Archive for February, 2015
This week a sweet cousin of mine passed away from complications due to Alzheimers. And while we were not a pair of almost like siblings close cousins, I did know her. Our family is the type that if you are family then you get a big hug anyway when first meeting and ultimately get invited to dinner. I knew her when she was a sharp as a tack woman who dressed well and could get to anywhere she wanted like guiding me from my hotel to our Aunts house that first time I was in her town visiting.
When I got the news some 7 or so years ago that she was on Aricept because she was at the beginning stages of Alzheimers my heart just sank. No! I exclaimed…not another family member. At the time my mother was in the end stages of the disease. The once vibrant woman was now less so and had to have one of her nieces live with her to help take care of her. At that time she could still have a conversation with you – to an extent – but only for a short time. Then she would either not really converse or do the usual for this disease repeat herself.
Eventually she had to enter a nursing home because her condition had declined to a level her niece could no longer care for her at home. She held in there for some years until she eventually stopped talking, walking and ended up on a feeding tube in hospice. This week she decided it was time to go home and while she will be missed – especially by her twin – we are all thankful that she is now free from this damn disease.
When someone dies from Alzheimers or dementia it is a mixed bag of feels. Your heart aches because this person you knew and loved, no matter what their condition was at the time, is gone. No matter how many days a week you took care of them or went to see them at a nursing home, when they are gone your emotions go every which way. In my case I was happy I never had to set foot in that nursing home again! I was happy I didn’t have to see mom suffering! I was happy I wasn’t tied to being responsible for her and all of the paperwork, etc. that was involved with taking care of someone sick who was never going to get well! I was happy that mom was free from existing (it was NOT living) like that!
But I also had this strange ache that said no matter what condition she was in she was still my mother and while she was gone years and years ago from the disease, this “shell” that was still there that resembled her and liked chocolate who I called mom, was gone. I have a feeling my cousins twin, other sister, and the rest of the family is feeling various degrees of this too.
I found this while looking for a different post…I wanted to share it with you. Hope it’s not too much of a downer for you but it is part of life.
My recent walks through my childhood have reminded me of so many good memories but they have also twanged that emotional spot that is oh so very tender – how much I still miss my parents. Holidays are difficult times for some people because of where they may be (us away from both sides of our families), the loss of a loved one be it recent or long ago, health issues, problems with finances or relationships – or the lack of a relationship – and on and on. Sad and lonely stands in the shadows of the lights, bells, and colorful bows. I look forward to calling friends and family on Christmas and celebrating the day with DH. This post was written some time ago but I never could get myself to put it up. Now I want to…..
My mother was never the cuddly warm and fuzzy type –…
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Sharing is caring and this is a perspective of dementia that we often don’t to see.
I have just watched the most beautiful piece of film I have ever seen. I can guarantee that you will have never seen dementia viewed in this way before.
How do you be with someone with dementia? How do you communicate? Children are the sweetest gift ever given to anyone and in this film young people talk about their grandparents who have dementia and how they deal with it. If it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye then I will be amazed!
Produced by theBBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) for CBBC (the first ‘C’ standing for ‘Childrens’) this is a programme that is on air for children’s viewing times. I feel that this should be shown so that all adults can learn from children how to help their loved ones with dementia. Click on the link below to watch it.
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