Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's can be extremely difficult. If you reach the end of your rope and need advice on the spot, two organizations have helplines you can easily access: the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
"I think with a lot of geriatric dementia patients, the caregiver is just as important as-- and sometimes even more important than-- the patient who is on your schedule," she says. "I don't know if I would have fully appreciated that without living it myself."
My parents married on a five-day furlough during WWII. Mom and Dad remained passionate about their relationship until their last breaths 60 years later. They communicated well. When disagreements arose, they agreed to disagree.
July is my father's birthday month and I've recently returned from my latest trip to visit him in Florida. Over the past year he's faced a string of health challenges and though we live 700 miles apart, I manage to be his medical advocate and go-to girl.
Most individuals who have a loved one with Alzheimer's dread the day when their loved one may no longer recognize them. Care partners may think that would be the most tragic situation possible. They consider it the disastrous end of their relationship.
I volunteer to visit some ladies with Alzheimer's at a local memory care facility here in Kansas City. And I receive so much more than I give. I realize I shouldn't have a favorite but I do. Ruth is my favorite.