Reaching out to other Dementia Care Givers
Hi all Care givers:
I am so happy and sad to discover lots of forums such as this one about Dementia and Alzheimer's. We all need to connect with each other as much as our loved ones with this dreaded disease. As soon as my mother was diagnosed with mixed Dementia I grudgingly joined a local Alzheimer's support group. I am so glad that I did because I was able to share my fears, memories and current situation with people who completely could identify my concerns without judgement or ridicule. It's so strange, the same thing that people with the disease need is what we need as well.
I'm as confused and frightened as my mother with Mixed Dementia. I am speaking to different practitioners, care givers, lawyers, Alzheimer Support groups & Organizations, family members - basically forming my own support group. I exercise, talk, share, cry, have friends, a great family, go to Yoga class, acupuncture, work, act and try to do all the positives….but this doesn't erase the pain, the hurt, the disappointment, the anger, the abandonment!
My Mother and I had the picture perfect mother and daughter relationship, while others were experiencing difficulties in this type of union, I was the happiest girl in the world and was envied by lots of friends. Now I find myself on the flip side of this fairy tale into a night mare of the unexpected. It's so true that this is the hardest on the family in every direction since this disease is not reversible.
Dementia/Alzheimer's forces all of us to take a hard look at ourselves and rediscover our strengths during this very challenging time. I find myself lost in worry and concern about my mother and my brother who, is her principle care giver since I live far away. I am constantly on a plane, paying bills, providing supportive conversations to both my brother and mother. Just recently, a friend of mine reminded me that all we have in life is a series of moments and that we can't forget to be present with our family and friends as much as we can't forget about our loved one with Dementia because
we will lose those precious moments.
I recently decided to create audio recordings of my mother's journey while she is still well enough to remember her past and me, her daughter. I recognize that if we only have moments, then I will preserve my family photos, continue to record my mother's memories, try to be more present, share my experiences with others and more importantly, I will live with all of the wonderful virtues that my mother instilled in me.
I hope that this thread can be a solace to someone and remember you are not alone.