“No loved one should lose their individuality, independence, have their family memories erased or forget, them-self”
Join our team Dulce De Coco in honor of our mom, Yolanda(Coco)Santos, walk alongside us or donate.
As a caregiver I have suffered emotional and financial anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, fatigue a feeling of imprisonment, alone and isolated caring for mom. My siblings slowly coming around, recognizing the relief me and Gabriel desperately need.
Miguel my oldest sibling who has supported us as best he can since day one. Especially with his godson Gabriel. Thank you Miguel.
Dewey; lil brother who was the result of my parents immense love and unity for one another. Who has reached out, a milestone step, to understand my challenges and assistance to unite mom's team of caregivers. Thank you Dewey.
Mayra and family for the donation to end Alz walk, Mayra has helped with essentials or replacing clothes I need for mom.Mom has a habit of throwing clothing in trash(a weekly occurrence), has help financially. Thank you Meg.
Statistics show, as a caregiver, my life expectancy is minus five years due to the stress of caregiving.
My care for mom has given me knowledge, taught me patients, everday I continue to learn. My hope, to be there for other caregivers, To prepare and help Them, Embrace the Ones they love. Give them the best life left on this earth, with dignity. Alzheimer’s is not an individual disease, It's a family one. As a daughter, I've seen how Alzheimer's takes the sweet part of your soul and turns it into a mean, aggressive combatant person; Alz.Has taken mom’s beautiful vibrant spirit. I remember the day mom could no longer hide and unable to fight. Reality starts setting in, mom can understand one day, but gets confused the next. How simple everyday task, we take for granted, become unbearable, hard for mom to do, unable to figure out why, Frustration and fear, become a scary reality for mom. Shame in her eyes, humiliation, incapable of controlling her bodily functions, hiding the gifts she leave’s behind. Mom having to rely on us for most help, has been mom's hardest challenge to accept. The falls That continue to happen, and mom's stubbornness refusing to use a cane or walker. Trying to hold the lil pride she has left. “I don't need a cane or walker”, she says “I can walk fine” mom tells me, in her grumpy attitude. Lol Mom hiding her bruises, so I don’t worry, when she falls. Mom’s instability and strength is deteriorating. The confused look on her face when trying to squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube; Or how to turn on a light. I’m losing my beloved mom, one day she will be gone and a shell of a woman will be all that's left. It's not easy to watch, and it won't be easy to forget. I understand what it means to say “we grieve twice, for our loved ones”. Sometimes I wonder, is it better to pass sooner rather than later. Mom is healthy physically mentally starting to forget more each passing day. When I wake I ask for strength, Compassion and lots of patients. I promised mom I would care for her, for as long as I could, and will achieve all I can to make mom feel loved and to never feel alone.
Essentially, finding ways to communicate better, with non-participant family members, I'm ot alone With this. substantiallyturn a blind eye, or not be present, for mom’s care. I acknowledged how hard this is for them, took me awhile to change my perception, not resent them, bit have compassion and sympathize to there reasons. I may not agree, or do I try to rationalize their action, it’s not my place to judge; As mom’s primary caregiver, my forgiveness and compassion, my admission is significant. I am sorry to the four. I will do everything that is kind in me to help guide the four, if willing. it’s crucial to participate and be present in mom's life, for the sake of mom. The regret is always worse, than denial. Once mom Gone. Help alleviate the burden and stress Alz has on caregiver’s and Their Families Take the time to educate or convey with primary caregiver; once a week to listen and assist anyway possible, and lessen the stress. To support With respite care or financial help.The result Will be catastrophic for everyone in the end. My biggest challenge, my four siblings, today I can say we have taken a step forward. Things won’t always be perfect; Perfect is not what I strive for, but love for mom. I believe coming together with respect, communication and willingness to listen, not judge, is the right way forward, Put all differences aside for loved one, Don’t fight primary caregiver, or make excuses, step up and believe Alz is affecting two lives and a family, virtually killing both. Remember; it’s not what is convenient for you or having the control over the help you provide. Alzheimer’s is unpredictable, I don’t set the narrative or make plans for tomorrow. I take it one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time.
In the beginning caring for mom; I called it my curse, my burden, I resented mom and her selfish children. NOT today! My blessings; an acceptance, with love and forgiveness, not resentment or hate. I give thanks to my higher power everyday, and the organizations-Central Coast Caregivers and Alz.org.without these organizations i would be lost and hopeless. The support groups and online classes Have helped me continue the fight. Walking to end ALZ is my way of paying it forward and giving back.
As I embrace my new found life, a new reality I discovered; emotions I never felt possible. Mom made It feasible to face my anguish, my depression; (depression began around age 5), I put everything on hold without realizing I shut off the voices in my head. My dark place, I call chaos. My beloved mom has forced me to get out of my head,to care for Her. Mom Enabled me in ways I never realized possible, mom has guided me to peace, to tranquility a place without turmoil, Thank you, mom. I'm no longer blind, I see the beauty and give kindness and understanding to those who don’t.
My son Gabriel who is sixteen has stepped up and helps me, cares for his grandma, he started around twelve or thirteen. Gabriel has become caregiver number two. He is an incredible caregiver with kindness and love. Grumpy sometimes, and it's ok, i’ll take the help anyway I can. Thank you, Gabriel.
Today I understand and acknowledge I have my limits, I'm human my life will continue to be a rollercoaster ride of emotions, the difference today is I have support, a vacation once a year, be nice, but I'll settle For two weeks by myself. Lol, today I'm blessed to have mom; tomorrow, I may feel angry not to have my freedom.
I will continue to learn, and volunteer in honor of all the loved ones lost to Alzheimer’s and I will pay it forward to help caregivers beginning there journeys to the unknown. To be mom’s voice, and advocate.
Won’t you please help Stop Alzheimer's and Dementia? with a donation; every little bit helps. Please send to everyone you know, share my story and raise awareness and help fund a cure.
I LOVE YOU MOM!
Dulce De Coco-Candy Gutierrez
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised