Everybody knows somebody with Alzheimer’s, right?
My mom has had it since her early sixties.
Even though I knew it, I didn’t like reading about it. There was nothing I could do about it except watch it. Watch her. Go in one direction only. I didn’t even want to think about it.
But I had to then, and I definitely have to now.
When my dad started getting sick last fall, I started thinking about it even more. He had been her primary caregiver, and had plans to continue until it took her life.
It didn’t work that way. He left first.
So last month, as my siblings and I stepped up into the role of primary caregivers, I’ve finally stepped up into more actively learning about Alzheimer’s.
I should have done it sooner, I know.
Because there is more you can do than just watch.
You can learn how to handle problems in daily activities; how to make living areas safer; how to actively prepare for what’s coming next; how to care for yourself as you care for your loved one.
The 36-Hour Day is one of the classics for teaching these things. It has 18 chapters that touch on everything I could think of, and then some. Rachel’s mom gave me her copy, and I’ve already passed it on to Mona, whose mom is now on this journey.
Maybe you don’t need it now. Or maybe you never will. I pray you don’t. But if someone you know does, give them a copy. The wealth of information contained in this book can help them cope through a difficult time.
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A sampling of chapter titles
3. Characteristic Problems of Dementia
4. Problems in Independent Living
8. Problems of Mood
10. Getting Outside Help
12. How Caring for an Impaired Person Affects You
14. For Children and Teenagers
15. Financial and Legal Issues
16. Nursing Homes and Other Living Arrangements
18. Research in Dementia