Brenda

HERE ARE MY TIPS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND:

1. Be more informed about dementia, and look at those experiencing it firsthand. While it is easy to read about dementia, it’s totally different once you’re actually living with it.

2. Know that changes will happen. The person I married 49 years ago is now like a stranger sometimes. Though he looks the same, he acts, oh, so different. You never know how long anything will last because it changes every day.

3. Be patient with him. Though he has changed, I don’t blame my husband. It’s not his fault. It’s a disease. It is not always easy, but patience is key.

4. Life can still be enjoyed. My husband is very agreeable and easy to get along with. We still enjoy our morning walks and afternoon coffee.  He also loves listening to music and watching TV comedies.

My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, three years ago, at age 73.

At the time, he was taking medication for his arthritis. Initially, I had thought his confusion was the result of side effects from the medication. However, after his confusion persisted without the medication, I knew it was dementia.

My doctors and health-care providers have been very supportive.  They directed me to support groups. Some friends and family have also been helpful, taking us around to places, or staying with my husband when I need to go out. Others just stay away, because they don’t understand what’s going on and don’t know how to talk to him.

People just stare and wonder what’s going on. Often, I feel judged by others who expect me to do everything, but what they don’t understand is that I’m doing my best. Others think that my husband does not know anything, but I can tell that he’s still aware of how people treat us —and it does affect him. People need to be more aware about dementia and what it means, both for the person living with it (like my husband), and their caregiver (like me).

HERE ARE MY TIPS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND:

1. Be more informed about dementia, and look at those experiencing it firsthand. While it is easy to read about dementia, it’s totally different once you’re actually living with it.

2. Know that changes will happen. The person I married 49 years ago is now like a stranger sometimes. Though he looks the same, he acts, oh, so different. You never know how long anything will last because it changes every day.

3. Be patient with him. Though he has changed, I don’t blame my husband. It’s not his fault. It’s a disease. It is not always easy, but patience is key.

4. Life can still be enjoyed. My husband is very agreeable and easy to get along with. We still enjoy our morning walks and afternoon coffee.  He also loves listening to music and watching TV comedies.

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