What is it like to be the child of a parent with Alzheimer’s? It’s horrible!
My mother, (78) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about 3 1/2 years ago. Since then, it’s been a roller coaster ride for my brother, my sister, and myself. Her world is out of control, and at times, so is she. Hallucinations have overtaken her once peaceful existence, which leaves very little light for reality.
Her physical condition has gone from being ambulatory, to falling on a regular basis. She’s gone’s from caring completely for herself, to depending almost entirely on others. The sad part is, her life no longer belongs to herself. We make most of her decisions, and that’s a hard pill for her to swallow.
Along with many studies are many speculations as to why Alzheimer’s appears. Some speculate that genes, diet and aluminum products are among the reasons that Alzheimer’s occurs. (In our family, my mother is the 4th victim to Alzheimer’s). Others say, “keep your mind active,” but then I think of former President Ronald Reagan. I’m sure he had a large amount of mental acuity. So what is the answer? We don’t know (meaning I don’t know, and no doctor I’ve talked with has given me a concrete clue that they do either).
According to the World Health Organization, 50% of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are living in developing countries.
In other studies I’ve read, India is supposed to have one of the lowest populations of Alzheimer’s in the world, and that has been accredited to their curry dishes, or the turmeric in them. Other cultures, like Japan, also have a lower rate for this type of dementia, and again, this may be attributed to diet.
Because of some of these findings in studies we’ve researched, we’ve taken turmeric and blueberry extract (blueberries are wonderful antioxidants). We’ve also tried to avoid aluminum products, but with all of the aluminum packet wrapped oven dishes, soda pop in aluminum cans, as well as all the other canned foods, steering completely clear may be a new major adjustment.
A new book by Dr. Mary Newport indicates that coconut oil may be used in healing and/or treatment of Alzheimer’s patients.
Another main issue that plays into any family who has a loved one with Alzheimer’s is, who will be the caretaker? When the Alzheimer’s is in the beginning stages, family members will usually take on the task. With later stages it becomes harder to lift and care for your loved one. At that point a long-term care facility may be in your best interest.
One thing to caution you about with a long-term facility is that unless you have planned for this expense, it is likely to deplete your savings, (as in my mother’s case). The costs in Ohio (Dayton) ran up to $7500 a month…in Texas (San Antonio) the costs ranged from $3800 and above. If your loved one is not low-income, you may not be able to sign up for Medicaid. In Texas you can avoid this by filing for a Miller’s Trust. If applying for Medicaid, they will take into account if you’ve given away any substantial amounts of money in the last 5 years.
In any circumstance if you have a loved one that has Alzheimer’s, take care of yourself, and find a way to take a break on a regular basis. Caring for an Alzheimer’s patient is not an easy task, but we all need to give care, and love to those who have loved us.
For Matt Traverso’s Alzheimer’s e-book resource: Click Here!