ALZHEIMER’S, YOU AND YOUR WELL-BEING
Sometimes the way to get a clean look at something is to see it in the rear-view mirror.
It is two-and-a-half years since my Mother’s Alzheimer’s journey reached its end. At the oddest moment it is like a cog spins and a gumball rolls through the chute and spits out another lesson I wish I had learned during those crazybusyjampackedeverchanging Alzheimer’s years.
In a recent conversation with a friend, I mentioned that my Dad’s Alzheimer’s Support Group had been a terrific resource to him during Mom’s illness. It became a place of acceptance and a place of honesty for him. My friend asked in response, if I had attended a Support Group during my Mother’s Alzheimer’s also.
Only once did the possibility that I actually could join a Support Group cross my mind. It was when Mom was in Hospice. That day I felt like I had been inside the dryer on an extra long cycle, spun and flipped again and again. My nerves jangled from the incoming news from the mountains. I reached out to a friend for a support group recommendation. She shared the name and address of her group, and mentioned that they met monthly. This month’s meeting had been the night before, so I marked next month on the calendar.
Within a week, Mom’s journey reached her final destination in heaven.
So with the clarity of hindsight, I now encourage all Alzheimer’s Kids – those serving as the primary Caregiver, as well as those who are in touch with their Caregiver daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly – to find an Alzheimer’s Support Group and join. To make it their Alzheimer’s Support Group a priority.
Why? Because the people at the Alzheimer’s Support Group are their people now. These people will understand where they are, and support them where they are going.
Today I’m seeing Alzheimer’s Support groups in the rear-view mirror, from many miles down the road. From this vantage point, it looks like a candle that may have made my trip brighter, warmer, and more peaceful.