Alzheimer’s Disease and How It Effects Your Family
Our journey is just beginning and all of us are overwhelmed and scared of what the future has in store for us. We are very blessed to have a strong, close and loving family and now more than ever, we would need to pull those resources together and formulate a game plan. The first and most important lesson I will share with you as I did with my family is this; remember that the person with Alzheimer’s disease is not forgetting, stumbling or anything else on purpose. Whatever happens from the smallest of accidents to the genuinely heartbreaking, it isn’t their fault. Don’t take it personally or become aggressively angry towards them because the sadness and guilt they already feel is torture enough. There will be times when you will have to just step back, take a breath and remind yourself of this no matter how difficult it gets. Trust me on this, it will be difficult.
Formulate a Caregiver/Receiver Game Plan
My wife’s condition is mild to moderate and this has allowed us to be able to talk about issues we will face and how to act upon them when they arise. There are legal, medical and financial issues which we have had to address and take care of before it becomes too difficult to accomplish. There are many types of social and emotional support for both the person with Alzheimer’s and the caregivers which can and should be utilized. According to http://www.exelonpatch.com these are some issues a caregiver can consider;
- · The needs of other family members
- · The time to pursue favorite activities
- · The enjoyment of socializing with friends
- · The desire to share ideas and concerns with others who are caregivers
- · The demands of work outside the home
These are issues the person with mild Alzheimer’s can consider’
- · The need for meaningful activity and a structured, predictable routine
- · The desire to socialize with peers and friends
- · The benefits of regular exercise and/or mental stimulation
Legal Issues and Alzheimer’s Disease
It took me a little while to muster up the courage and bring the subject of legal issues up with my wife. It was partly because I was afraid of how my wife would react and partly because it made me extremely sad to know the reason why I was doing this. One thing I knew for sure is that this was a good idea even if my wife hadn’t been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease because it is impossible to know what tomorrow may bring and you should always be prepared. At the present moment, my wife has the capacity to manage her own legal and financial affairs, but before that changes there are some steps we can take to make the transition a little bit smoother, not better, just smoother. According to http://www.webmd.com clearly written legal documents that outline you or your loved one’s wishes and decisions are essential. Obtain legal advice and services from an attorney. You should ask your attorney about the following documents.
- · Power of attorney
- · Power of attorney for healthcare
- · Living will
- · Living trust
- · A will
I am now my wife’s legal guardian when she no longer has the capacity to make health or financial decisions. Emotionally this was a very difficult thing to do, but it also was the most responsible thing to do for everyone concerned. I sincerely hope that you are never faced with this decision, but if you should ever find yourself dealing with this matter, please take the necessary steps to make your journey a little easier.