This week 1,300 Alzheimer’s advocates converged on Washington D.C. in a sea of purple to meet with lawmakers and discuss the urgency of the issues surrounding this disease. The atmosphere was one of hopeful determination.
As I reflect on the events of the past few days, I am more determined than ever to turn the tragedy of my personal loss into the triumph of a cure! This is what I have learned. Continue reading
The moment a loved one receives the terrifying diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, difficult changes are on the horizon. I can think of nothing more daunting than to be a spouse facing these challenges. The supporting partner must navigate relationship changes, safety issues, as well as medical and financial decisions. At the same time, they are left to grieve the relationship they once knew.
Life will soon be inexplicably changed forever. The partner, now altered by this disease, will likely exhibit challenging behaviors and unpredictable personality changes. It is a difficult road full of unthinkable demands for the one providing care. A new reality requiring a tremendous amount of support. Following are suggestions for those facing this tragedy. Continue reading
It has been sixty-five years since my parents’ wedding, a ceremony celebrating their commitment to love each other forever. Many years of dedication and shared experiences after they wed, Alzheimer’s disease stole the memories of this promise. After their diagnoses, I watched in amazement as my parents newly discovered each admirable trait which brought them together decades before.
Now refined through trials and seasoned with life’s experiences, their attraction was magnetic. My parents’ shared disease made me wonder: what keeps marriages strong despite the challenges of life we all face? I believe it is more than sheer grit and determination. Experiencing my parents’ love on autopilot led me to believe the key to lasting love is in developing basic traits which become the essence of who we are. Continue reading
The moment a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or any form of dementia, families are met with overwhelming responsibilities. Navigating the cruel and lengthy process requires a tremendous amount of support. Often outside help is required, which means caregivers and family members must work together as a team.
This is perhaps one of the greatest challenges. The care families desire for a loved one goes beyond merely completing tasks. These unspoken expectations often result in confused caregivers who perceive requests as unreasonable. What do families really want? The essence is found in these seven simple requests. Continue reading