Alzheimer's is feared by us. We fear becoming the stereotype dementia patient: slumped in a wheelchair, staring out of the window, our own heads as blank as our gaze. From this fear, a strong and pervasive stigma is born. A stigma fueled by an absence of legitimate understanding of the realities of the disease. A stigma with a crippling ripple effect that contributes to the isolation of people with Alzheimer's disease and their families. Even longtime buddies can vanish when somebody is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. They might feel uneasy in the presence of an individual with cognitive impairment, they might not know exactly what to say, or be worried about them could do something to upset them.
This abandonment, benign or not, could takes the toll on the family care providers!
“My buddies have disappeared. No telephone calls, not an email. It is lonely life.”
“Given that Mama resides with me, I've to initiate gatherings with my buddies, they seldom call me anymore.”
“Friends are difficult to find, or they act as they do not even know me, it is as if my whole life's a blot plus they do not need to be seen with me.”
Those are the typical laments of household members of those with Alzheimer's disease, and the situation is not as frustrating for all those diagnosed with the disease.
What may you, as a caregiver, do to fight and deal with this blot?
Make peace with reality.
Irrespective of the fact behind the belief, Alzheimer's disease became interchangeable with a loss of individuality. There'll likely always be some kind of fear fueled the stigma attached to the disease.
There'll be individuals who will not understand why your mother makes improper comments in the grocery, or why your spouse will not stop repeating the same story repeatedly.
Harboring anger against these individuals is not valuable and will just serve to raise your stress.
Seek out opportunities to teach.
Rather than holding on to bitterness, try lightly educating people who do not know much about Alzheimer's disease on the realities of the disease.
The term teachable moment might border on the cliché, however it is a precise way to describe these cases when a buddy or family member's misunderstanding of Alzheimer's could be transformed into a chance to spread knowledge and awareness.
Do not let yourself to be silenced.
Care providers have to give up the fear that surrounds you and reach out to your area.
Odds are, you will not only detect a surprising amount of support, but you could also be capable to help others conquer their very own fears. Sharing your experience with the disease within an open, honest fashion can really encourages others to do the same.
Remember, your cherished one is going through a comparable test, aggravated by the confusion as well as other cognitive difficulties of the particular kind of dementia. It will not always be easy for them to articulate how the disease is affecting their mind, so they may need your help and encouragement when speaking about their Alzheimer’s.