Alzheimers: coping

It’s been some time since Mum’s Alzheimers accelerated.

A fall in early December helped to highlight its progress.

Now she is in a safe place where her medical needs are met and her safety is assured.

The initial guilt I felt as we cleared her house of the debris accumulated over the year is passing.

Gill busies herself with padding out the room with bookshelves and a laundry basket and is in town now buying Mum some comfortable lounge wear.

Yesterday at work a colleague popped in while on Bereavement. He seemed ok but was croaky and admitted crying a lot.

As he left I felt a strange sort of release. On the one hand I still had my Mum where his has passed. On the other his pain is immediate: mine is a long haul.

A people manager was passing me as I worked to construct a promotional sales end and I called her over.

I thanked her for her support which really had helped me through a rough patch. She expressed concern that lately she’d had real concerns as I had seemed tired and withdrawn. However, several good nights sleep and a haircut had changed this and she was glad to see the change.

Life goes on and we all have to adapt to its flux. Change is inevitable and we survive by riding the wave, not by complaining about its direction.

It’s a lesson isn’t it? Gam zeh ya’avor – this too shall pass.

A lecturer at college ran a Self Actualisation weekend which I attended with tongue in cheek. Much of it was pseudo-science but there were glimmers of wisdom amongst the hooha. One of them was that when we are in crisis we should consider how this event will seem to us in five years.

It’s something I’ve used a lot over the years.

Mum’s dementia is heartbreaking and has an inevitability about it that is frustrating to someone who knows he can “fix” most things.

But it is what it is and we are doing all we can to continue to care for this lady and we will carry on long after she doesn’t know who we are or even that we are sitting with her.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr


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