Alzheimer’s is not just about forgetting people or things. Alzheimer’s Disease causes a complete physical deterioration of your whole self to the point where your body stops working. Words cannot describe this transformation. My mother had Alzheimer’s. Every time I saw her I just couldn’t believe what was happening to her. It was truly heartbreaking.
My mom was a fashionista (I used to tell her that jokingly); coming from a family of tailors, she appreciated and loved beautiful clothes. She was a great cook. We ate very healthy…we didn’t even know what junk food was. She loved to read. She read the newspaper every day. She had a very polished gracious way about herself and she was a survivor of Auschwitz. Alzheimer’s took all of that away and more. I cared for her. Tried to keep her appearance, dress her the way she would have liked and make the things that she used to love to eat. As her Alzheimer’s progressed it seemed that none of that mattered although I continued to care for her in the same manner.
Caregivers give and then they give some more and then some more and even more and more. The role has no boundaries and even with outside help, caregivers still carry the full responsibility. The stress is overwhelming, the emotional drain can be debilitating and living in a constant state of urgency eventually results in health issues. No exclusions.
I became active in the Alzheimer’s Association because as a caregiver I became depressed, neglectful of myself and developed health issues. At that time there wasn’t much information available. Caregiving can be very lonely and without information and some sort of outreach; it is a very depressing,scary road. Support services are so important; they help caregivers who are often so consumed with taking care of others that they forget to care for themselves.
Read here about 2017 ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE FACTS AND FIGURES
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