Caring for a patient with Alzheimers
Something only my mum and brother know is that I cried uncontrollably every morning waking up and before bed because of the loss of my dad for probably a year.
It was such an incredible wave of emotion.
In 7 years, I can’t tell you that it will stop.
There are songs, movies and activities to this day that bring me to my knees but I can say that grief does subside. It comes less frequently and the only advice I have is to
A. Let it go. Early and hard. Don’t hold it back like I did. Cry until the tears run dry.
B. Don’t grieve alone. Talk to others. Support is so damn important. Hug someone if you can.
C. Be okay with not being okay. It’s understandable to be upset and in pain. Stop apologising and accept what you are going through. It’s going to come out.
D. Educate others on how you want help and share your feelings. One of my biggest disputes was that I wanted to share what was happening to all and sundry. It was also my goal for others to feel it was okay to talk to the weeping widows. That you couldn’t break us and we weren’t victims. We appreciate being asked. I was always confused when people would side step the issue or apologise and then say “how was your dad?”.
Also note, carers don’t want to be defined from their situation so it’s okay to talk about literally anything else.
We balance the
- nobody is asking about Chris?
- can we talk about anything else?
The last thing I will say, is that dementia is a long condition and dealing with it is different. There’s no immediate end in sight.
So it will hit you in waves.
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What advice would you give to those going through grief and loss?