Except for instances in the entertainment industry, I have never heard the words "I feel sorry for you" used as anything other than a weapon. In fact, I cannot think of a single phrase packed with more insincerity than that one.
Let's face it. Caring for a person with Alzheimer's is hard work. You may have to deal with personality changes and difficult behaviors. What I want to achieve in this article is to offer some ideas about five things Alzheimer's caregivers should never do.
I encourage all spouses to seek answers. When we know what we are dealing with, we have the opportunity to create an adventure, rather than succumb to a disaster. Be brave. The life of your loved one depends on it.
I thought I was getting Alzheimer's. I really did. And how ironic would that be? I blog on the Huffington Post and Alzheimer's Reading Room about my experiences as an Alzheimer's caregiver for my Romanian life partner, Edward Theodoru.
Remember that as close as you may be to your spouse (or parent), his or her death sentence is not your death sentence. Protect yourself from undue stress by staying strong and remembering that you have a choice in how you choose to react to your loved one's illness.
Even in her decline, she is still teaching us lessons about life. She has been told she can stop dialysis at any time and end this roller coaster we are on, but Mom isn't ready for that. She has more to experience and to share with us.
I disagree with those who say, "Everything in moderation." Would you want your child taking heroin in moderation -- or your spouse having affairs in moderation? If you want to protect your brain, you need to get off the sugar.
Not that I would ever trivialize the enormity of being a 'survivor' -- after all, I'm one, too -- but once the initial relief of realizing I'd attained that goal had abated, it wasn't long before I began to wonder, "OK ... now what?"
Two weeks ago, I got a call that my mother had suffered a stroke, and that she was in the hospital. For someone with Alzheimer's, like her, hospitalization can be a traumatic and sometimes fatal event.
While neutering reduces suffering in general, it may well put your individual pet at greater risk of a serious disease such as cancer. It's a classic conflict between what is best for the individual versus what is best for society. Is there an alternative to routine de-sexing of pets?
I wrote Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer's and Joy as a love story. It's about the powerful 30-year relationship I had with Edward Theodoru, a delightfully colorful, wickedly eccentric Romanian gentleman and scholar.
You are the most important member of your medical team. Ask your physician for a copy of your lab work. Learn about the important lab values and track them each visit. Your doctor should welcome such active participation.
It is often said that animals and children reach dementia patients on a level people cannot. Every time Ed, my Romanian soul mate of 30 years, saw my little Shih Tzu, Peter, he said, 'Oh, the lee-tle one. I love him so much.'
My Dad will never know my daughter. And that breaks me in two. He will never speak her name. He will never hold her tiny digits. He will never cry for joy at her mere presence in a room. And yet he is still here. He is alive.
While cardio respiratory fitness has not yet been proven to have a direct effect on halting the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, if a causal connection is found it would have a huge impact on our aging population, as well as the health of our economy.
My biggest fear is knowing that one day, he will no longer remember my name or who I am. I do all I can to prepare for this moment, but I know, when that time comes, it will be the worst day of my life.