The doctors said Adelaide had clinical depression. That’s not too hard to understand or accept. After all she had dealt with so much with her husband dying so young and now she was retired from her beloved teaching. A lot of people get depressed when they retire. Don’t they? Well at least there were medicines to try. And try we did…for years with no improvement. Finally there was a new doctor who introduced a new phrase to the family: Alzheimer’s disease.
That’s a pretty ugly phrase.
I am the youngest of her children and have been her main caregiver for the past 10 years. She lives with me and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I have become a very strong, loving manager. I have found hidden inner strength, both physical and emotional, to cope with becoming the “parent” to my mother with all that is implied. There have been so many “firsts” along the way and every one of them has made us stronger. From the first time my mother forgot a familiar face to the first time we faced incontinence I had a private cry followed by resolve to work though the challenge.
I, like Gloria Gaynor, will survive!
I'm fortunate to have great friends and an amazingly strong family. I still have a great, interesting and rich life. I have learned a great deal about caring for an Alzheimer's patient and mostly I have learned a great deal about myself.