Faces of Menlo

Psychologist Contance Vincent of Menlo Park

Psychologist Constance Vincent is clear about the reason she wrote her book Not Going Gently: A Psychologist Fights Back against Alzheimer’s Disease for Her Mother. . .and Perhaps Herself. If not obvious from the title, she reiterates: “Alzheimer’s is not something we can ignore. There is something we can do, not only to prevent it but also to take better care of people who have the disease.”

As the daughter of a father who suffered from dementia and a mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, Constance, who has lived in Menlo Park since 1988, knows she carries the potential for developing a dementing illness. A long-distance caregiver for her mother the past eight years, Constance said, “I began to study and read as much as I could about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in order to learn the best diet, the best supplements, and the best activities that would help save my mother. I was ready to fight back.

“There is so much denial about this disease, I think, because we don’t know what causes it, and there is no cure. I think many people are more afraid of it than cancer.”

Constance was an Associate Professor of Psychology at Chapman University for a number of years before teaching classes on aging at Santa Clara University. She serves her community by presenting for the Alzheimer’s Speakers Bureau and supporting senior programs through Peninsula Volunteers.

Deciding to write the book was partly a result of Constance’s conversations with her mother. “She started telling me her feelings, and I started taking notes,” Constance said. “She was in a senior residential care facility and had hopes as well as fears.”

Later, her mother lost her vision, the result of a cataract. She was also restricted to a wheelchair. “Loneliness and depression exacerbated her condition, I believe,” said Constance.

Her book is a mother-daughter memoir fused with the latest research into the causes of Alzheimer’s as well as prevention plans that include nutrition, lifestyle changes and techniques for building a cognitive reserve. She’s read a lot of the academic research underway, and referenced the work of Dr. Gary Small at UCLA in our conversation. [Here is an article about his findings.]

“The last lesson my mother gave me is to be prepared,” Constance said. “That’s what I’m doing and encourage others to do so as well.”

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J David Cummings writes award-winning book of poems about use of atomic weapons at end of WWII

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J. David Cummings, known as David, is quick to assure his visitors: “I’m all ‘right’ now!” It was his succinct summation of his journey from theoretical physicist to technical writer to award-winning poet, a decidedly right brain activity after years of thinking left. “I actually wrote my first poem in high school,” he explains. “But […]

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Fey Restaurant in Menlo Park given Bib Gourmand recognition by Michelin

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About attaining 2015 Bib Gourmand recognition from Michelin, Fey Restaurant owner Han Ying Wang (pictured) is enthusiastically matter-of-fact: “This restaurant is my life,” she said. “I am so lucky!” Since 1955, the famous red Michelin guide has also highlighted restaurants offering “good food at moderate prices”, a feature called “Bib Gourmand”. They must offer menu items […]

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Lalita Tademy launches new novel at Kepler’s on Nov. 4

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We heard that changes were afoot at Beth Philbin’s jewelry making location, Heart on Your Wrist. For one, the Menalto Corners/Willows neighborhood business now includes a retail shop. “We launched as an online store and used this space to make the jewelry,” said Beth. “But I always wanted a storefront. And even though we really didn’t have […]

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Local author Herschel Cobb to speak at Menlo Park Library on Nov. 1

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Local author Herschel Cobb will talk about his book, Heart of a Tiger: Growing up with My Grandfather, Ty Cobb, during a free program to be presented by the Menlo Park Library on Saturday, November 1. Ty Cobb, “The Georgia Peach,” played 22 years as an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, setting set 90 Major […]

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Phillip Nicholas brings his landscape fine art photography skills to Menlo Park

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Photographer. Guide. Teacher. Ask Phillip Nicholas, who moved to Menlo Park from El Portal just outside Yosemite a few months ago, which hat he most enjoys and he can’t quite narrow it down. “My passion is teaching,” he says. “But that said, I love to go outside for the photography and then come in and […]

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Fleet Feet Menlo Park training group celebrate finishing Nike Women’s Half Marathon

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Editor’s note: InMenlo contributing photographers Irene Searles and Laura Hamilton ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon last weekend. Irene trained with Fleet Feet Menlo Park. Last night the training teams gathered for a celebration party. Fleet Feet co-owner Lisa Taggart shared some thoughts: We had 156 people registered through our class. There were 135 race registrations […]

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Menlo Park women shine at Nike Women’s Half Marathon today

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Just in: photos of Menlo Park moms who completed the Nike Women’s Half Marathon earlier today in San Francisco. They were among 25,000 participants. The overall winner was Victoria Mitchell of Waverley in a time of 1:19:49, of note as there are men in the race. Pictured top right is InMenlo contributing photographer Irene Searles and Kathy Oppenheimer […]

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Contemporary fashions and customer care is offered by Diana Ferrari at her Menlo Park boutique Graciana

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It was amber, which she imported from her native Poland, that led Graciana Boutique owner Diana Ferrari to the world of fashion and jewelry. “I was living on the East Coast when I came to visit my brother in San Francisco,” she recalls. “The weather was gorgeous in December and I moved West. For many […]

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Peter Draeger talks about the family grocery business – and his participation in Walk to Cure Diabetes

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Ask Peter Draeger about his involvement in the three-generation family business, Draeger’s Market, and he’ll admit to surprise at his current role. “I always figured my older brothers would go into the business, that there wouldn’t be a place for me,” he said. “I majored in finance at Santa Clara and went into banking after […]

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