Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the US.

The face of caregiving today is a family member or friend doing their best to survive the role of care partner. Are you one? If you are, you’re caring for one of 16 million Americans with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Together you’ve clocked 18 billion care hours valued at over $232 billion in 2017.

If you’re not currently a caregiver, you may become one. Every 66 seconds someone else develops dementia or Alzheimer’s and will need care.

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Fear

Deep down, we all live with some level of fear about our future. Fearing that our loved ones may be diagnosed with a debilitating disease is one example.  When facing a brain disease that slowly steals treasured memories and ultimately life, moving on may be difficult.

Read more: Commitment, Caretaker

 

Hope

Hope is ever present among dementia care partners. Hope that a cure will be found; hope that today will be better than yesterday for their loved one and themselves; hope that their loved one may find a moment of lucidity or recognition; hope that they may find patience and grace within the absurdity of the disease. Human nature drives us to have hope in the face of adversity.

Read more: Transitions, Evolution

Inspiration

The most significant lesson of dementia caregiving for me remains the knowledge that until we remove stigma associated with the brain diseases of dementia and Alzheimer’s by sharing our stories out loud, the caregiving journey will remain an isolating one.

Read more: Endearment, Journey

 

“You can’t explain what it’s like to mourn someone who is still alive,
unless you have experienced it first hand.”

– Jessica Seay-Soto

Today everyone knows someone touched by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. We write about this disease because it cannot be prevented or cured. Millennials grew up watching their parents shoulder the responsibility of their grandparent’s care. As adults, those millennials will likely become the primary caregivers to their own aging baby boomer parents.

We need to solve this growing health crisis. Our world has faced many challenging crises over the years and with enough time; talent and resource has moved the needle on so many. My hope is that we can do the same one-day with dementia and that my writing may make some small contribution to that critical effort.

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