Thursday, April 12, 2012

Understanding Dementia and Caregiving

In this age of information, if your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, of which Alzheimer's is the most common type, you may rush to research all there is to know about the disease.

Since human beings are natural seekers, in an attempt to bring order to their world and to understand it better, they look for a cause and effect. Consequently, you may hope that if you understand dementia and its ramifications, you can come to understand the best ways to deal with its effects.

I do believe that understanding the facts will give you a base of knowledge upon which to build, and this helps you to feel that you have some control over the situation. However, information alone, or beyond a certain point, isn't the only ingredient you will need in order to cope with a dementia diagnosis for a loved one.

In truth, you will jump onto a rollercoaster of emotion, as you travel with your loved ones on a journey fraught with logs of confusion, frustration and unknowns.

My book, Understanding Dementia and Caregiving For Your Aging Parents From A to Z, is not an attempt to educate on all the medical aspects of dementia, although I do touch on them lightly. Instead it speaks to you from the heart and a personal standpoint.

It lets you know some of what to expect and the emotions and thoughts you might have in response to your loved one's deteriorating condition. Most of all, this book was written to share a journey upon which I am traveling with one of my loved ones, from the first recognition that something was awry to the hard decisions that needed to be made to ensure her safety and proper care.

While each person travels a unique road, many experience universal underlying truths and emotions about caring for aging loved ones, especially those afflicted with disease. When these truths are shared, caregivers are able to validate their own feelings, as well as alleviate some of the natural fearful and isolating thoughts they may have.

Thus, from A to Z, I share a compendium of twenty-six words and explanations that I feel best express and validate what will be experienced as one travels the roads of caregiving for aging parents or another loved one.

As I traveled down the road of caregiving, I learned a few "tricks of the trade" that have helped me to provide better assistance to my loved one. As with most every experience I have had in life, I feel an overwhelming need to share the lessons I've gleaned from my journey. After all, there's no need to reinvent the wheel and, although each person's journey is unique, there are still universal truths. I hope you will find "A Guide for Caregivers of Aging Parents with Alzheimer's: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration" a great resource to help you with your caregiving duties.

Additionally, this site also includes a resource page for caregivers. I will update the site when appropriate as I learn new information that can help you on your journey.