Dec 4, 2012

Why Didn't I Ask for More Help?

I understand that caregiving comes with great burden and sacrifice. But lets be honest and real, the typical Alzheimer's caregiver accomplishes more with their life than most people could ever imagine.

Why Didn't I Ask for More Help?

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Marie Marley wrote a very interesting article yesterday - How to Survive as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver: The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do.

The article had me asking myself, why didn't I ask our friends here in Delray Beach for more help?

Well for one thing, Dotty and I were for the most part abandoned. I wrote about this caregiver phenomena a long time ago - Are Alzheimer's Caregivers the Forgotten?

Interestingly, I wrote a bunch of suggestion about how friends and family could help a person living with Alzheimer's dementia, and help the caregiver. I even suggested teamwork. Boy, wouldn't that be something.

The article are Alzheimer's Caregivers the Forgotten has 657 Facebook likes, and 139 Google+. Do you want to know why? Because so many caregivers read that article, the part about being abandoned, and identified with the article. So they clicked the button.

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I want to make something clear. I don't believe you can change the past. And, I don't have any regrets about my caregiver effort. That said, if I were to do it again, I would do many things very differently.

One of the things I would do differently would be more demanding of family, relatives, and friends.

That is right - I would demand their help. I admit, I did not do this while I was caring for Dotty.

Next time around, I will explain to people why I need their help, and how the so called patient and I would benefit from their help. I would also explain to them how they are going to benefit.

I understand that caregiving comes with great burden and sacrifice. But lets be honest and real, the typical Alzheimer's caregiver accomplishes more with their life than most people could ever imagine. I know many of you believe we give up so much. So much of what?

When you care, you care from a very high spiritual plateau. The accomplishment of caring brings us to a very high station in life. We are in fact living our lives in a very real, tangible way. I mean what could be more meaningful in life than caring for someone that needs you so much?

I'll let you decide for yourself.

The next time around I will very carefully explain to those who could, and should be helping, how they will bring a richer, more meaningful, purpose to their own life by caring and helping.

Hey you want to mail your life in and look back wondering why you did nothing? Do nothing?

Not me, not us, we care. Pure and simple.

I can't remember how many people said to me, I don't know how you do it, you are a saint, you are going to Heaven. Oh yeah?

Well listen up buddy boys and girls, we need help. So its time for you to start pitching in, and living your life in a richer, more meaningful, way.

Either pony up for adult day care, or start giving 8 hours of your week to help. That is it, that is all.

We need some rest. You know why we need rest? So we can do a better job while we are working the other 168 hours per week.

Who knows, if we can get an entire team helping maybe we can cut it down to like a 140 hours a week.

I can't believe I am going to write this,

wouldn't that be wonderful?

I'll write an article soon that you can hand to those around you that should be helping. I'll explain not only how they can help, but the rewards that caring can bring to the life of those sitting idly on their butt.

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The ARR knowledge base contains more than 3,811 articles with more than 306,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room