I found the support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers extremely useful as I made a very good friend there. Although both our husbands are no longer with us, we have remained friends. We learned that although we were unable to control the course of this terrible illness, we were able to obtain support from one another as well as from the other members of the group; especially empathy and understanding.
There is a stigma attached to Alzheimer’s which people need to overcome in order to advance the cause of caregiving. I do hope that the countries of the world are co-ordinating their research results on Alzheimer’s research, as a cure MUST BE FOUND.
We need to abolish the perception that individuality and the need for respect evaporates when a person is diagnosed with some type of dementia.
I was determined not only to provide care for my husband in the best way I could as far as his physical needs were concerned, but took him to see the odd movie even if he did not fully comprehend its contents. I drove him to the beach to watch a sunset, and visited our grandchildren often. We listened to music together and every evening danced to slow music from the 50’s or the 60’s. We held one another close and I hoped he’d remembered the close relationship we’d shared over the years…even if it were only sometimes.
Being a caregiver is about a having a relationship with the patient. We have to remember that each patient has his/her preferences and interests, desires and needs, feelings and emotions. I tried hard to reach my husband despite his diagnosis. Yes, he was very forgetful but he was capable of more than I realized. He’d worked with figures all his life as he was an accountant and that part of his brain worked well, so much so, that he played bridge till the end of his life.