Erasing the Footprints

Have you ever walked along a shoreline, only to have your footprints washed away? That’s what Alzheimer’s is like. The waves erase the marks we leave behind, all the sand castles. Some days are better than others. Pat Summitt, American women’s college basketball head coach who holds the record for the most career wins.

Every 66 seconds a new brain develops Alzheimer’s. Two-thirds of them belong to women. In addition, women make up two-thirds of all the caregivers caring for those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis. That’s why we must be at the heart of the solution. 

Much attention is given to the support of cancer and heart disease research which is necessary and important. We need to add Alzheimer’s to our list. If you’re a woman over sixty, you are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than you are breast cancer. Support the cause and support caregivers. It takes a community to stand up to this devastating disease.

Affirmation: I support Alzheimer’s research.

Coaching request:  If you’ve swept Alzheimer’s under the rug, take another look. Become informed, support the research and caregivers.

24/7 helpline – 1-800-272-3900

www.alz.org

Watch for your local walk

Don’t Try To Be A Superhero

The gradual losses experienced by caregivers can lead to sadness, depression, anger, guilt, sleeplessness and other physical and emotional problems. Family Caregiver Alliance Site

Caregivers are frequently referred to as heroes, even super-heroes. But they aren’t. Caregivers are not super-human or intended to be super-heroes. They are simply human beings doing their best to take care of someone they love whose brain is not working properly. Perhaps they may wish they had super powers or mystical abilities but to stay sane they must acknowledge that they can’t fix all the challenges that accompany a dementia diagnosis.

The Family Caregiver Alliance recommends that a caregiver identify her losses, her feelings about the losses and her corresponding grief. The Alliance also recommends keeping a journal or gratitude journal, attending support groups, and doing relaxation exercises. 

Affirmation: I take care of myself as I take care of another.

Coaching questions: Whether you are a caregiver or not, in what ways do you try to be a super-hero? How’s that working for you? If you are a caregiver, in what ways do you take care of yourself?