July 19th, 2013 my Mother passed away from Alzheimer's. I had been her caregiver, and as her oldest child, her Power of Attorney. The decisions that were to be made were the most impactful of my life. Nothing since then has been the same.
This disease of Alzheimer's is both frightening and enigmatic. It took away my Mother's cognitive functioning, and closed down her body, as rapidly as water draining from a bathtub. My academic background in the field of psychology, specific to aging and cognitive impairments, just did not prepare me for the nuances, daily life, emotions, the dynamics of family and the world around us. Watching my vivacious, beautiful Mother die slowly from this disease instilled in me a renewed fervent passion and vocation in Neuroscience. I have been working toward my PhD in Neuroscience/clinical psychology with a similar readiness that, perhaps, soldiers take in preparation before battle. This is a Battle!
My life will never be the same losing the one lovely soul that adored and loved me unconditionally. There is nothing more tragic than losing the one person that brought you into this life. It is now my vocation, my passion to find a cure and to help those that are struggling with Alzheimer's. Please join me on this journey of discovery and insight as I pursue my academic research, and learning in this area.
I provide counseling, coaching, and advocacy for those that are living with Alzheimer's, suffering with grief and life events. My research is focused on cognitive impairments and pathogens in relation to Dementia as well as treatment for those with Alzheimer's. As a practitioner, my work is a holistic endeavor and healing involves the mind, body, and spirit.
Alzheimer's affects over 55 mill people today, and double, or triple, that figure for the loved ones and caregivers. The financial burden far exceeds in the billions and much of that is solely based on the non-salaried caregiver's financial stress. Only approximately 35% are salaried, that is, working in facilities and homes, and are certified. To care for your Mother, Father, Husband, Wife, caregivers only need 35+ hours to be certified to care for your dying loved one. As I have seen firsthand, that is unacceptable by any standard, and State revisions must be made. I am working with organizations currently to amend these requirements. By the time Alzheimer's is detected, most patients are in latter stages, but because they are newly seen by a doctor, they are often (OFTEN) misdiagnosed with stage one dementia. Current testing is not sufficient. Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains a mystery to doctors in spite of the research and the pathogen discoveries. It cannot be stopped and there is no cure today! I do not accept this nor do many other scientists that are seeking enlightenment into cures and solutions for Alzheimer's.
Within my blogs, I will do my best to keep abreast of current research and link all relevant papers. There is much research being done globally and there is great momentum right now in this field of study. I will also explore Alzheimer's with topics as Caregiving; Research; Holistic Care; Preventative measures; Self-care ideas; Cognition; and many other areas within this field. As I learn about new trends and topics, I will share all with you. I am collaborating on a few publications as well and will keep you updated with any articles.
I welcome emails and ideas for postings, or any questions relating to Alzheimer's Disease. Stories relating to your experience with Alzheimer's are greatly appreciated. If you would also like to have your story be a part of our book, please contact me.
Thank you for following! Together we will find holistic approaches for mind, body and spirit.
"Never to be squandered, the beauty of another human being"