.


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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200 Puzzles Being Delivered to Facilities in northern Arizona

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Earlier this week, I heard from Deirdre, who lives in northern Arizona. Deidre has 300 beautiful puzzles that she wants to donate for the use of our senior citizens. All of her puzzles are in great condition, and some are completely new.

I am happy to say that I contacted the Veteran’s Facility in Prescott AZ, and they are overjoyed that Deirdre will be delivering 100 of her puzzles to their location. I know these veterans will enjoy the puzzles.

Another facility, the Peaks Senior Living in Flagstaff, responded:

I am the Life Enrichment Director at The Peaks. We would love to have donated puzzles.
We are a wonderful community with our Independent living, Assisted Living, Memory, and Skilled Nursing.


Deirdre will be delivering 100 puzzles to their location.

I am sure we will be able to find a good home for the remaining puzzles.

Thank you Deirdre! Your puzzles will bring joy and satisfaction to many people!


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Masterpieces Puzzles Donates Puzzles to PuzzlesToRemember

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

I want to thank Masterpieces Puzzles for donating a case of puzzles to PuzzlesToRemember. These puzzles will appeal to many of our senior citizens who are avid sports fans.



Many of the puzzles are about Stadiums such as Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and Rigley Field. They will probably bring back some very happy memories.

Thank you!

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alzheimer's and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

I bet, at first look, it seems strange for me to be writing about the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room. However, after seeing this movie, not only do I think it is one of the best movies I have ever seen, I think it is an amazing social commentary about Alzheimer’s disease.

The story line is about a geneticist who was doing research on a drug for Alzheimer’s disease. The drug contained a virus that he was testing on chimps. One chimp showed a particularly good response to the drug, and she was singled out to be worked with. Her intelligence increased dramatically.

Then, we see the scientist at home. He is taking care of his father who has Alzheimer’s disease. The portrayal of the father is extremely realistic. His is quite advanced in the disease and has a hired caregiver at home when the geneticist is at work. We see the father lash out in frustration at the hired help, who then quits her job.

Back at the lab, the star chimp, “Bright Eyes,” is forced out of her room, and suddenly becomes very agitated and destructive. There is much havoc in the lab, and Bright Eyes is killed. Back in her room, the geneticist finds a tiny, newborn chimp, and he realizes that Bright Eyes had reacted so wildly because she had been forced to separate from her newborn.

The CEO of the company orders the study stopped, and he orders all the chimps who have been given the virus to be killed. The CEO no longer wants to continue the study. He is afraid they will be sued because the chimp went wild. All the chimps are killed, but the geneticist brings the newborn home with him and presents it as a gift to his father.

The father is delighted, and we get to see how caring for the baby chimp actually becomes very meaningful to the dad’s life. Like many Alzheimer’s patients, he becomes alive when he has something that he is responsible for.

The geneticist is distraught that his research is put aside after he has spent five years on the preparation of his virus, ALZ 112. His dad is progressing with Alzheimer’s to severe stages. The geneticist decides to inject the virus into his dad.

There is a remarkable change. After a few weeks, his dad returns to his cognitive former self. He even expresses, “I am not sick, anymore.” He even appears to play the piano better than he ever had.

Meanwhile, the infant chimp, now named Caesar, is growing. His early intelligence is hard to miss. By the age of three years old, he is more intelligent than a human three-year-old. He is able to learn sign language. It is obvious he has inherited or contracted the virus from his mom.

After about five years, the father’s symptoms of Alzheimer’s begin to reappear, and his deterioration is rapid. The geneticist conducts tests and realizes that his dad is producing antibiodies to the virus. He sets out to create another, stronger virus, ALZ 113, that can help his dad.

At one point, we see the father wander out of the house and get into a car that a neighbor has left the keys in. It’s not a good situation, but it’s one we have become familiar hearing about. The neighbor comes out and angrily pulls the dad out of the car as Caesar watches.

Caesar is very protective and runs to help the father. The chimp bites the neighbor’s finger, and animal protection is called. Against the geneticist’s will, Caesar is removed from his home and placed in a zoo-type refuge.

We get to see a lot of Caesar in that setting. It, to me, appeared like what it must feel like to be an Alzheimer’s patient in a locked ward. Caesar is smart enough to know how bad things are for him. He is empathetic with the other apes who are suffering.

The refuge operates like the nightmare nursing facilities of the past. Everything out front is cheery for visitors, and caged-up and horrific when the visitors are gone.

Meanwhile, the scientist has succeeded in producing ALZ 113, which he thinks will work. He tries to get the CEO to resume testing in chimps. The CEO is adamantly opposed to the drug. Only when the scientist says that the drug has potential to increase intelligence in “normal” people does the CEO become interested. It is a sad social commentary. The CEO was unwilling to risk a lawsuit to return Alzheimer’s patients to normal intelligence, but when he thought he would make a fortune with a drug that boosted normal intelligence, he was willing to go full speed ahead.

When the geneticist’s dad becomes very ill, he brings home the ALZ 113, with the intention of injecting his dad. His dad, on his deathbed, refuses the injection. He knows it’s his time. The dad dies, and the geneticist places the ALZ 113 drug in his refrigerator.

Meanwhile, Caesar is becoming more and more distressed with the horrendous treatment of his fellow apes. He breaks out, visits the geneticist’s home, and steals the vials of ALZ 113. Caesar brings them back to the refuge, where he doses all the apes with the ALZ 113.

After that point, the movie becomes an action movie of humans vs very smart apes.

I know that most people will comment on the animation and computer graphics of this movie. They are, indeed, unbelievably fantastic. The ape movements were realistic. One scene, where the apes were playing with an oil can, was right out of a Jane Goodall film.

What I found most amazing was the realism about Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s research that was in the movie. The dad with Alzheimer’s was depicted painfully accurately. The resistance on the part of the imagined pharmaceutical company to producing something that would only help Alzheimer’s patients and could expose them to a lawsuit, felt all too real.

I have just a few more comments. I wonder whether the fact that Charlton Heston, the star of the first “Planet of the Ape” movie, who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2008, had an impact on the production this movie.

I suspect that this movie will become a good beginning for very many ethics discussion and courses for scientists.

My own Alzheimer’s mice will be arriving in my lab this week. At one point during the movie my grandmother leaned over and whispered to me, “You better not create any super intelligent Alzheimer’s mice that want to take over the world.”

No, but I’d sure like to develop that virus that gives another five healthy years to Alzheimer’s patients.



Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

Original content Max Wallack, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nestlé USA Donates $1000 to PuzzlesToRemember

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember



Nestlé USAs donation is part of an award I received as one of 25 Nestlé Very Best in Youth. I will make good use of this money to provide puzzles to patients who will really benefit from them, and I thank Nestlé for their generous contribution.

I would also like to share with you some of the details and photos of my amazing visit to Los Angeles as a guest of Nestlé. Before the “official” festivities began, I had the opportunity to tour Warner Brothers Studios and Paramount Studios. Those were very interesting tours.

Most of the other “winners” arrived on Thursday. We were greeted by the smiling faces of Nestlé employees, who had set up a hospitality suite in our hotel. We were welcome to visit the hospitality suite at any time for drinks, for conversation, and, of course, for Nestle candy.

On Thursday afternoon, the boys were fitted for tuxes. (The girls had each received $100 to buy dresses.) Dinner on Thursday was our first official event. At this dinner, I met Henry, my official personal host from Nestlé USA. I cannot describe in sufficiently glowing terms how nice a person Henry is. He was friendly, encouraging, easy to talk to, and genuinely interested in and supportive of my work. Here is a photo of myself and Henry.


Dinner on Thursday was in a beautiful ballroom at the Hilton hotel. There was a surprise guest speaker. Hill Harper of CSI, New York, gave an inspiring presentation. He told the winners not to accept that something is too difficult, but to believe that we can do even more than meet our aspirations. Here is a photo of me with Hill Harper.



Even though Nestle planned for Saturday to be the most memorable day of our trip, for me, Friday will always be the most unforgettable. In the morning, we were taken to Nestlé headquarters for breakfast. Then, the winners were taken by bus to the Midnight Mission on Skid Row in Los Angeles. We packaged lunches and served lunches to the homeless who had come to the mission for food. Many of them asked me for extra packets of salad dressing. At that point, I really couldn’t understand why they wanted so much salad dressing. I wondered if they were actually eating straight salad dressing.

An eye-opening moment for me occurred when I saw a man actually get arrested in hand cuffs and taken away. What had he done? He had jumped the wall to get into the Mission grounds so he could get into the food line which had already closed.

The next time I saw Henry, I asked him why the homeless people kept asking for salad dressing, and my saddest imaginings were confirmed. These people were so hungry that they were eating salad dressing. It is one of the few things they can get “extra” of, and it has a high calorie content, which they desperately need.

I know that Alzheimer’s disease is a terrible disease, and we need treatments and cures. But, I have to say, having gone through seeing all the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease, that the plight of some of the people at the Midnight Mission is even more horrible.

Friday afternoon, all the winners were given tickets to Universal Studios. We headed out for hours of rides, shows, and fun. I noticed while I was there that many kids (not the Nestlé kids) had “front of the line” passes. They had paid an extra $72 to be able to get to the front of the lines and not have to wait to go on the rides.

That’s when I was hit by the poignant reality of my day. These people paid $72 to not wait in line for a ride while the man at the mission had been arrested for jumping a wall to get further up in line to get food because he was so hungry! That is one thought, one reality, that I will never forget.

Friday night, Nestlé took over the entire pool area at the hotel. They had a great dinner, a pool party, and a karaoke contest. Here are some photos of me singing with a group and singing alone.



Henry, my sponsor was one of the three Nestlé judges. They made us all laugh, and everyone had a great time.

Saturday, was planned as the culmination of our weekend. We had a nice breakfast together. After that, we attended break-out sessions, where the winners brainstormed about different causes and how we can make the world a better place. These were the nicest group of students with whom I have ever worked. I’m sure that every one of them will make an important difference in the world. They were all friendly, bright, ambitious, and, yet, humble.


Our Saturday night, black tie event, began at 4:30. Nestlé had taken over two ballrooms at the Hilton. They had run a red carpet down the length of the halls. The 24 winners walked the red carpet as they were photographed. Here’s a photo of me on the red carpet.

Henry sat next to me at the banquet, and we had a chance to talk. I am very fortunate to have been matched with a person of the caliber of Henry. I think he will become a lifelong friend.



Nestlé had hired a 12 piece band to entertain, and the awards were presented by the CEO of Nestlé as well as their spokesperson, Blake Griffin! Below is a photo of me receiving my award.



The music, the food, and the company were the best! I probably had just about the best time in my life. Below is a picture of me enjoying the party.





After the banquet hall closed at 11:15, the winners all went to another room to just talk and be friends. I stayed until 1:30 because my parents had asked me to not stay out after 1:30. I later found out that most others had stayed together until 3am. Even though these students were from very diverse backgrounds, we all understood each other, and we all shared common goals. We could have talked for days!

Sunday morning was our good-bye breakfast. Frankly, I had never had the experience before where people who had just met 3 days earlier were hugging each other and truly feeling sad to part; such were the connections we made.

Henry invited my family to breakfast on Monday morning, since we were staying over. Spending time with Henry is always enjoyable. Being a manager of international markets, Henry has friends all around the world. He has already made connections between his friends at BU and me. If Henry is representative of Nestlé employees, then no wonder the company is so successful!

Nestlé plans to continue to keep in touch with its winners and be supportive of their projects.

I had one more important thing to do before I could leave L.A. Back last fall, I received a phone call from a TV producer for the Fran Drescher Talk Show. She asked me to fly to L.A. to be on one of the pilot shows to talk about Alzheimer’s Disease. I wanted to, and I’m a big fan of Fran Drescher, but I just couldn’t leave all my classes at that time.

The TV producer and I spoke on the phone and by email several times, and she mentioned that she knows many people working in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, and that she would like for us to meet some time. So, on Monday, I met this TV producer for a lunch which lasted over two hours because we had so much to talk about.

On Wednesday, I’ll be returning to work at the Pharmacology lab. I love my job there. I understand a colony of mice for me to work with has been ordered while I was away. I have been working with a drug that seems to actually make a difference in the degradation of Amyloid Precusor Protein into Amyloid Beta.

Hill Harper said to believe I can outreach my aspirations. I aspire to make a real difference to patients with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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A Big Thank You from Fairways of Augusta

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Today, I received this nice note:

“We wanted to send you a little note with a Big Thank You for the puzzles. We have enjoyed the quality time they allow us to spend together.”

Sincerely,
Our Family at Fairways of Augusta

I hope your family of residents continues to enjoy the puzzles and finds them calming and helpful.


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Puzzles Will be Shipped to Eleven Alzheimer’s Facilities This Week

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

I am happy to say that puzzles have been being donated at a generous rate. I spent today packing up cartons of puzzles that will be shipped to an additional eleven Alzheimer’s facilities this week.

I have also been in touch with several manufacturers that have agreed to make additional puzzle contributions.

Every response from nursing facilities has stated that the patients are greatly enjoying the puzzles.


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Many Puzzles Donated to Help Alzheimer’s Patients

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

Just a few weeks ago, PuzzlesToRemember had its puzzle inventory depleted. The public has stepped up and there have been many contributions in the past two weeks.

The local library collection boxes and bank location have yielded over 100 puzzles. In addition, I have been contacted by people around the country who wanted to contribute their puzzles.

Kerry, from the Philadelphia area, had over 100 puzzles to donate. I gave her the addresses of facilities in her area that could use the puzzles.

Rori from Minnesota also wanted to donate, and I sent her my flier and the location of an Alzheimer’s facility close to her home.

Rosanna from Florida, who has donated previously, had four big cartons of puzzles ready to go. Since, Rosanna doesn’t drive, I am trying to arrange for someone to pick up her puzzles and bring them to an Alzheimer’s center.

Kori, from Northern Kentucky, needed addresses to bring her 50 puzzles.

Martin writes that he plans to set up a puzzle collection site in Houston TX and then bring the puzzles to facilities in his area.

Thank you everyone, and please continue contacting me about where to bring your puzzles!


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Puzzles For Alzheimer's Patients Delivered to Eight Nursing Facilities Today

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

From time to time, I enjoy hand delivering puzzles to nursing facilities. Since many of the recently donated puzzles were high quality and quite heavy, I decided to save shipping costs. Today, I hand delivered these puzzles to 8 different facilities around Boston.

Several activity directors were very happy, telling me that their residents love to do puzzles. Many were worried that there would be a cost and relieved when I assured them that the puzzles were free.

Some residents who noticed the puzzles wanted to begin working on them right away. It was great to see their enthusiasm. I was happy to have given them something to look forward to.

It brought me right back to the feelings I had three years ago when I first began distributing puzzles.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Reactions to the Alzheimer’s PuzzlesToRemember by Springbok

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

The following is a quote from Marlene Lesley, the Senior Program Coordinator at the Wilson Health Care Center in Maryland:

“Residents love the puzzles. Yes, there was a lady with dementia (that I recall.) For her to be successful was a great relief. And, two people who worked it together and came out of their shells helping each other.”

I also received the following photograph that says more than words can say:

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

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PUZZLES TO REMEMBER was founded in 2008 by Max Wallack, in memory of his great-grandmother, Gertrude Finkelstein, who died of Alzheimer's disease in 2007.
Puzzles To Remember is registered in Massachusetts as a public charity. Contributions are welcome, and are tax deductible under sec. 501(c.)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

For more information, write to us at PuzzlesToRemember@gmail.com