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Caring for the Caregiver

The Stealer. Our Journey with Early On-Set Alzheimer's Disease.
by Rosanna Glennon
The photo is my husband, Larry Glennon, at our grandson's birthday party June, 2009.

Our journey with Early On-Set Alzheimers started the very moment my husband retired from March Air Force Base, 1/2005. Zero enjoyment from retirement- zero everything. He was 58 I was 53. He has gone through each and every symptom of this dreadful stealing disease.

He was a man that could do anything- a plumbing contractor, builder, you name it, now he cannot even hold a toothbrush, or sit in a chair without extreme help- he is my 63 year old child. People were always calling on my husband to work for them. I had to sell our home, his truck, Alzheimers steals everything from you-piece by piece, material, emotionally and physically.

 

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Being a Caregiver for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s disease
by James W. Rhoads
Michiko Watanabe Rhoads

Only one who has "been there and done that" can even begin to appreciate all of the physical and mental problems involved with being a full time caregiver to an Alzheimer’s patient, especially for one that you love so deeply.

I think that most people have no idea when a loved one is originally afflicted with Alzheimer’s, I know that I didn’t. As a part of the disease, the patient is prone to keep the problem a secret. It was a year or more after my beloved wife died that I realized her Alzheimer’s started long before I had any inkling of the problem. After all, Alzheimer’s is something that other people get. No one in her family, or my family for that matter, ever had Alzheimer’s so why should I have suspected.

 

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LESSONS ALZHEIMER’S TAUGHT ME
by Lucie Arbuthnot

Genie“I’m extra!”
My mother’s smile was radiant as she greeted me at the door on my regular Friday morning visit. She was by then almost a decade into her journey with Alzheimer’s disease.
Guessing that her happy expression was a substitute for words she could no longer retrieve, I responded with equal enthusiasm, “Yes, you are extra!”
But her waving arms and frown clearly told me I had misunderstood.
“I’m extraordinary…” she started again with undampened enthusiasm.
“You bet you’re extraordinary!” I interrupted, delighted at this rare polysyllabic pronouncement.
Again she waved off my response.
“I’m extra-ordinari-ly glad to see you,” she finally said, her Herculean task accomplished.
A red carpet and brass band could not have made me feel more welcome.

During the 25 years I was a college professor, my job was to teach. Now that my mother had Alzheimer's disease, it was my turn to learn.

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Losing my father a piece at a time.
submitted by David JordanHaven T. Jordan

My father is Haven T Jordan, formerly of Yarmouth, Maine. He was born and raised in Yarmouth and attended North Yarmouth Academy. He was the captain of the basketball team, the student council president, and held the state record in the high jump for many years. He joined the US Air Force after high school and was stationed in Europe.. He was a military policeman and after getting out of the service he became a police officer in both his home town of Yarmouth and also in Portland for a while. In July of 1959 while off duty he swam to the bottom of Range pond, retrieved a drowning boy from the bottom and saved his life. He worked hard all his life in a variety of jobs and with my mom raised four boys and my sister. He was a wonderful father who would routinely go without to make sure we had everything we needed. I aspire to be half the father he was. I know I never will.  

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It's the simple things that matter.
submitted by Kelli

My Uncle was diagnosed with early set Alzheimer's at the age of 55. He lost his job, apartment, everything. At first we thought he just had depression, so he moved in with his mother (my grandmother who is 78). We soon began to realize he wasn't just depressed, it was something else. We took him to the doctors and they first told us it was water on the brain. After a few tests they then realized it wasn't water on the brain, but early onset Alzheimer's. Our family was shocked because we knew no one in our family who had Alzheimer's and were confused as to why this happened to my uncle.

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Alzheimer's Disease Resources
The Basics of Alzheimer's Disease
Information for Caregivers
If You Have Dementia
Quality Care
Safety Issues and Tips
Financial and Legal Topics for Caregivers
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Support for Caring for the Caregiver is provided by:

 

Hospice of Southern MaineMercy VNA Home Health & Hospice Home Instead Senior Care

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