My mom was a true fashionista; coming from a family of tailors, she appreciated and loved beautiful clothes. She was a great cook, always experimenting and exploring new and healthy recipes. She read the newspaper every day. She had a very polished gracious way about herself; she was strong and dignified and she was a survivor of Auschwitz.
Alzheimer’s changed all of that. My brother and I did everything we possibly could to make her Alzheimer’s less brutal. I tried to keep her appearance; dress her the way she would have liked and make the things that she loved to eat. As her Alzheimer’s progressed, it seemed that none of that mattered although I continued to care for her in the same manner.
Caregivers give and then they give some more and then some more and even more and more. The role holds no boundaries and even with outside help, caregivers still carry the full responsibility. The stress is overwhelming, the emotional drain can be debilitating and living in a constant state of worry eventually results in health issues.
I became active in the Alzheimer’s Association because I have seen what Alzheimer’s does to people…the afflicted and the affected. Alzheimer's took over my mother to where she was barely the person I once knew. I became depressed, neglected of myself and developed health issues; which is very common in caregivers. My children even felt the suffering. At that time, there wasn’t much information available. Caregiving can be very lonely and without information and some sort of outreach; it is a very depressing, scary road. Support services are so important; they help caregivers who are often so consumed with taking care of others that they forget about themselves.
I am walking to create awareness, to raise funds to help find a treatment and provide support for caregivers who give so much of themselves and live with the heartbreaking memories of Alzheimer's long after the caregiving is over.
Thank you for your support,
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