Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Talking about Alzheimer's

Image result for can't we talk about something more pleasant

In a few minutes I will head to Mississauga to preside at the funeral of a fine member of the Bridge St. congregation. Life has been hectic since my return to work, hence my blogging silence.

Today is World Alzheimer's Day, which is an invitation to consider the implications of a disease which affects tens of millions of people, not to mention those who provide care in families and institutions. There are somewhere between 25 and 30 people in our aging congregation with dementia in some form, and we are constantly considering how to provide support for these individuals and households. A wonderfully supportive wife has managed to keep her husband at home, despite his deepening dementia. She was recently diagnosed with cancer and now wonders what to do for his care. I am impressed by her strength in the midst of such difficult circumstances.

I plan to do a study series on the subject this year, in the hope that it will provide the opportunity for discussion about dementia. The graphic book pictured above is an award winner, both humorous and poignant. It is one of the resources we will use.

Well, off I go. Comments?


Judy said...

Alzheimer's is one of the several cruel diseases of aging people - it is hard on the person with the disease and very hard on the loved ones who are no longer recognized .... some good education and advice for families dealing with this living loss is very important.

roger said...

I visit my parents at a long-term care facility, and I like that each resident has a display case outside their room in which they can place photos or other memorabilia. It is a reminder(hopefully) to workers that, although the resident has Alzheimer's or dementia, the resident was once a healthy, vibrant young person like them.

I have had more than one outburst with staff about improper care of my parents, but I believe most workers are caring. I just shudder to think about those residents who do not have family visiting or advocating for them.

Judy Mcknight said...

One of my best friend's mother recently passed away, having suffered memory loss for several years, and spent the last few at Meighen Lodge in Toronto. The staff there were amazing, and each person had a display case outside the door with pictures and memorabilia, as well as items in their rooms to remind them of who they were and are. Ellen was blessed with a family who cared and loved her well to the end.

David Mundy said...

Thank you for these comments. Eventually the realities of dementia come close to home for all of us.