GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018 - 12

it's never 2 late

s
his grandkid
Robert with
one person has hit me quite as passionately as a humble,
retired pharmacy owner in the middle of Georgia-- Robert
Bowles.
I had the pleasure of meeting Robert last year at the
Dementia Action Alliance conference. He and his cohorts were
panelists at the event. They brought a unique perspective to
it, a usually eschewed perspective-- the perspective of actually living with the disease. It was not replete with self-pity
or sober reflection; but rather an inspirational message that
hit me between the eyes. It was simply "Quit feeling sorry for

"

Years after his diagnosis, he lives life to
the fullest each day and takes nothing
for granted.

12 GRAND

MARCH APRIL 2018

me, just treat me like a normal
person! This is not what I envisioned for my future, but I'll
make the most of today." There
was no bitterness, just a normal
Joe enjoying his life from a different perspective.
Robert's journey has been a
remarkable story of attitude
adjustment. After seeing
eight physicians over 18
months, he finally received
a diagnosis of Lewy
Body Dementia. Robert
explains. "It was a relief....
no longer did I have to
struggle in darkness as to
what was taking place in
my body."
Initially, he thought he could cope, but trips
to multiple physicians left him cold, and later depressed.
He explains. "When I sold my pharmacy at age 63 and stuck
my key in the door for the final time, I immediately became
depressed. I no longer had my patients to love, care, educate, encourage, and give hope to. I was drowning in darkness. I immediately became depressed and was started on
an antidepressant. The 11th day of treatment, I became
catatonic. Over the next year, I began having syncope (fainting episodes) and falling and injuring myself. During this
time, I slept 16-20 hours a day."
With his family's support, his faith, and his own sense of
determination, Robert turned it all around. His family is a bright
spot in his life, adding joy and purpose. Robert appreciates
that they love him just as he is. So today, years after his diagnosis, he lives life to the fullest each day and takes nothing for
granted.

Robert's story, and my relationship with him, profoundly
transformed my perspective of dementia. It changed how I
talk to people with the disease and how I talk to people about
the disease. It inspired me to share a positive message of
hope. I love the opportunity GRAND has given me to share
these stories; they will be the focal point of my work with the
publication.
So the next time you are dealing with your own dementia demons, or you hear more about the dreads of the disease, think about the good old boy in Georgia who is actually
enjoying life, one day at a time.

Greetings from GRAND's new associate
publisher. This is a new title for me. I'm one
of the founders of It's Never 2 Late (IN2L). For
almost 18 years IN2L has brought engagement
technology to senior living communities.
Our focus is to help residents who physically
and cognitively struggle with conventional
technology, and help them come alive through
meaningful content.
When we started IN2L, some thought we were crazy.
How would technology be relevant for people dealing
with dementia? But we've won the doubters over...
our technology is in 2,500 communities throughout the
United States and we're finishing up another year of 30+%
growth.
Everyone can benefit from today's technology. It doesn't
matter how old you are or where you are cognitively; we all
want to stay relevant. We're excited to bring our message
of engagement through technology to GRAND, which has
also been changing the aging paradigm for years now.
I will be highlighting stories of remarkable residents and
remarkable senior living caregivers, and how technology
is bridging the generations.


https://www.facebook.com/GRANDmagazine/ https://www.twitter.com/grandMmagazine http://www.in2l.com/ https://daanow.org/ http://www.in2l.com/

GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018

Contents
GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018 - 1
GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018 - 2
GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018 - 3
GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018 - Contents
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GRAND Magazine - March/April 2018 - 6
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