Monday, September 21, 2015

Just Remember

Today is World Alzheimer's Day.  This is a disease that not only tragically affects the patient, it affects the whole family.
Statistics around this disease are frightening.  Researchers say the number of people who will be diagnosed is expected to double in the next 20 years.  Nursing homes have long wait lists already, yet demographics show that the population bubble for seniors is growing.   Many Alzheimer's patients are cared for at home for as long as possible.  Let me tell you from experience, it is not an easy job.  And despite how common this diagnosis has become, there is still a bit of a stigma attached to it.  I don't believe people intend to be insensitive but the truth is, most people start to drift away after the big "A" takes hold.  My mother had some fiercely loyal friends who hung in there with us to the end.  But many others kept their distance.  
I would bet that almost everyone knows someone who is currently a caregiver.  So here is my request in honour of World Alzheimer's Day - reach out to a caregiver.  It can be something simple, like delivering a meal so the next night they don't have to cook or pop in for a short visit and chat.  For many caregivers, they lack someone to have a real conversation with - they often feel alone.  You don't have to understand everything they are dealing with, you just have to give them a pleasant distraction for a few minutes.  You know, sometimes it's hard to even take the time to have a relaxing bath if you are worrying that your loved one might wander off or hurt themselves somehow.   
Especially if someone has limited support resources, your quick visit might be enough to change the tone of their day. Final thoughts......  


  1. What a great reminder to all of us. You are right, we all know someone who has Alzheimer. The poem is very inspirational.

    My daughter's mother in law has Alzheimer and it's really sad to see a woman who used to cook a big fancy family meal with all the trimmings, not so long ago, not recognizing anyone of her own children. It's so very sad and scary.

    Big hugs,

  2. Great poem, Kim. Such a good message for all of us. You filled a very special role for your mother. xo Nellie

  3. My father does not have Alzheimer's, but dementia. There are no visits from friends. His illness makes them uncomfortable. My father has went from a strong, funny man to an invalid in a bed. He does not speak and rarely makes eye contact. He has said my name once in one year. I still work, so I have outside contact, but it wears on your soul. After two years on Hospice, we seem to have been forgotten. Thank you, Kim, for the poem. Even I need reminders once in a while.

  4. What a nice post. And a lovely touching poem. The ending got me all choked up. Being a caregiver myself I know what you mean. I have to help my husband 24/7 now and it is so exhausting. He can't walk very well or take care of himself from the waste down. So i do it all, several times a day ...and night. Has accidents all the time and is beginning to yell and swear a lot. That is not him. :(
    He has been in the hospital the past few days and now in nursing home for rehab a couple of weeks...IF he will stay. Oh my goodness!
    Mom is hanging there at other nursing home in town. And my sister is flipping out in a hospital 40 miles away or so.

    Sorry, didn't mean to bum everyone out.
    Prayers for all who need a little extra blessing from on high. :)
    Give Abby a hug. And big hugs to you.
    Take care, Janet W

  5. As you know, a very hard disease to deal with. A great poem, really speaks the truth.

  6. Our family is dealing with this also, my father has Dementia, along with Parkenson's & Lewey....none of us kids live close by, and Mom wasn't able to care for him on her own without getting hurt. Such a sad disease. Hugs to all.