My favorite “recent” memory of my Mom was 2 years ago. She was new to Memory Care. We decided to host my son’s Bar Mitzvah a full 2 years early, inside her Assissted Living Facility, so that she could attend while still “knowing” my son. She was ecstatic the entire day, and somehow thought it was my wedding day. It was a “goodbye” of sorts, and over 100 people flew in to support and love my family. Regardless of the sadness due to the circumstances, it was one of the happiest days of my life.
Alzheimer’s changed our lives profoundly. Our daily stress was magnified tremendously trying to make sure she and my Dad, her caregiver at the time, were supported. We were confused. We were heartbroken. We were terrified. Every milestone was and still is a new death. I feel like I’ve been grieving my mom for 4 years, yet she’s still alive. T stress and grief of it all can be extraordinary.
My greatest advice for people going through this is to educate yourself. To ask for help. To attempt to be patient with your loved one AND yourself. Forgive yourself when you can’t. And, to buy your loved one a “companion cat.” My mom’s cat has given her love, comfort & a purpose. She loves it.
I want the world to know that this disease doesn’t discriminate. It needs attention. It needs funding. It needs medical advancements. Caregivers need assistance, love, support, and permission to grieve. We need viable treatments and a CURE. We need to FIGHT!