Watching my Mom go from a vibrant, fun loving, beautiful women to a disinterested, confused and forgetful person, our family faulted it on the recent loss of our Dad. He was a wonderful, caring husband. They “danced” their way through 58 years of married life, it wasn’t easy for Mom to adjust to life without him.
But who could have guessed after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Mom would have her remaining 14 years of life living in that world. How could we ever have imagined what was ahead for her… or for us. Certainly not me. For I too was blessed with a wonderful husband who understood my concerns for my Mom. My husband was just as involved in caring for Mom when suddenly, without warning, my husband of 49 years passed away. Mom may not have understood, buy I know she missed seeing him everyday …as I do!
Each day I grew more aware of the kind of help needed to provide a “better life” for Mom. As Mom advanced through the different stages, the number of Alzheimer’s victims were unbelievably growing. While a cure was still beyond our reach, supporting research for much needed funds was not. My husband and I organized a committee of many other caring and dedicated people, who energetically ran community events, became trained volunteers to offer complimentary support groups for families and caregivers, as well as created a team for the, Alzheimer's .Association’s annual fundraisers, the “Alzheimer’s Walk.”
The major concern I immediately encountered once Mom was diagnosed was the lack of help from Medical Dr.’s that specialize in Alzheimer’s disease and information for caregivers. There was nothing available at our local hospital. During Mom’s years with Alzheimer’s I pursued my quest meeting with hospital executives and medical personnel. Though that road has covered over 12 years of perseverance, and was not achieved in my Mom’s lifetime, we are successfully achieving progress with the hospital accomplishing the support, recognition and dream of melding under the hospital’s umbrella. Such accomplishment would make life easier for both the victims and caregivers!
And for all of those caregivers here and now, the most important thing I’ve learned from Mom during those 14 years, was to pray for patience to accept and adjust to her changes the best I could. The most precious things I could wish for Mom and those millions of others afflicted and still living in that darkness, is to have one more day of clarity with all their happiest memories!