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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Next Most Difficult Stage of Alzheimer's Disease June 26, 2015

Every new stage of Alzheimer's disease is difficult. Early symptoms which reveal something "off" when we relate to our parents or our spouse frighten us because we suspect what may be coming.

As our suspicions are validated, it is difficult to confront them and get ourselves or our loved ones diagnosed. When we hear the diagnosis and know, it is so hard to realize there is nothing we can do to alter or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

If you have been reading and are prepared, you know how hard it is to change your wills, your own powers of attorney, manage your money and take charge of events you either always shared or left to your parents or spouse to sort out for themselves.

Each change which shows your loved one is losing his or her judgment, decision-making skills and short term memory hurts them, if they are aware of the changes and is hard for us to maintain our cool and not expect what they have lost to be regained.

As caregivers, we attend support groups, we pray, we do what has to be done. We don't talk about bathroom accidents or bedroom concerns--they feel too private to share, but they are so hard to manage, to get used to, to accept as our jobs.
We get used to having our loved one next to us all the time, for their security and ours. We worry less if we can see what they are doing.

Once we cannot manage on our own any longer, it is difficult to admit we need expensive help which may entail changing our own lifestyle further.

My husband and I have been through all of those stages. it is four years that he is living in a facility. Now he is beginning to fall. He hurt his hand and now he has hit his head. He doesn't understand how to use a walker. He is agitated and walks. If he gets a tranquilizing medicine, he becomes so lethargic, no one wants to see him like that. Once again, it is so difficult to find balance.

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