Aug 10, 2011

The Importance of Sharing Caregiver Stories

Surely, some of you have stories to share with other Alzheimer's caregiver, just like these stories.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

One of the things that helped me the most as an Alzheimer's caregiver is hearing stories from other caregivers. This really helped me to understand and learn that many of the behaviors of a person living with Alzheimer's are just that -- Alzheimer's related. They are not intentional behaviors on the part of the Alzheimer's patient to drive you nuts.

Many Alzheimer's caregivers know the person can't remember. In spite of this, they let this drive them crazy, sometimes for years. If they can't remember they just asked you something, it shouldn't surprise or bother when they ask the same question over and over. But, it does bother you doesn't it?

Me? Well it still bothers me when Dotty eats a hot roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, and broccoli and then gets up and starts eating. Dotty eats anything she can see. And, guess what? If she sees me eating something and she isn't eating, she gets angry. More or less accuses me of being a bad boy.

One reason the eating drives me nuts is because it happens so fast, I can't jump over into Alzheimer's World.  In this situation, I actually have to tell myself, get in there.

Keep in mind, I had the atomic Poop - E explosion, and even Dotty leaving a pot on a burner so long it stuck to the burner. Didn't bother me. Eating and eating, disconcerts me.

Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room

If you have a story, please share it with us. You might be surprised to learn that you are helping another Alzheimer's caregiver get over the hump. They might learn it is not just them, that what is driving them nuts is happening all over the place.

Yes, I learned that Dotty is not the only person living with Alzheimer's that can eat a house and then eat the car in the drive way.

We have lots of great stories from Alzheimer's caregivers on this website. I can't list all of them right now. But here are a few.

Kerry Runyeon wrote quite a few articles, some serious, some about problem solving, and some so funny they made my day. These included: Ingenuity, Lily's LuLu's, and One Bed

Donna Giovannetti told us about when her father was lost, and what she did to help find him. If you live far away from a parent living with Alzheimer's you might want to pay close attention to this one. My Dad -- Missing and Found.

Marty D told us about the difference between correcting her mother's misrepresentations and validation. Good lessons in this story. What is it like being an Alzheimer's caregiver? -- Marty

Debbie Schultz wrote, Sometimes It Just Takes A Good Cry. In this story Debbie describes the challenge.

C J Pittsburgh did an interesting podcast and explained a day in the life of an Alzheiemr's caregiver in her own words. Getting Kay to the Doctor.

Donna McCullough a psychologist in private practice told us about the heart ache and pain in watching Pat’s decline. Caring From the Heart.

Surely, some of you have a story that sticks out in your mind.

Something you learned, how you over came a problem, how you changed for the better, or how you solved a problem.

Or, a moment in time when someone said something to you that woke you up to a new reality.

Use the contact button in the upper right hand corner and share.

More Insight and Advice for Caregivers

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,800 articles with more than 602,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room