After the diagnosis, what happens next? I was caring from a distance and I was so busy dealing with the new situations that were constantly arising I had no time to find out some of the facts which admittedly were less accessible in 2000 than they are now.
However I think the question of having an awareness of the facts is a more complex issue.
- The reality is that spouses are often elderly themselves and barely coping with the day-to-day problems that are arising. Their children are often living at a distance with busy lives themselves and have little time to do more than deal with the immediate challenges.
- Information availability: now all the information is available on-line but one sometimes has to search for it.
- Desire to know: many people faced with the depressing prospect of this illness may not want to know at this early stage, preferring to let things unfold.
I think it may be a combination of these factors that keep people in the dark.
Knowing what I know now I think it is better to be aware of the big picture at the beginning. For example I didn’t know that there were seven stages that defined Alzheimer’s, what they were, what to look out for and where my mother was on this continuum. I didn’t know how long each stage was likely to last. As a consequence I felt I was always one step behind, desperately trying to catch up and fearing what was round the corner. Although information is freely available many people still find themselves in the position I was in.
Is it fear for knowing what lies ahead?
About the Author: Maggie La Tourelle is a writer, holistic therapist and teacher, based in London, UK. She has worked in the field of holistic healthcare for thirty years as a practitioner, teacher and writer integrating psychotherapy, NLP, kinesiology, and healing. She also has ten years hands-on experience helping to care for both her parents at the end of their lives. She has written and contributed to a number of books and articles and has lectured at some of the UK’s leading universities. Her book Principles of Kinesiology continues to be a worldwide classic. Although living in London, Maggie remains close to her Scottish roots and, having originally trained as an art teacher, enjoys designing and making things in her spare time.
Maggie La Tourelle
The Gift of Alzheimer’s
Available from Watkins Publishing
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