My husband, Bob, first stated showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease in the year 2000 when I almost died of a strangulated intestine. That trauma changed our lives forever.
Are you one of the many people who are looking after someone who is very ill? Perhaps a spouse, sibling, parent or friend? As you well know, it is a highly tiring and difficult task, however much it is undertaken with love.
You may be overloaded with advice, but I’d like to add a few thoughts about food.
Nearly everyone knows someone affected by dementia. I’ve been exploring how faith communities can give practical support to people affected. Religious books such as the Bible and the Quran emphasise the importance of caring for the sick, the old, the frail and our parents. But people are not sure how to do that.
A caregiver’s sacrifice often goes unappreciated. Feeling unappreciated when you do so much to care for your older adult is a common issue in caregiving. Not feeling valued increases resentment and stress, eventually leading to burnout.
Have you ever spent time with someone in their last days? Was it intimate, peaceful and special – or was it full of intrusive hospital equipment, harried nurses, physical pain and no chance to talk?
I was talking with my friend Deb today. She recently shared my CD Songs You Know by Heart
with her mom. The CD is loaded with 18 old-time favorites and includes hits like You Are My Sunshine, Side by Side and Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree. She was sure her mom would love it.
Last year I experienced one of the great, unexpected joys of grand-motherhood. One lunchtime I introduced my then 18-month old grandson to my meatballs.
Stress is a normal part of life for most people, but for those who’ve taken on the responsibility of taking care of an elderly loved one, the strain can quickly take its toll.
In fact, research consistently shows how the emotional and physical burden of caregiving, along with the uncertainty it brings, means caregivers are far likelier to develop chronic stress than non-caregivers.
My mom died when I was 35 years old. She was only 58. She’s been gone a long time now and sadly, memories do have a way of fading. Here’s one memory I do have. And it comes to me whenever I hear a certain song.
Our memories mean so much to us. They provide us with a sense of self and stand as a reminder of the journey we have taken in this life. And the memories we share with the people closest to us become an intricate piece of our identity.