Mar 3, 2012

Alzheimer's Caregivers Give the Gift of Living

About eighty percent (80%) of the persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease are still at home. Remarkable when you think about it.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's Caregivers Give the Gift of Living
So when you break it down to the lowest common denominator, what are we as Alzheimer's caregivers accomplishing?

We are giving the gift of living to someone that needs us, and could not function without us.

Remarkable when you think about it.

For the most part, Alzheimer's caregivers never expected to be where they are today.

In his poem entitled -- Dementia -- Max Wallack wrote:

It gallops in silently on powerful hoofs
Snatching sweet, precious, forgotten memories
Turning true-blue loyal friends into treacherous strangers
Clogging synapses with emptiness
Crumbling trust into excruciating paranoia

Alzheimer's disease comes out of nowhere for most of us. It comes into our lives hard and fast.

I can still remember what it felt like during those first completely disheartening, excruciating, difficult years.

I felt like one of those tops that spins on the floor or table and then falls over on its side. The top stops spinning and falls over on its side. Relief.


Not for the Alzheimer's caregiver. Alzheimer's pulls the string and there you are spinning out of control again. Its hectic, often hard to think straight.

But we, the Alzheimer's caregivers, just keep on going.

We just keep on going.

Each day we give the gift of life.  Never knowing what the next day, hour, or minute is going to bring.

So at the end of the day we give our gift. The gift of living.

For this we are to be admired and respected.

Don't worry if you are not getting your "pat on the back" each day. Don't worry if no one is there to thank you.

Each of us, each Alzheimer's caregiver, understands what you are accomplishing. We understand how you might be feeling at any moment in time. We know.

So when the going gets tough remember this -- you are the one giving the gift of life.

You know. We know.

It is not a secret to us.

More Insight and Advice from the Alzheimer's Reading Room
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room