I reluctantly posted this photo on our Facebook page concerned about sharing something that is truly heartbreaking for those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
One of our followers commented saying, “I love you enough, Mama, for both of us”, and another, ” I don’t think they forget they love you. I think they still know their people. But…..may call them by another name”, and another ” In memory of my dad; although he never said he loved me (that I can remember), I forgive him”.
Each day I wake-up and work with caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other neurocognitive disorder. For me, it’s a choice to immerse myself in Alzheimer’s disease, but for the caregivers I serve, it isn’t.
I don’t know that I could do what they do every, single day. I don’t know if I could wake up not knowing what this day would hold for me and the person I care for; or go to bed each night and not cry myself to sleep over and over again. I don’t know that I wouldn’t quickly crumble under the weight of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver, or that I wouldn’t run away with my hair on fire, screaming at the top of my lungs at the ugliness and unfairness of it all.
There are days when as a professional “caregiver”, I go home and tell my husband “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore”. When the work day and work night is so filled with being exposed to pain and sorry and grief and hopelessness and anger that there is still no cure for this horrible disease and no bright light to be seen quite yet, at the end of the tunnel, that I don’t think I can walk back into the office tomorrow. But I do. Because my caregivers do. The strength they show day, after day, after day, simply amazes me, and it most definitely humbles me.
They are the reason I do what I do. They keep me going and serve as a constant reminder that all of us who are professional caregivers, must continue to be their rock and their strength. It is our duty to find a way to keep going back for more; for raising awareness, and raising money, and raising our voices until such time as there are no more caregivers who have to face this disease head-on, and no more caregivers who are forced to sit by hopelessly and watch someone they love, forget they love them too.
Photo Credit: www.rolereversalmovie.com