Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Talk about Alzheimer's

It has come into my life all at once the disease of Alzheimer's. I have neighbors, friends, mother in law and an uncle who are the stages of Alzheimer's. And nobody wants to talk about it. It is silently dealt with in quiet conversations in other rooms or avoided all together. Family members get enraged at people wanting only to help or lend a hand. Even the ill person can be violent and combative in the later stages of this disease. Families are scared, raw and emotional. Yes, when a loved one gets ill and loses mental function it is scary and you lash out of fear or denial. But after the bullfight and the dust settles; you have to deal with an ill human being needing care.

Nobody talks about it in public and that is wrong. As humans we need to communicate about how we are solving problems of our aged. Problems like parents out of state, home health care, doctor appointments, bills, property management, putting your loved one in a home, estate planning, pet/livestock care, paying for doctors and long term care and the lists go one. When you see a doctor you are handed a pamphlet and left to your own devices, great. You will have to battle with the health insurance company not wanting to pay the bills incurred in treatment, oh joy.
That is not working for the families going through this trauma. Your life gets turned upside down and you need help righting your life.

What does help is the phone, the Internet, social network of visitors, trusted neighbors, churches and people helping each other. Making time in your life to deal with the changes occurring in your loved ones life and helping them. We are all in this journey and we need to help each other along the way.
Because in 20 or 30 years from this point in time we might be the ones on the receiving end of what our society/government decides and not what our families want. Lets provide a soft nest for our loved ones together to fall into protected and safe. And lets feather our nests with knowledge and strength to carry on.

To learn more about Alzheimer's go here and read this: The 36 Hour Day by Nancy Mace, M.D.

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