The Toll Alzheimer’s Takes on Caregivers
An Alzheimer's Family Caregiver's Perspective
The toll Alzheimer’s takes on caregivers is transcribed from the above video.
We are certainly meeting a lot of passionate people this morning.¬† Very passionate about fighting this disease together.¬† I want to introduce you to our next guest, Mary Olson. We thank Mary for coming in today to share her story.¬† I know it is not easy, but you are so passionate.¬† You want to get that word out and so you are here today to do that.¬† Let’s talk a little bit about your story.¬† You’ve been experiencing this for several years now.¬† You are starting to see signs that your mom might have been struggling with this¬† 5 – 7 years ago.
We really did and it was so hard.¬† You do not always know what is going on.¬† You just think, oh, it is old age or mom did not have time to do this with me.¬† When, in reality, she was struggling to remember who she was.¬† You feel very selfish not giving them that love and support when they need it the most in the beginning of losing themselves.
Alzheimer’s Caregiver Perspective – “It Feels Like It Happens Overnight”
In the last two years, you move back to be part of her life, to help your dad.¬† You have been there and you are seeing, of course, how this disease robs your mom and your family.¬† If feels like it happens overnight.¬† One day you go to bed and the next day you wake up and you did not get to say goodbye.¬† You know there is never anything to bring them back.¬† As we have been talking about, it is very emotional.¬† You lose them before you really lose them.¬† I went through this with my grandmother.¬† It is so difficult to see that.¬† Do you still have good days?¬† They talk about how it goes back and forth.¬† Are there days when she remembers more than others?
You Have To Set Your Emotions Aside
We have good moments.¬† You have moments when you almost feel like it is mom again, and then you lose her.¬† I think that is really hard.¬† I miss even just going to lunch with mom and saying, “Gosh, Mom, I had a hard day”.¬† And for a moment, she will understand and talk to me and the n the next minute, it is like, well, is your dad home?¬† It is 12pm, and your dad is coming home.¬† You have to reset and say no, he comes home at 5:30.¬† (As an Alzheimer’s caregiver), you have to put yourself and your emotions aside, and you have to be there for them.¬† It is a 24 hour a day battle.
You have taken your story (as an Alzheimer’s caregiver) and you have turned your pain into passion and you are encouraging others.¬† You are out there and you are standing for the cause.
A Caregiver Perspective:¬† “It affects everything – it affects everyone”
I read a speech that said I will shout it from the mountaintops.¬† We live in a time when the loudest people are the ones that raised their hands for calls, and are the ones that are heard.¬† It affects everything – it affects everyone.¬† It does not discriminate.¬† It is something that can bridge the gap between so many.¬† We can all understand because so many of us have gone through it.¬† Get together and let the capital know.¬† Let Washington know that the time is now .¬† It is time to find a cure.
We thank you.¬† We know this is not easy.¬† Thank you for sharing your story.
Read more:¬† The 7 Responsibilities of Alzheimer’s Family Caregivers.
Be sure to check out my podcast: Alzheimer’s Caregiver Radio.¬† Subscribe to be notified when new episodes are available.
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