Alzheimer's growing in society -- Caregivers face a challenge every day
Posted Apr 20 2009 12:59am
This is one of the better articles I read on Alzheimer's and Caregiving -- Alzheimer's growing in society. I believe this is the kind of article that can be helpful to Alzheimer's caregivers and give the public a real sense of what we are tackling in our day to day lives.
"He would forget passwords on the computer," she said. "He would call people and say strange things, then not remember that he had called them."
The quote shows what really starts happening a the beginning. In other words, it is not just memory -- it is behavior that tips you off.
The husband of my good friend and neighbor is starting to show clear signs of mild cognitive impairment-- at the minimum. I am not a doctor, and I understand his symptoms might be any of a number illnesses--but I can't convince her to get him checked for memory. It is frustrating.
I want to make it clear. I am not really being critical of my neighbor. She is 80 years old and really can't stand the thought that something is going wrong and she will have to deal with it. So she puts it off. Join the club.
In the early stages, for example, a patient's behavior can be extremely bizarre, leading to high levels of frustration for caregivers. As the disease progresses, paranoia, hallucinations and fear are common, as are heightened emotions. "Often, it's a direct hit to you," Jernigan said, "because they accuse you of things."
I'll tell you what can be frustrating at the beginning. You are dealing with a loved one that is saying very mean things to you-- things you never heard before. Next thing you know a relative calls and talks to your loved one. You get back on the phone and that person tells you how great the person suffering from Alzheimer's sounds. How do you tell them what is really going on? Vent or accept you are going to be hearing this a couple million more times?
"You have to go into their little world to understand what they are going through," she said. "But at the same time, you can't take a lot of it seriously. At some point, you just have to make light of it. When you hear that other people are going through the same thing, there is some reasoning, some logic. And hopefully, understanding."
I have tried to say the same thing on this web site a thousand time. You have to accept what is. But, before you can do that you need to come to a simple realization -- you are not alone.
You can come here and tell us how your are feeling, ask for advice, or just let it out. Remember, when you come to the Alzheimer's Reading Room you might be lonely -- but you are never alone.
The article by Annabelle Robertson is well written and shows a good understanding to the caregiver life , go read.
Bob DeMarco is a citizen journalist, blogger, and Caregiver. In addition to being an experienced writer he taught at the University of Georgia , was an Associate Director and Limited Partner at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and a mentor. Bob currently resides in Delray Beach, FL where he cares for his mother, Dorothy, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. He has written more than 500 articles with more than 11,000 links to his work on the Internet. His content has been syndicated on Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Pluck, Blog Critics, and a growing list of newspaper websites. Bob is actively seeking syndication and writing assignments.