dementia caregiving

Dementia caregivers: 21st century heroes

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Those family members who have had, or who currently have, a family member or close friend with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, you are my hero.

You took on the task of showing your love and compassion by signing up to become a family caregiver which at its best is a learn-as-you-go, long-term commitment. Your efforts make a difference in the life of your loved one. They may not be able to express their appreciation for all that you do, but please know that the essence of who they are acknowledges your kindness.

Your name and/or identity may be lost to them, but you are still a vital part of their lives, and your friendly and loving demeanor goes far toward affirming them and making them feel valued and loved.

Thank you for all that you have done, continue to do, and will remain doing in the future. It is an honor to be in your company.

Requiem for the status quo was released by Black Rose Writing on July 20th. You can order Requiem at Barnes & Noble and Amazon as well as all online and brick and mortar chain and independent bookstores. Be sure to shop around for the best price, you won’t be sorry you did. And for those of you with eReaders, the eBook will be available at most online book retailers on, or about, July 27th.

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Why I love the internet

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http-895558_640Sure, it’s convenient and very utilitarian for our every-day use.  As a writer, I benefit greatly from an online Thesaurus to use alternate words.  Case in point,  there’s gotta be a better way to say, “Colleen got angry (irked, vexed, indignant, apoplectic, choleric) when traffic made her late for her hair appointment.”

And among the many other reasons for which I use the internet, I count on it for quick access to a recipe for an I’m too exhausted to be creative meal on a Monday night or in the alternative, a restaurant that’s not too far away from home and can seat us at the last minute.  Bottom line, I take full advantage of what the inter-web has to offer.

But the biggest reason I love the internet is that it reaches anyone who has access to any type of computer device – especially those in need of some sort of assistance when sorting out the difficulties of life.  My need for a dining alternative pales in comparison to someone searching for help when caring for someone with a debilitating illness.

Caring gumby figuresOne of the blogs I follow: My Dementia Experience, is written by a woman, NorCalMom, who takes care of her mother-in-law.  This delightful caregiver also has five children of her own.  But NorCalMom jumped into caregiving with both feet in 2013 when Marie, her mother-in-law, moved in with her and the rest of her household because of Marie’s advancing dementia.  Reading just one of this blogger’s posts will show an outsider what types of challenges NorCalMom faces on an ongoing basis.

As caregivers, and I’ve been one as well, we oftentimes “wing it” when it comes to handling the day-to-day, and shockingly acute, issues that occur during our caregiving journey.  The unpredictable nature of Alzheimer’s or other dementia makes even the most mundane activities frustratingly impossible to handle with only a layman’s knowledge of providing care.  For example, how does one communicate with a person who can no longer understand what is said to her and who can no longer respond cogently to questions proferred by their primary care person?

Caregivers need psychic powers to unravel the mystery of care providing.  Or do they?  Read the rest of this entry »