What To Do When Alzheimer’s Hits Your Family

It’s true; over weeks, I have written much about:  how I am feeling, about my mom’s Alzheimer’s, her long-term care, and some of the process of clearing out her home.

The truth about Alzheimer’s is that it is a slow, dragged-on mourning state over a death that hasn’t physically happened … yet.

It’s difficult to look into my mother’s eyes and realize that she has no idea who I am.  My mom is gone.  What remains is a scared child-like senior.

Life certainly is unfair; however, there are many things I have learned along the way:

  • material things are just that; you can’t take it with you
  • enjoy the time you are given
  • say “I love you” when you mean it, even if it feels awkward
  • learn about the past; you will be curious about it in the future
  • sayings exist for a reason … eg) ‘What goes around, comes around’ … It’s because they have meaning!

I could go on; I’m sure, but I want to get back to Alzheimer’s.

It’s interesting how I don’t hear many people talk about Alzheimer’s but the moment I mention that my mom has it that’s when others say “Oh, I went through that” or “I’m going through that now”.  It’s as if Alzheimer’s is being kept hush-hush.

No, not for me!  If something I say or share helps someone else then I will be so happy.  If I can make it easier for you, I’m hoping that you’ll make it easier for someone else too.

It’s funny how when we go through life’s greatest challenges, we feel like we are alone or that no one else understands.  That’s not the case at all.  We are not alone; but, we do have to allow others to help us.  Help is out there so learn to access it.

As far as Alzheimer’s goes …

Yes, there is government social-type assistance.  In Toronto, there’s the CCAC which is a good focal resource.  They can give you a list of other resources too, like the Alzheimber’s Society of Ontario.  In my mom’s case, she went to long-term care quite rapidly so I didn’t get a chance to access all of the available resources.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  get on the wait lists as soon as you can!

There are wait lists for EVERYTHNG.  It’s frustrating because it seems like by the time you actually get to use the resource you’ll probably no longer need it!  Having said this, be persistent and don’t give up.

5 thoughts on “What To Do When Alzheimer’s Hits Your Family

  1. Thank you so much for your posts about this. My grandmother has dementia and it has been a real struggle. She was the woman who raised me and it is so hard to see her like this. It is really tough to go from being so close to not being recognized.

    My grandfather just opted to bring her back home from long-term care and he is having a hard time coping and finding help. I am going to check and see if they have anything like CCAC here in NL.

  2. You’re right, it does feel like a hush-hush topic. I’m so glad you are using your blog to take about your experiences. I know it will help someone else going through it too. (((HUGS)))

  3. I don’t hear enough about this topic and others similar. My dad doesn’t have a diagnosis of Alzheimers yet. He does have huge cognitive issues. He does not recognize people he should, and he does not understand much when spoken to. It seems by the 5th word he gets lost in his own thoughts.

  4. Alzheimers and dementia has hit my family. My grandfather died when I was in my early 20`s from Alzheimers. He was home with my grandmother til he got ill and had to go to the hopital He was late 50`s and my grandmother his wife who had dementia passed in her middle 70`s. So hard loosing my grandparents and harder on my mom loosing her parents.More people should talk about this . Not sure if you seen but there was a big article in the news about Angelo Mosca and Hockey Great Harry Howell both having it .

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