I read this somewhere on the internet. I witnessed some of this. I’ve heard about this.
- “Probably no matter what happens, around 50% may think you are a horrible caregiver, and the other 50% may think you are the best. This may include family, friends, neighbors, or really anyone that has heard of what you are doing and how you handle the job. Just do your best and remember you can’t help anyone if you are dead”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million folks in America have alzheimer’s disease. Some experts say that for each person with alzheimer’s, 3 more have their lives adversely affected.
5.7 × 3 = 17.1 million
5.7 + 17.1 = 22.8 million human beings
According to information I found a few minutes ago using Google, the population of the United States in 2015 was 321.4 million. I found that in 2010 we had approximately 74.2 million here, not of voting age. So . . . . .
321.4 – 74.2 = 247.20 possible eligible voters.
This is very non scientific, but of 247.20 million possible eligible voters, 22.8 million are adversely affected and they probably have awareness concerning alzheimer’s disease. So . . . . . 247.20 – 22.8 = 224.40 million folks here in America that may be unaware.
Voters have a say with lawmakers and lawmakers, along with the President, make the budget. The money earmarked for alzheimer’s research then goes to the National Institute of Health. They control the process. Scientists end up with the money and search for prevention and cures.
I would think the 22.8 million would be on board approving more research dollars. The 224.40 million may be the targets of those trying to raise awareness.
My opinion is that we need to show America the “Trenches.” I don’t know how to do that.
My cap started the conversation. He had no family. A neighbor needed a caregiver. He did it for almost 10 years. She was incontinent a long time. He left behind a passion for antiques. He learned the true meaning of patience, empathy and lost any squeamish feelings he may have ever had. She’s gone now. He said he would do it again. He cried as we talked. Says he did good. He is now trying to revive his love for antiques.
She washed clothes. Some were already in the dryer. The ones in the drier are still there. The clothes she washed have disappeared.
Jack, you have been with your mom since January 24th, 2016. It is to keep her safe. You have been there 91% of that time. (who’s counting) She is almost 89 years old. She does not want to be alone at night. She needs company 5 or 6 times a day and you do not know when that will be. Buddy, you have been extremely loyal to her and the job. Jack, you are luckier than a lot of caregivers, you have family near. They have provided the safety net that other 9% of the time. Lots of caregivers have no help at all. But still you are there, hanging tough, bad attitude and all sometimes, but you are there.
Jack, you are one of the most persistent men, I have ever known. It’s not going to get easier, but you WILL get stronger. Continue to get up every day, get dressed up and keep her safe. Your man foe, is in your head. Do what you have always done buddy. Keep Going. Don’t let the change get ya down.
This post is to me, from me. That’s pretty cool huh?
Over 46,000 folks are members of the 3 groups that I participate in. Each post is from an individual. Dementia is the common ground of the groups. Most posts are from caregivers in various stages of the part of their life, that includes dementia.
My awareness is raised as I read, not only the posts, but also the comments, to the posts.
Some comments are about family and friends that no longer call or visit.
Many of the members no longer have a personal connection to dementia, but stay around to help others.
On many occasions, I have read problems stated and solutions presented. There is a lot of knowledge spread out among these members.
A call to me this morning: “My best friend stopped calling. It hurt. Being a caregiver has turned me into a complainer. Nobody wants to be near or talk with me. I finally called her yesterday. Her husband informed me, that she has cancer. It’s bad.”
This has been a process of trying something, evaluating my feelings, and going back for more. My level of acceptance is high, so I am often disappointed in my presentation. After almost 5 years of working at it, I know my approach is important to me, as an individual. That must be addressed.
I work at letting others approach me. I give them ample reason to. My car, stroller and myself can be easily spotted. Once they approach, I answer any questions or point them in the direction of a possible answer. Sometimes I then ask for permission to hand them a card or a bracelet. Either of those have the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline phone number on them.
If enough awareness is raised maybe
- more of the electorate will see the need to ask Congress for more research funding, and Congress will respond and a cure will be found.
- caregivers will know where to go for more knowledge
- family members will understand the need to help the primary caregiver
- friends of the primary caregiver will understand the need to offer help
Most folks would be amazed at the difference between the awareness level of a primary caregiver and a sibling of the primary caregiver.