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Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center

PODCASTS - Helen Hovdesven, family member

Helen and Arne HovdesvenHelen Hovdesven's husband Arne was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a number of years ago. Before he passed away in the Spring of 2009, Helen generously shared her story in an audio slide show and a series of podcasts. She currently serves as co-chair (with Sylvia Mackey) of the Patient and Family Council of the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center.

Long journey begun. Scenes from Helen and Arne's life

Watch and listen now to the AUDIO SLIDE SHOW

Program Notes

0: 24  Became involved because of my husband
1:18  Both had children alone
2:21  Lost his temper uncharacteristically
3:18  Everything was done legally
4:18  Everyone's first inclination is to treat
5:25  Telling friends
6:17  I just can't watch this
7:15  The isolation is so hurtful
8:10  I think you realize they don't get it
9:14  Go visit and stay a friend
10:04 End

Early decisions. Helen describes symptoms her husband had and decisions they made.

Listen now to the PODCAST 1

Program Notes

0:12  The disease I studied for physiology was Alzheimer's
1:01  He did have Lyme's disease
2:02  Forgot where the key was
3:00  He made all his own decisions and articulated them
4:03  He has a pacemaker and we didn't replace the battery
5:05  A friend said why don't you let Arne do what he wants?
6:04  Didn't have to worry because she understood
7:06  People shy away when you tell them
8:07  I don't think its forgiveness
9:07  Go and visit your friend
10:05 End

Psychological support. Helen talks about receiving psychological support for both she and her husband.

Listen now to the PODCAST 2

Program Notes

0:16  Referred to Hopkins
1:13  This is a long, long goodbye
2:10  Use their psychiatric support
3:03  When Arne was diagnosed we saw a psychologist together
4:04  I never lied to Arne in my life
5:04  He was comfortable sleeping by himself
6:10  I told him myself he would stay at assisted living
7:09  The reason it looks so familiar
8:08  Asked a friend to meet me
9:04  The psychologist called me
10:00 End

Coming to terms. Helen deals with her husband's inability to communicate clearly.

Listen now to the PODCAST 3

0:08  Participating in things that would help
1:01  I was a health advocate professionally
2:03  How blessed we are to reach 80 or more and have our body and mind
3:06  Picked up his arm and had taken his watch off
4:05  There's a real I know you way deep down
5:02  To read what the patient isn't saying
6:07  They were so frustrated because he wanted to stop
7:03  Must like yourself first
8:04  You go home alone, you are socially isolated
9:17  End

Focus on caregivers. Helen talks about the multiple roles caregivers fill.

Listen now to the PODCAST 4

Program Notes

0:05  Arne decided to donate his brain
1:02  You are doing so much for us
2:01  I never cease to be amazed at the men I meet who are caregivers
3:04  Even if it's an obligation it still takes courage
4:02  If you have cancer you have hospice but dementia doesn't
5:03  Who knows what the precipitating event will be?
6:05  Until they focus on caregivers it won't help
7:06  Make sure you have support
8:06  Don't look too hard at what might go wrong
9:05 You need an advocate as a patient
10:23 End