I’m not mad at my mother: I’m mad at Alzheimer’s

I am pleased to introduce Barbara Brawley as a guest blogger today – I have a strong feeling many of you blog readers will relate to her honest and thoughtful post about caring for her mother.

Caregiving

by Barbara Brawley

caregiver-senior-hands_317x224My mother has always been a strong person: physically, emotionally and spiritually. She has always been my best friend and confident. Over the years, we have traveled and done many things together.

I started taking care of my mother about 12 years ago after my father died. She has some physical issues and that has always been my concern, but about a year ago when she was 84, she was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease.

My mother is still able to recognize people and do many things for herself, but she has little recall. Caregiving is challenging. It can be a lonely job. It can be frustrating to provide her with constant reminders and repeat the same conversation we just had. One of the hardest things is that she is still aware that she is not remembering or moving as quickly as she used to when she was younger.

I try to do some deep breathing or count to ten before I speak. When I don’t do this, my anger shows. Guilt sets in. I remind myself to do better next time.

As I’ve reflected on my temperament, I realize I am not mad at my mother. I am mad at Alzheimer’s. I do not want this disease to take my mother away from me entirely. We have always been close, and I think that is a real benefit to us now.

We still laugh and enjoy our time together. My mother is still a strong person, but now, more than ever, she needs a sense of purpose, and she needs to know she is still loved. Alzheimer’s has taught us to live and enjoy the moment. When all is said and done, being together at this moment is all we have.

Cherish the good times together.


 

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