How many times have I said this to friends, acquaintances, colleagues and clients? Every single time one of them confides in me about their dear one afflicted with dementia; so hundreds of times.It’s true honestly; YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS JOURNEY!
Let’s face it; its 2016 and what we know medically, scientifically, socially and emotionally about the impact and progression of these diseases has grown vastly. No there is no cure but what we know about treatment, caring for the individual and the caregivers has become invaluable to those affected. We as a society and as professionals working with the aging population have become much more aware and cognizant of the early warning signs. We have all learned skills and techniques to support those doing the actual caregiving as well as for the actual ailing individuals. Support groups, websites and whole industries have come up to provide resources to those that need them.
My point being that as a person faced with a loved one on this road is that trying to go it alone is not only unnecessary but can be unhealthy or even dangerous to all involved.
Isolating, denying and/or hiding helps no one. At all. In fact I believe it makes the situation worse. For one thing – it’s not healthy emotionally or socially to isolate. Shutting down or shutting out prevents a person from any opportunity to get support; either actual physical support or a shoulder to lean on. Or better yet a support group filled with people experiencing similar changes in their lives, similar emotional swings. When you have to care for someone you love who is slowly losing their ability to be who they have always been; it can be enraging, frustration and tremendously sad. We need to stay healthy, mind, body and spirt to stay the course and to care for this person in the best possible way. And not just best way for the person but also the best way for you.