by Rose Lamatt
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
edited: Sunday, July 26, 2009
Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2009
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Have you ever heard the statement: There is a fine line between depression and dementia?
Have you ever heard the statement: There is a fine line between Depression and Dementia? I heard it years ago and didn't believe it, but being an Alzheimer's Caregiver for fourteen years, I’ve changed my mind. I became the one forgetful. I became the one confused and disoriented. Was I to have Alzheimer's also? “No, just depression,” the doctor said. “You need to take care of yourself.”
At the time I was caring for my dear friend with Alzheimer’s thinking, I was taking care of my self. Little did I know Alzheimer’s was attacking both of us in different ways. My dear friend was fading into an abyss, walking away from me as though I were watching her through a windowpane getting smaller and smaller each day. I had become depressed, confused and fearful.
Most caregivers don’t take care of themselves. You are the giver of yourself to another. You should not require anything. However, this is not true , and found it out the hard way. I gave myself until there was nothing left. I got sick, became unable to care for my friend, and had to put her in a nursing home.
My caregivng job changed. I then had to watch workers who cared for my friend, plus my friend. The nursing home nightmares, I call it. I write of this in, “Just a Word” friends encounter Alzheimer’s. I think people don’t realize that the caregiver’s job isn’t over because a loved one goes into a nursing home. It just becomes more intensified.
There is nothing greater anyone can do, than to give up his/her life for a friend, family member, or other, but please caregivers turn to your churches, synagogues, community centers, neighbors, family, friends, anyone who will listen, and tell them what you feel. Sometimes just talking to someone will lessen your burden.
Being a caregiver will teach you more of your self, than you ever thought was there. You will learn of the true SELF.