Mar 10, 2011

Thinking About Alzheimer's Caregivers

Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.

Thinking About Alzheimer's Caregivers

I spend an enormous amount of time thinking about Alzheimer's caregivers. I wake up thinking about caregivers; and, when I get in bed I still am thinking about Alzheimer's and the caregivers.

During the day when I get the chance, I actually pace around thinking about caregivers.

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This might sound bold but I believe this. I believe I have a better understanding of how Alzheimer's caregivers think and feel than most people on the planet. Bold for sure.

You might wonder how I came to this conclusion. Well, I received thousands of emails from caregivers and read thousands of comments from caregivers right here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room. They tell me how they think and feel. I listen and think.

Keywords: think, feel.

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I am comfortable saying this. I know more about how Alzheimer's caregivers think and feel than most doctors or neurologists.

I really enjoy when I start talking about caregivers in front of a neurologists. We finally get to the point where their eyes bulge out of their head. Then they usually saying something like, you are really knowledgeable.

Sometimes it seems like they are chocking on the words. I can't tell if its arrogance, or they just realized they can put everything they really know about caregivers in a thimble. Either way, mission accomplished.

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Here is something else I believe.

Alzheimer's caregiving is a calling. 


No doubt in my mind on this one.

I am still wondering about this though. Were you born a ONE, or did you grow into being a ONE?

I remember every time someone said to me -- You are the ONE.

Most of the time they are also a ONE. Or, a ONE X. For me, it is pretty thrilling meeting a ONE. Nothing better than knowing that someONE understands.

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Many Alzheimer's caregivers feel like they are alone. Well you might feel like you are alone, but you are not alone. There are more than 11 million of us. Pretty soon we will be every where. On every corner, so to speak. Pretty good number of us right here. Around 25,000. More if you count everyone.

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Many Alzheimer's caregivers come on to the job kicking and screaming. They lament their own uncertain fate. Then they undergo their own metamorphosis. Before you know it, they stop complaining and get on with it. Really, accomplishing some remarkable things every day.

By the way, I meant they stop lamenting their fate. I didn't say they stop "venting". Everyone vents. Let it out. Take a couple of very deep breaths, then keep on truckin'.

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There is a saying. Well, this is my version of the saying:

Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.

Try blending the two together. Think about what you are accomplishing. Label and understand what you are feeling.

Stop banging your head against the wall.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The ARR knowledge base contains more than 5,00 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room