“November Is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month”
November is “Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month” shining a bright spotlight and beacon of hope on the need to educate people all around the world about this horrible disease and the devastating effects it has on families, “caregivers” and of course, those who are presently suffering from this life changing disease.
“Alzheimer’s disease” does not discriminate and knows no gender, race, religion or status. Absolutely no one is immune from it and it can strike a person in their early forties just as easily as a person in their late seventies. The pain and anguish it can cause families as well as the burden of stress it creates is unlike no other disease.
Often times, the “stress” an ALZ “caregiver” must endure on a daily basis is overlooked and brushed under the rug as if it doesn’t exist. “I AM A CAREGIVER” and know that stress all to well. I am only 55 and my wife was diagnosed with “Early-Onset Alzheimer’s” when she was only 51 years old. The effect it has had on our family is beyond words, but thankfully, we are a close, loving, family. However, I AM the main “caregiver” and would like to shed some of my own light on the stress that all “caregivers” must deal with.
THE STRESS OF A CAREGIVER
Unless you’ve walked in the shoes of devoted and loving, caregiver, you will “never” understand the pain, anguish, and frustration they go through every day of their lives.
You will never feel or experience the loneliness of a “caregiver” who ultimately is “alone” on this journey even though well- meaning and caring people tell them that they’re never alone. Unless you’re giving 24/7 care for an individual, you respectfully have no idea how deep that loneliness goes.
When you can’t remember the last time, you had a vacation or respite by yourself to be able to just relax, gather your thoughts and feel even the tiniest bit of peace, then you have absolutely no idea what a “caregiver” feels and what they’re going through.
I get it, I really do, the heart-felt and loving intentions of others is meant in the most loving, sincerest way possible. That includes younger family members who live with you. However, they have their own lives to live and rightfully they should, but again, life gets in the way and at best the care they can offer is minimal at best.
Never criticize a “caregiver” for occasionally losing hope or feeling so down in the dumps that they just want the ride to stop so they can jump off. They are hurting and angry with life like you could never imagine. They are physically and emotionally, tired and broken. Instead of lecturing them . . . “Help Them!”
A “caregiver” doesn’t have time to cry or let their emotions show, they’re too busy trying to run a household, provide care and think of new and creative ways to manage and get through everyday life. It’s a job like no other and there are no rewards, perks, or paychecks that come with it. It is completely “Thankless.”
Never question how much “love” a “caregiver has in their hearts because there is more “love” and “compassion” inside of them than you could ever know in your entire life time. Maybe at times it may appear that they’re cold and distant, but I can assure you that “love” is never the issue . . . ever!
A very big part of “Alzheimer’s” awareness month is not only educating the world about this horrible, life changing disease, but also to bring awareness of the daily, frustrating and heartbreaking challenges that “Caregivers” must endure on a regular basis. I pray that you’ll never have to experience this pain and that maybe someday our grandchildren will never have to go through what other “caregivers” are living through right now.
LET’S FIND A CURE NOW!