Caregivers Everywhere

Until recently, there was an invisible population.  I never noticed them before.  Then a couple of years ago mom and dad began to show signs of dementia.  I started to read about it and to discuss the issue with their doctor. All of a sudden I realized they had always been there.  People with dementia had been living in our community all along.  I just never noticed them.

This week I went to a lunch meeting at our clubhouse.  My friend introduced me to her new next door neighbor, Nancy.  Nancy had moved into our neighborhood in the past year but I had only seen her once before.

Nancy’s husband suffered from dementia.  It got so bad she was afraid to leave him home alone so she stayed home with him all the time.  That is why I never saw her.  Within the last 2 months, Nancy placed her husband at the memory care unit if the same Assisted Living Facility that my father is in.

Since my dad is not in the same building as her husband, I had not run into her there.  But we shared many of the same concerns.  Nancy herself is in her late 80’s though so she is dealing with her own problems as well.  Nancy and her husband just moved to this city a couple of years ago to be near their children.  So she doesn’t know her way around the area any better than I do.

Since she is an older driver, Nancy is less sure of herself when driving places.  (I will admit to being hesitant to go new places alone, but when the weather is nice and the traffic is light, I do take off to find places of interest.)

Also Nancy’s husband is not happy with being placed in an assisted living facility.  He is angry and keeps asking to come home.  Nancy knows she cannot care for him at home any longer.  Not only is his Alzheimer’s progressing, but he has also fallen several times.

I told her I feel lucky as dad is happy with his living facility.  He is becoming more accustomed to taking part in activities as well.  It is difficult for all of us to make transitions.  It is especially difficult for people with Alzheimer’s to make transitions.

I am sure Nancy and I will keep in touch now that we have met each other and we know our family members share some of the same issues.

Later when I got home I thought about how many of us are dealing with eldercare issues.  We meet new friends and old and suddenly we realize that we have some things in common that we hadn’t thought about before.

I really feel like I get extra support through my blog and especially through the blogs that others are writing about Alzheimer’s disease and other health problems.  We are all caregivers and we have much to learn from each other.  I am truly thankful for all of the people who share their private lives and lessons with the rest of us.

It helps me to remember that I am not alone with my problems.  It also helps me get ideas on how to deal with problems and to help support others that I meet in my community.


About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Caregiving, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Caregivers Everywhere

  1. Ellen Reaves says:

    I am glad that we all discovered each other to share our triumphs and challenges with one another.

  2. mymotherscaregiver says:

    Nope, you are not alone. 🙂

  3. kimjoy24 says:

    I have learned so much from others over the past year I’ve been blogging. While many of the stories I read are heartbreaking, there is also a great deal of strength and love in the posts I’ve read.

  4. jmgoyder says:

    I too appreciate this connection very much.

  5. I agree with both of you. The strength of thebloggers comes through as does their pain. I think we readers gain insight from reading these blogs and sharing their pain as well as progress.

  6. camsgranny says:

    When I first started my blog over a year ago, I truly felt like I was alone. Since I have been blogging, I’ve “met” many new friends, and have gained some strength through what everyone else has to deal with, It also helps me to share my journey with other people knowing that in some way, maybe my story will help them. Don’t ever think you are alone, Some of us just read, and don’t comment all the time. 🙂

  7. As others here have said, I am grateful for you – for the connection we’ve made. It’s our way of being able to cope, to learn, to accept what is happening to our parents. I loved your post! When you said, “It is especially difficult for people with Alzheimer’s to make transitions” I know what you mean. My dad continues to care for my mom at home – but he likes to go north in the summer and return to Florida in the winter months. For years my mom has told me (and argued with him frequently) she really does not look forward to these trips back and forth. My dad, to somewhat ease that ordeal, bought them a new car a year or so ago. It did seem to help as it’s a bit more comfortable and definitely more reliable than the (ahem, junk) old vehicles they used to travel in – and knowing their in the new car eases my mind as well. I still have concerns but as long as he’s able and she’s willing there isn’t much I can do about this.
    Oh and as for sharing our private lives – after Facebook, what IS private anymore? LOL
    I am so blessed to know you through your blog. Blessings to you and your family this holiday season.

  8. Thanks for your comment. I sure agree with your dad about trips to Florida. I go south after the start of the new year myself. It is the only way I can cope with the northern climate I now live in. Dad used to spend winters in the south too but now it is too hard for him to transition. He doesn’t mind staying in the north, but he does miss me when I am away. I arrange for some compaions to visit him in the assisted living facility just to ease my guilt at being away and to assure me that he is OK and doesn’t need anything. Have a happy holiday also — you and your family.

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