How to not feel helpless Sometimes you just feel so helpless. Mom's memory is getting worse. Dad is a wonderful, dedicated caregiver, but at times runs out of patience. She is so dependent on him and it's wearing. He thinks no one else can care for her as well as he can. She's not comfortable without him in the house. It's a story I hear over and over again. Alzheimer's. Dementia. Other memory loss diseases. Families searching for answers. Families may be overwhelmed with the amount of information and education available, or they may be at a loss in knowing what to do.
Please forgive me, but today this article is going to be a bit about me. My hope is that my experiences can actually help others to see what they may have been ignoring, or procrastinating, or trying to not see.
I ACT on Alzheimer’s because I’m a daughter. There are lots of you daughters out there and sons and spouses and grandchildren and co-workers and long-time friends. I wasn’t shocked, but the reality of the hands going up was devastating. The question “Do you know a person or a family that has been affected by Alzheimer’s?” There are few people who haven’t felt the affects of this devastating illness.
Who came up with the fact that we need to know what we’re eating three times a day? What an annoyance! It seems every time you turn around, you need to think about food. Grab some breakfast on the way out the door. Should I pack my lunch or buy something? What will we have for dinner tonight? Are there groceries? Kids will be home for the weekend, stock up! Wow, I should really clean out the fridge. So many things and I haven’t even mentioned the dishes and who cleans the pans? Ugg! No wonder seniors just decide it’s easier to give up. I’m with them!
By DEB CRANNY I just love the new year. It’s such a great time to start over, get a clean slate. You can forget those things you wish you would have done better, and just plain try again. I love it.
What a great family gathering! My parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day. We celebrated with the traditional family Thanksgiving — 63 members of the extended family having dinner at the Rutland school, complete with the little kids running around in the gym! Now not all families have the advantage of being able to use a school but my grandpa worked there for more than 50 years.
I taught a class recently on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. We talked about the effects these diseases have on the people who are living with them. We talked about the effects these diseases have on the people who are caring for them — their caregivers. One of the things I can’t get out of my mind was the question asked of the participants: “What three things would you want your caregiver to know if you could no longer tell them?”
I often tell stories about those I’ve met or people in my family. Today, I have some confessions to make about me. No judging please.
Forgetting a few words needed for conversation, mixing up dates and events, inability to complete common tasks, difficulty reading, misplacing things and unable to retrace steps. I would guess many of us have encountered a person struggling with some of these signs of early stages of Alzheimers or other dementia related diseases. It’s hard to avoid — whether you work in a bank, a restaurant, an office, a health care organization, or see it in your neighborhood or at church every week.
I’m definitely a summer person and it’s finally been a great one in the beautiful Brainerd lakes area. My husband and I often talk about because we live and work here — it seems everyone is on vacation except us. We decided with some scheduled days off this year to just stay at home — a staycation. It was a grand idea and we enjoyed it thoroughly.