This is a compelling post by Ann Napoletan, a fellow Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia caregiving blogger and a friend, about something that all of us who’ve been on or are on this journey have witnessed and experienced firsthand.
We’ve seen it with our loved ones and we seen it with other people suffering from dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease who, before all this were loved ones to somebody or somebodies, but who ceased to exist, it seems, once the diseases set in and took hold.
This quote is a good summary:
“Is it the fear of being asked for help? Is it too difficult for them to see? Do they just not want to be bothered? Or do they think the person is already gone so there’s no sense in visiting?
Not many would admit to most of these, though I have had a few people tell me it was just ‘too hard’ for them to see my mom ‘that way.’
One can only imagine how egocentric that sounds to a caregiver who faces the tremendously harsh reality of Alzheimer’s every day. I think all caregivers will agree it’s no picnic for us to watch a loved one slowly drift away into the world of Alzheimer’s, but we weren’t given a choice in the matter. However, every moment we spend with them is ultimately a beautiful blessing.”
I saw a picture a few days ago, and it’s been on my mind ever since. The image was that of an older woman sitting alone on a bench looking off into the distance. The caption said, “Alzheimer’s isn’t contagious.”
As advocates, we place a great deal of emphasis on funding for research – we think a lot about the future – hopefully one without Alzheimer’s. And all of that is tremendously important. However, the image of that lonely woman reminds us we must also focus on those living with the disease today.
How many dementia patients sit alone in a facility, day after day, month after month, and year after year? One might argue that technically they aren’t alone; there are people around, the hustle and bustle of daily goings on, shower time, mealtime, and an occasional balloon volleyball game.
Don’t fool yourself –…
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