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Alzheimer's Caregiving A Front Row View

Posted Jan 05 2011 9:55am
Alzheimer's caregiving is not easy. In fact, I would bet that most Alzheimer's caregivers would say it is the most difficult task they have ever faced....

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

When Alzheimer's strikes its back to first grade. There is so much to learn. The learning curve is steep and it never stops. It never stops because the target -- the Alzheimer's patient -- continues to change. Every time you think you are getting a grip there are new and different problems to be addressed.

Recently, I wrote a few articles on Alzheimer's communication. Mostly some perspective on my experience as an Alzheimer's caregiver.

Life up here in the Front Row is hard to imagine until you experience it first hand. Therein lies the problem. You can't imagine it, until you live it.

How many times have you said or thought, I'm having a horrible or horrific day? How many times did you say or think that before Alzheimer's disease?

We live with an enormous weight on are shoulders. We have one common goal, get the weight off our shoulders. This is difficult to do.

In order to get the weight off our shoulders we are forced to think and feel. Think and feel. This is the basis of Alzheimer's caregiving from the Front Row.

You might be feeling angry, disoriented, disheartened, or just plain old stressed out. Feeling.

The only way to diffuse these feelings is to think about them. What am I feeling and why?

It is necessary to learn how to deal with these feelings. To accept them as a normal part of the Alzheimer's caregiver day.

You probably don't like these feelings. I don't. Nevertheless, you have to confront them head on.

This is part of what life in the Front Row is all about. Thinking and feeling. You must do both.

One thing I learned. If you have not been here -- in the Front Row -- then you cannot understand the enormity of this endeavor -- Alzheimer's caregiving.

I also learned that there are millions of people right up here in the Front Row with me. With us.

This does make it easier to live this very difficult stage of our life.

While we are up here in the Front Row we may as well make the best of it. Do the best we can.

There must be a reason why we are here.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

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