Daniel Roebuck's tenderly nuanced performance as his wife' primary caregiver is such a perfectly balanced blend of heartache and hopeful longing, weariness and worry, unconditional love and utter loneliness that his character comes across so authentically, you forget you're watching a movie rather than visiting with a fellow family member impacted by Alzheimer's or dementia.
The day has come, mom needs some assistance in order to stay in the comfort of her home. What do you do? Although many take on the responsibility of caring for aging loved ones, this simply isn't an option for everyone. With your own family, career, and financial responsibilities, it may not be practical.
But from the moment my mother and grandmother shared with me my grandfather's diagnosis, everything changed. Though my role as national director of sales and marketing memory care for one of the country's largest providers of assisted living was still the same, my motivation was completely different.
Driving is an activity of daily living (ADL) just like getting washed, dressed or cooking. It is an activity that we learn to do once the skills needed to drive have matured. In order to drive safely, we rely on the fine-tuned integration of the necessary physical, visual, cognitive-perceptual, and behavioural skills.
Alzheimer's caregivers are amazingly successful at juggling all of the things necessary to meet the needs of their loved one, but each day they're simultaneously learning how to juggle the many emotions they experience. Anger, guilt, fear and frustration are just a few of the complex emotional balls they are trying so hard to keep in the air.
It is not always easy to recognize elder abuse, particularly if you are the victim. Yet elder abuse is, unfortunately, prevalent in our society. The good news is that there is increased awareness with respect to the existence of elder abuse and its many forms, and numerous resources available to help.
As we became a young adult, our relationship to our parents became different. We still turned to our parents, but more for guidance and support. Never did we imagine or expect that one day we would be the parent to our parent. When did it happen? When was the shift? Now we are the ones in the "worry seat."
The impacts of informal caregiving commitments do not remain confined to the home: they are felt in the Canadian workplace and reduce productivity. They translate into 2.2 million hours of reduced effort in the workplace every week and cause an estimated $1.3 billion productivity loss annually, says the report.
As Alzheimer's disease progresses and the person becomes more and more disconnected from the world around them, caregivers so often, and so unintentionally, lose their way. That's okay, in part because there's no manual for this, no right or wrong. But there are ways that caregivers, like Ed's, can reconnect with their loved one.
Even if your loved one has never been an avid gardener, introducing them to blooms now could be a good idea: this green hobby has been shown to benefit dementia and Alzheimer's patients. Long-term care facilities sometimes refer to it as horticultural therapy -- the connection that dementia patients develop to past and future through tending plants, indoors or out.
Navigating through an airport with a family member who has Alzheimer's can be a nail-biting excursion. Unfamiliar surroundings heighten confusion, impair the ability to follow directions and trigger agitation -- none of which you want to experience as you're getting body-scanned by airport security. Here's how to get through it all with as little hassle as possible.
As there will be some special days that make it painful, you can plan ahead. If you have recently lost your father, than make sure you're with supportive individuals on his birthday, or on Father's Day. You will want to surround yourself with people who respect your grieving process. Make sure you accept the love and support of your friends and family members.