Jan 9, 2012

The Alzheimer Reading Room, You're Never Lonely and Never Alone

Our goal is to Educate, sometimes Entertain, and Empower Alzheimers caregivers and their families worldwide.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Near the end of each year I start thinking about what We might accomplish collectively here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR).

When I use the word We, I mean each and every person that writes or comments on the ARR. Together we form -- the Collective Brain of the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

As the leader of the pack, I decided that our number one goal in 2012 should be to Empower Alzheimer's caregivers worldwide.

For me, empowerment means provide the tools and mind set that allows an Alzheimer's caregiver to realize their full potential.

I can say with confidence that

the majority of Alzheimer's caregivers want to give the person living with dementia the highest quality of life possible.

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The typical Alzheimer's caregiver comes on to the job with little or no experience.

Most of us don't even know what Alzheimer's really is. Sure, most of us read about Alzheimer's and we know its Bad. But, when it comes time to accept our role as Alzheimer's caregivers, we really don't know what to do, or how to do it.

When it happens,  we find ourselves in all kinds of cognitive states that can best be described by one all encompassing word -- confusion.

A total state of confusion. 

A confusion that is heightened by denial, grief, the inability to understand what is happening, and an overwhelming sense of sorrow.

Some caregivers conclude, near the beginning, that life is at an end. I am referring here to the  life of the person suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Then over time, and in real sense, some caregivers conclude their life is over.  After all, this is a full time, 24 hour, seven days a week, job. It seems as if there is no time left to live a life.

Persons living with dementia become completely and totally dependent on their ONE. So dependent, in most cases, that they don't want to let the ONE out of their sight.

Soon enough the Alzheimer's caregiver realizes they are a ONE. The ONE person in the entire world that is responsible for a single individual that is suffering from dementia, usually Alzheimer's disease. The only ONE the person suffering from dementia trusts

Some may wonder why? Why me? There are many reasons. The bottom line, I believe,  is that you are born a ONE, or you are prepared for the life of a ONE by the compilation of your life experience. It doesn't matter, you are the ONE.

The life of a ONE can be lonely, and often is. It is not unusual for family and friends to hide or disappear. This is very common.

It is not unusual for caregivers to feel lonely, and alone.

It is at this point that the Collective Brain of the Alzheimer's becomes the force in their lives. You know the movie, Star Wars, "may the force be with you".

May the Force be with You.

The Force in our case is the will of the Collective Brain. The good will.

When you come to the Alzheimer's Reading Room the Force will work with you, alongside you, and might even become a part of you.

When you accept the Force you have a simple straightforward common goal -- to become the most effective, caring, productive caregiver that You can be.

It might sound crazy to some when they read those words - May the Force be with you.

Nevertheless, I have watched over these three years as one caregiver after another has grown beyond the first stages: venting, complaining, and the inability to accept that a person living with Alzheimer's engages in behaviors that are hard to understand, and hard to accept, because they have no choice. Their brain is sick and fractured.

On the other hand, We, the Alzheimer's caregivers have a choice. The choice of acceptance and action.

This year we will increase our efforts

to Educate, sometimes Entertain, and Empower Alzheimers caregivers and their families worldwide.

We are getting better at this all the time.

Sometimes we have the Answer. If we don't you can still be certain of one thing

When you come to the Alzheimer's Reading Room, you'll never be lonely, and you won't be alone.

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 3,261 articles with more than 402,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room