Recollections of Dementia October 2020 Update
"One person caring about another represents life's greatest value." - John Rohn
Caregiver Support Initiative Email Discussion Group
The Caregiver Support Initiative Email Discussion Group is a virtual forum for family caregivers to connect with caregivers to start a discussion, ask questions, and give advice on caregiving-related topics. Below are some stories family caregivers have shared:
On Dealing with a Family Member's Dementia:
"When my mom's dementia progressed to the point where she did not recognize her family, it was hardest on us -- not her. Her brother came to visit and she delighted in being with him but didn't know who he was. One night during dinner, she smiled broadly -- pointed her fork at him and said, 'I remember you. You are the little kid that used to play in our neighborhood.' He loved that. It was heartbreaking that she didn't recognize my brother. The more I insisted he was her son, the more defensive and confused she became so I quit and my brother accepted it, but she said during a visit how she liked my friend with the 'Norwegian face.' They were talking one day and effortlessly found themselves in a conversation about the geologic features of the rocks we were near in Tahoe. For about 5 minutes they were both present and with each other just like years ago and then without warning -- she slipped away. I do think the heart remembers even when the mind forgets.
"My husband had a wonderful patient with Alzheimer's. I have must have been introduced to her several times. She always acknowledged the introductions with, 'I am very glad to meet you. I meet so many nice new people every day.' Sometimes they do remember, but most of the time, especially in the later stages, they simply do not. Alzheimer's is far harder on families than it is on the patients."
Read other stories and share your caregiving experiences by joining the email discussion group. There is no cost to become a member.
Common Questions for the Caregiver
Q: "What is caregiver burnout?"
A: "Caregiver burnout is common among caregivers. This happens when a caregiver is exhausted physically, mentally, and/or emotionally and needs immediate support and relief from caregiving responsibilities. If you begin feeling overwhelmed, helpless, impatient, and/or irritable, reach out to a friend or family member for immediate help."
Self-Care for the Caregiver
Practice Good Communication: It is important that you acknowledge your feelings and talk to someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Do not expect others to know your needs. Express them!
For more self-care tips, please refer to your Washoe Caregivers Guidebook or visit our website, https://washoecaregivers.org/