By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com contributing editor
As Alzheimer’s progresses, it destroys memory, brings on erratic behavior and robs personality. You find you are caring for a father who no longer recognizes you; a mother with whom you no longer share any emotional connection; or a loved one who doesn’t appreciate, or even want your help. How do you keep going and loving someone who is a shell of the person you once knew?
Two experts who work with Alzheimer’s patients and their families spoke with AgingCare.com about this dilemma.
Cindy Laverty, a caregiver advocate, and a former caregiver herself–feels the most difficult part is letting go of the relationship you once shared with your parent. “The father who once provided strength and comfort is no longer able to do for you,” she says. “Now, he needs your strength and comfort.”
Ms. Laverty recommends that you allow yourself time to feel whatever emotions come your way. Giving yourself permission to grieve will help you go on, to continue caregiving with more purpose and clarity. “Feel the sadness, anger, unfairness and the frustration. Allow yourself time to grieve. Try to fully embrace the fact that you can do nothing to bring your loved one back.”
When Alzheimer’s Steals Your Loved One’s Personality originally appeared on AgingCare.com.† Visit AgingCare.com for more information on caregiving, senior living, and elder care.