Life sometimes picks up the pace when the trajectory appears to be in reverse.
Sometimes our brains wear out before our bodies and this is a terrible irony. Brilliant engineers, Phi Beta Kappas, Judges, Physicians and people who have vested much of their identity, life and work in their intellect begin to feel it fade, The struggle for words or what day it is starts innocently enough, but then picks up speed and the person we know and love seems to be disappearing before we can even say goodbye. The caregiver, sadly gets to see the day-to-day of these changes and suddenly their responsibilities are doubled. Fear, paranoia, confusion and the inability to recognize the familiar is observed by the primary caregiver in a thousand little heartbreaking and sometimes frustrating moments.
I can not stop the process of this disease, but I can help the caregiver adjust to the transition of making difficult decisions. The crushing weight of many big decisions fall on the caregiver just as they lose the person they have loved for many years. They must grieve what once was, as they head off the cliff of “what’s next?” . Well-intentioned people will ask the caregiver how they are doing and expect the typical answer of “fine.” I have not seen anyone be “fine” while watching their beloved’s personality and life evaporate.
Most of us have very little knowledge of brain chemistry and envision that dementia will allow people to just be “buoyed up” like an angry 4-year-old. What really happens is a crushing amount of paperwork from agencies, the government, coordinating sitters, while finding places where a couple who has been married 50 years can still live together. People really do not want to talk or hear about diapers, raging, swallowing problems, falls, obsessive delusional thinking, hitting of others and self and the loss of the person who is standing in front of you.
Life transitions that point us to the loss of a loved one often include hard financial choices. These diseases force us to watch the difficult reality of a progression that robs our loved one of their talent, their intellect, their knowledge of the world, their freedom and ultimately their life. These types of transitions are among the most difficult ones in life. What can be done?
Worth Healing is here to help people navigate life’s difficult transitions and to give people a safe place to say what they can not say anywhere else, to grieve while living a life that requires tremendous strength and to help clarify the process of making decisions. What is most important when life changes is not to suffer in silence, to give yourself the support and help you need, that’s why I created Worth Healing!