Wow, I Was Shocked at Just How Bad It Has Become
Were you one of the lucky ones who went home for the holidays, maybe it had been a while since you had been home or seen your family in person? It is great to see all of your family again especially if it has been some time since you were together in one place sharing a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, opening presents, seeing nieces and nephews and now they have grown from the last time you saw them. So much to catch up on.
And came then the shocker. It had been a while since you saw your mom, dad, your grandfather or grandmother in person and you just could not believe what you were seeing, and hearing, just how much of a digression there was in their health, their talking ability, or their mobility. Maybe even the big one hit you, they could not remember your name, or they did not know who you are. We cannot imagine anything more depressing than this.
This, my friends happens to a whole lot of families and single people, especially around the holidays. Maybe you had heard how bad it was getting from a sister, a brother, or maybe a neighbor who still lives close enough to see the decline and tell you about it, but you just could not or did not want to believe it, and now you just can not deny it, after what you just saw and heard. This one thought is so depressing that you just wanted to sit down and cry. You have been slapped in the face with a big dose of reality.
Now that the holidays are almost over, you know you need to sit down and have that family conversation about what to do with what you just witnessed, from the loved one you just saw. There are a million things, and a million questions running around in your head right now. What are we going to do? How are we going to manage? What can we do? And the most important question of all, how do we talk to our loved one about this?
First off, slow down and think about this. We want you to know that you are not alone, you are not the first family that this is happened to and you will certainly not be the last. 5.4 million people in this country are currently dealing with this, and the numbers are only going to get higher. There is help out there, but there needs to be some education on your family’s part., there needs a plan of action. But, where to start? We’ll get to that.
I am not going to kid you or sugar coat it, it is not going to be easy, there are going to be changes in your life, there is going to be a lot of work on the part of the whole family. This should not be left up to one person if at all possible, if there are brothers and sisters, you need to get them involved. Of course, if you are an only child, you need to know about all the help that outside agencies and organizations can provide that are available to you. Use them! These are people who do this as their life’s work, they know from experience. It is not hard to get the help you need; it should not be hard to ask for it. So do not be ashamed or think that you are weak because you can’t handle this yourself or don’t know where to turn. We’ll help you with all of this. That is our life’s work.
By the way, you have just added a new title to your resume. You have now joined an exclusive club, a club in which there are over 16 million members. You are now a Caregiver. Do not be afraid of this title; be proud of the fact that you have joined this club. This is the club that tells the world that we are human, we care about our loved one’s, that we will do whatever needs to be done in order to take care of our loved ones, with the amount of care and dignity that they deserve. Wear this new title proudly, no one is ever going to berate you, ostracize you or look down upon you because you are now a Caregiver. Without people like you the world would be one pretty bleak place. It says a lot about a society how we treat and take care of our elderly. Most of us are caring and compassionate people. We just do not let our family drift away and make it someone else’s problem; we take our responsibilities seriously, and take care of our own.
So far, we have managed to say all this without using the one word none of us want to hear or use, but we all know we need to worry about.
This one word puts the fear of God into all of us, When we come to the reality that one of our loved one’s has been diagnosis with this misfortune disease.
Years ago, there was not nearly the number of resources you could turn to for help that there is today. Today there is a whole host of organizations that can help. Help in answering those tough questions that we all have.
The very first place we would like you to turn is the Alzheimer’s Research Association. We are dedicated to the Caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. We make it our mission to help in any way we can from answering your questions, supporting you in any way we can, whether that be the information you need, or products and services you need in order to help you do this job we call Caregiving. You can start by looking at our website at www.alzra.org. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for there, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.
Please remember that we are here to help, do not be afraid to ask any question you need answered, the only dumb question is the one that is not asked.
Alzheimer’s Research Association