I had taken care of my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. Shortly after my father passed away nearly 11 years ago from this disease, my mother was diagnosed too. I was devastated when the doctor told me and I knew what lay ahead. I was determined to do everything I could to slow down this disease and give my mother the best quality of life that I could.
After my mother was diagnosed I quickly had her move in with me. I learned about all the programs that were available for people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and enrolled my mom in an adult day program that was available in my area. At first she fought me to go but within a few weeks she looked forward to it.
At first she went one day a week but I soon realized that it was not enough as I found she was sleeping through most of the days, causing her to be more confused and not sleeping through the nights. However, within a few months she was going seven days a week. She loved it, spending time with other people doing crafts, playing various games and having a nutritious meal at lunchtime. She was even sleeping through the night, which was a blessing. The doctors were amazed on how well she was doing and told me to continue doing on what I was doing as her memory loss was progressing very slowly.
I encourage anyone who is caring for a family member or friend living with this disease to look into the different programs their area has to offer. Contact your local Community Care Access Centre or Alzheimer Society for help with finding a program in your area.
I was very lucky to be able to care for my mother at home for nine years. Sadly, last January my mom had to move into a nursing home due to other health issues, but I am thankful for the time I had with her.