This is a new page on the ACES website. A forum will appear here end August. In the meantime I am asking readers to let me have any anecdotes of their own which could prove helpful to Alzheimers victims and their long suffering wives / husbands / partners.
It is no secret that we currently have a sufferer playing in the ACES club. He knows himself that it is now at a fairly advanced stage where he frequently cannot remember what the trumps are nor which cards have just been played. How much longer he continues to be able to play competitive bridge depends on the support he might expect from his long term friends as the condition deteriorates.
I appreciate that partnering a sufferer at that stage of his illness can be a Herculean task for the partner. Understandably, it can also be embarassing for the adversaries.
But I also am aware that playing bridge gives the mental stimulus the sufferer needs. Not just to improve quality of life, but to extend lives by slowing the progression of the ailment. One of the advantages of playing at ACES is that it only requires two supportive players (plus yours truly) to enable a sufferer to carry on playing in competitions. (Because we don`t change tables for the duration of the tournament)
But partnering an Alzheimer`s sufferer can paradoxically also be very rewarding mentally. More self satisfying and stimulating than the average club tournament due to the unique and new challenges we face each time. To illustrate this point, the articles scheduled for publication include a report of one particular experience three years ago during research I conducted on behalf of the World Bridge Federation. On that occasion, the sufferer`s wife invited me to partner him at the local Dutch expat bridge club in Benalmadena. I have to admit it was the most exhausting game of bridge I have ever played in my life. But it remains to this day also the most memorable I have ever played. Very amusing at times. And it ended in a buffet party with all the club members. A wonderful afternoon for everyone.
Full story on the problems I had to overcome - plus the highlights and the result of that competition - will follow end August.
Trevor - 21h05 on 27/7/21 and updated 6/8/21