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Caring for an Alzheimer's Patient - A Tribute to My Mother

February 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 124

Nancy Reagan's use of the term "The Long Good-bye" to describe Alzheimer's disease could not have been more on target. It is a long descent into a vortex of deterioration which pulls the whole family along with it. I know. My father has Alzheimer's disease. I watch as my mother, his caretaker, gets chipped away, piece by piece, day by day.

When my father was first diagnosed with the disease, we were determined that we would fight this. My mother fed him fish oil pills, blueberry smoothies, turmeric, reseveratrol, DHA and more. She tried to make him exercise on the treadmill though that was an uphill battle, literally. She tried to give him various medications such as Aricept, Razadyne, and Namenda. My mother looked into every trial study that he would qualify for and managed to get him into one. She tried music therapy, "talk to the volunteer" therapy, and game therapy. She left no stone unturned. She excels at that. Perhaps all the above slowed down the progression of the disease but it unfortunately did not cure it. We had courtside seats to watch my father slip down to ever lower plateaus.

My mother would not survive this if she did not have the support of her family and daily hired caregivers. She benefits from caregiver support groups. Even so, it is difficult for her to disengage and untangle herself from the ever present guilt. It is difficult for her to allow herself the time she needs to simply remove herself from the daily grind. She feels guilty that my father is left alone with a caregiver and is not participating in normal life with her.

We, her family, encourage her to get out for her health and believe it or not my father's since without her, he would not fare well. We are grateful that she has the caregivers to help her alleviate some of the pressure from us, as well, since we all lead very busy lives with families of our own. It has been difficult to find the right caregiver who has the important mix of patience, physical strength and steely determination to get the job done despite the persistent resistance encountered for every care giving task. From this experience, I have gained great insight into the qualifications necessary for a competent Alzheimer's patient caregiver.. It gives me great solace that as a geriatric counselor in Loving Care Inc., I can help other families like my own with their care giving needs.

Naomi Moskowitz would like to hear your suggestions and tips. Visit me on my Loving Care website at Submit your questions and comments with your name and e-mail address.

Source: EzineArticles
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