Friday, February 11, 2011
Over 230,000 Ohioans living with Alzheimer's
Chagrin Solon Sun
Next week is Alzheimer’s and Dementia Awareness Week, and a time to recognize the over 230,000 people in Ohio living with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes a severe loss of memory, difficulty completing tasks and changes in behavior. As a loved one declines they may forget childhood memories or names of family members, and may lash out in anger and confusion. For more than 435,000 caregivers in Ohio, these changes can feel like losing the person they knew, over and over again.
It’s normal to feel a sense of grief when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. From abandonment to guilt and anger, caregivers experience a range of emotions around a disease that slowly takes away their grandparent, parent, spouse or friend.
As a caregiver, it’s important to accept that the progression of the disease is beyond your control. Focus on the positive memories you share with the person: a holiday tradition, trip to the beach or laughing at a movie. And remember, there are thousands of people in your area who are facing the same challenge.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk with a close friend or family about your feelings. Connect with other caregivers in community support groups. Sharing your emotions will help you come to terms with the disease and provide better care for your loved one.
Crossroads Hospice, Valley View