Lady Vols’ coach Pat Summitt fought the good fight

  • Eight national championships.
  • More than 1,000 wins.
  • 39-0 record in 1997-98, won (another) national title.
  • 100% graduation rate.
  • Fought early-onset dementia since 2011; diagnosed at 59.

The first four on this list were easy compared to the last one.

Pat Summitt ended the fight June 28, 2016 at age 64.

Pat Summitt, winningest coach in Division I history, dies at 64 – ESPN

The Pat Summitt Foundation

All the news that fits, we engage

Engaging over the news is better than just reading it.
Engaging over the news is better than just reading it.
Dad’s always been a news buff. He always liked knowing what’s going on in the world, and that hasn’t changed much. The only change is in how he gets the news.

That’s become a favorite way for us to engage. Might even be the high point of his day.

Guaranteed, when I’m at the big screen computer Dad will come in and park himself in the chair behind me. I know what that means. Take a break from whatever I’m doing. Pull up Yahoo News and start sorting through stuff. Or go to my Twitter feeds and look for the hot news.

He especially likes the videos. Crank up the volume, go full screen, and he’s happy. If a story doesn’t have a video I’ll read it to him and interject my own commentary. Just like in the old days he gets into the political scene; the Trump/Clinton campaign is always good for a few laughs anyway.

Some of this gets pretty funny because we’re on different ends of the political spectrum. Admittedly, I’m just to the right of Genghis Khan. Dad isn’t. He’s already decided who he wants to vote for, while I favor lining them both against the wall and starting the whole mess over. Sometimes this sparks some pretty lively conversation.

It’s that engagement thing. I guess dementia is a pretty lonely disease; you’re just a prisoner of your own head. Anything to engage, to start conversation, to actually do things, is a big part of coping.

Watching the news on TV or reading it online is fine; it keeps the care recipient somewhat informed of what’s going on. But that doesn’t keep him engaged unless he cusses out the TV.