You may think I am being dramatic, but I truly believe that the Alzheimer Society saved my life. I arrived at their door an emotional mess.
I was driving home from the worst visit with my Mom that I had ever experienced. She suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. I don’t even remember driving there – all of a sudden, I was just there.
The staff was amazing- kind and understanding. They found a counsellor (who, by the Grace of God, had a cancellation) to speak with me right away. In a word, [she was] fantastic. I unloaded many years of frustrations and emotions on this amazing woman. She listened- and listened to me. I was able to let go of all the anger and tears. She offered her expertise in dealing with this terrible disease.
The most important thing she said to me – the thing that resonates with me every day – is “You are enough”. She actually helped me realize that I had done all I could do for Mom. Boy, I needed that! From that day on, I have relied on the Alzheimer Society to help some of the toughest times of my life. I have participated in the learning opportunities and I am regular at the Carer’s Cafe [in Hamilton] – an invaluable resource.
I am also hoping to participate in the Walk for Alzheimer’s. One thing I know for sure, I wish I had walked through that door a long time before I did. I thought I could handle this and was just too proud to ask for help. This is the biggest regret I have. I would have handled things with my Mom a lot differently than I did. My mother-in-law has been diagnosed with this disease now and I find myself able to handle this better and help her family deal with this.
If I could offer one piece of advice to anyone caring for a loved one with any form of dementia, it would be “Run – don’t walk – to your nearest Alzheimer Society”. You will NEVER regret it. Finally, I just want to say “Thank You” to a wonderful organization, to the amazing people who are employed or volunteer there… My Mom and mother-in-law benefit from what I learn there as do our families. What more could we ask for.
During the holidays and throughout the year, families living with dementia need your help. Our staff are able to help Cathie and her family because of donors like you.