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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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Power of Puzzles

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By Max Wallack  
Puzzles to Remember
I want to share the email below that I received yesterday from a woman in Florida who wishes to pass on her puzzles to others through PuzzlesToRemember.  (I think we have found a good home for these puzzles.)

My mom is suffering from Alzheimer's. 

We noticed changes in her for a while but she and my dad wouldn't let us help. Mom had a bad fall and wound up in the hospital with dehydration and a UTI. When she was sent to a rehab center she was so shaken and not responding to anything. I spoke to doctors/OTs/PTs and aides. She wasn't responsive or active at all. One day I decided to go to the dollar store and as I shopped for puzzles - the simplest we're 10-20 piece Disney puzzles for children 2-5 - I sat down and cried. 

I took a puzzle to mom when I went to the rehab that day and she yelled at me. "I'm not doing this" "what is this?" And she tossed it to the side. Is shook my head but at least I tried - at this point nothing was working. 

The next day when I got to the rehab center, just before I entered the room I heard mom mumbling to herself. I stood outside and listened. I glanced in to see her in her chair leaning over her food tray table putting the puzzle pieces together. I smiled.....and cried again. I went inside and although the pieces weren't all in the right places I told her it was amazing and I was so happy. We talked a bit and then I asked if I could work on the puzzle and we'd do it together. I had always loved puzzles as a kid and worked had on them together back then. 

Mom is home now and we have progressed - more difficult puzzles, beading, puzzles with word or number associations. Her caregivers love them. I read about your amazing organization - Now it's time to pass along some of the puzzles. 

Please let me know how I can do this. Thank you
 

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  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, December 7, 2014

Alzheimer's Patients Enjoying Springbok PuzzlesToRemember

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember

A few months ago, PuzzlesToRemember donated Springbok PuzzlesToRemember to When Help Can't Wait.

When Help Can't Wait supplies sorely needed comfort items to nursing home residents in facilities that have no financial means to provide these items.

The feedback from the nursing facilities was, "they love the SIZE of the pieces because they are so easy for them to work with" and "they are really enjoying them." Here are two photos of the puzzles being enjoyed.




Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  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, December 4, 2014

Alzheimer's Puzzles Supplied to 16 Nursing Facilities

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By Max Wallack  
Puzzles to Remember

Jigsaw Puzzles were sent to 16 nursing facilities this week.

Most of these were the Springbok PuzzlesToRemember, specialized puzzles made to meet the needs of Alzheimer's patients. These puzzles have 36 extra-large sized pieces with bright colors and memory provoking themes. PuzzlesToRemember has now supplied over 37,500 puzzles to close to 2700 nursing facilities worldwide. •

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  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 3, 2014

Puzzles Supplied to Woodbridge Nursing Pavillion

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By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember 
The residents at Woodbridge Nursing Pavillion, in Chicago, are enjoying puzzles provided by PuzzlesToRemember.  The staff at Woodbridge Nursing Pavillion made the effort to reach out on behalf of their residents.

PuzzlesToRemember sent varied puzzles, ranging from 750 piece puzzles to the specialized Springbok PuzzlesToRemember, made specifically to meet the needs of Alzheimer's patients.

According to their occupational therapist, the puzzles are a big hit with the residents, who come down, pick up a puzzle, complete it, and then return it and choose another puzzle.

I am very glad we were able to provide these puzzles!

Below is a photo of the staff at Woodbridge Nursing Pavillion.  I think their costumes are appropriate.  Helping others often has a "domino effect"!





Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at
Boston University School of Medicine.  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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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

36,400 Puzzles Have Been Donated

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By Max Wallack  
Puzzles to Remember

This week, puzzles were supplied to ten additional nursing facilities.

The locations stretched from Long Beach, California, to London, England.

I hope the residents of these nursing facilities will derive feelings of calm and pleasure from working on these jigsaw puzzles.

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  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 19, 2014

The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund 2014 Symposium

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By Max Wallack  
Puzzles to Remember

This week, I had the privilege to attend the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Symposium “10 Years of Leading Research.” It was a wonderful, celebratory event. Dr. Tanzi presented on his team’s discovery of learning how to grow neurons in a gel-like substance and introduce Alzheimer’s mutations to simulate the disease as it occurs in the human brain. This will allow for much cheaper and quicker testing of various drugs to see how effective they are against Alzheimer’s. This is not Dr. Tanzi’s first huge accomplishment regarding Alzheimer’s disease. He has previously identified several genes as promising drug targets for Alzheimer’s.

Here is a link to a video of the entire Cure Alzheimer’s Fund presentation, including Dr. Tanzi’s talk:

http://curealz.org/events/2014/05/2014-fall-symposium-10-years-leading-research


Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  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.

Read More....

Monday, September 22, 2014

Three New Fall Images for Springbok PuzzlesToRemember, Puzzles For Those With Dementia

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By Max Wallack  
Puzzles to Remember
Here are the three new fall images of the Alzheimer's puzzles. These are each 36 very large-sized, brightly colored pieces that are a great activity for those with dementia.

 These puzzles can be ordered here

If you know of a facility whose residents could benefit from these puzzles, let us know at the email at the bottom of this page, and sample puzzles will be sent.
 •

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  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, July 23, 2014

Recent Video about My Work on Behalf of Those with Alzheimer's

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By Max Wallack Puzzles to Remember

Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine.  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.

Read More....

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Could Your Family Benefit From Family Therapy? When to Think About Getting Professional Help

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The following article was written by my friend, Marie Marley:

The three Mackey children never got along well, and things got even worse when their father, Ralph, remarried after their mother died. His second wife, Becky, now finds herself functioning as the primary caregiver for Ralph, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago.

The children never liked Becky either, and now they like her even less. In fact, Brent, the oldest sibling, positively detests her. The children’s fights about how Becky should care for their father increase with every passing day.

Their conflicts with Becky are escalating lately, too. They never miss a chance to criticize or berate her – often in the presence of their father, who is simply bewildered by it all.

Family Conflict and Alzheimer’s: The Mackey family isn’t necessarily unusual. In a previous article, What to Do When Alzheimer’s Threatens to Tear Your Family Apart, I discussed the conflicts that can arise when a family member has Alzheimer’s. I quoted Carole Larkin, who says that 30% of her family clients experience conflict. And she says that is doubled for blended families (like the Mackeys.) And, as with the Mackeys, most conflict centers around what type of care should be provided to the person with Alzheimer’s. Other arguments typically involve money and facility placement.

What Is Family Therapy? According to an article, Family Therapy, on the Mayo Clinic website, family therapy is “a type of psychological counseling done to help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts.”

 Family Therapy and Alzheimer’s: Unlike individual therapy and Alzheimer’s, not much has been written about family therapy and Alzheimer’s. However, most of the information in the Mayo Clinic article applies to families affected by Alzheimer’s. The article states, “Family therapy can be useful in any family situation that causes stress, grief, anger or conflict.” Having a family member with Alzheimer’s usually causes all of those.

The article continues, “It can help you and your family members understand one another better and bring you closer together.”

 The article describes this type of therapy further, stating that “Family therapy is often short term. It may include all family members or just those most able to participate. Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times, even after you’re done going to therapy sessions.”

Does Your Family Really Need Professional Help? Conflict is to be expected even in the best of families, and this can increase if one member has a serious disease, such as Alzheimer’s, that requires extensive caregiving.

So how do you know if professional counseling could be needed for your family? I would suggest you consider it if at least one family member’s mental health and daily functioning are being seriously affected by the strife.

Another sign – and an important one - that outside help is needed would be if the constant bickering is negatively impacting the quality of care being provided to the person with Alzheimer’s.

What If Some Family Members Refuse to Participate? Don’t be surprised if some family members flat out refuse to take part.

And don’t be surprised if it’s the one(s) considered by others to be the source of much of the conflict. You might try having their primary care provider, clergy person, or lawyer speak to them about it. Sometimes people pay more attention to someone outside the family. But you can’t force them to go.

If they still refuse, the other family members can go ahead without them. The therapy may still be helpful to the ones who do go, and it may help them better cope with the one who won’t attend the sessions.

How to Find a Family Therapist: You can get a referral from a friend or other family member or from your primary care provider. The Mayo Clinic article lists several other sources of referral, such as your health insurance company, employee assistance program, clergy, or state or local mental health agencies.

Have any of you tried family therapy? If so, did it help? Or if not, do you think you should try it? Please share your thoughts and experiences.
                                                          

Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer's and Joy
Marie Marley is the award-winning author of the uplifting book, Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy. Her website (ComeBackEarlyToday.com) contains a wealth of information for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Reading

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By Max Wallack

Puzzles to Remember
Here's a photo of Wednesday's book reading of "Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? An Explanation of Alzheimer's Disease for Children."

Thanks to my coauthor Carolyn Given and also to Patrick Pass of the New England Patriots who showed the illustrations to the children as we read!




Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at
Boston University School of Medicine.  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.

Read More....
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