November is National Caregivers Month

November is National Caregivers Month. We can start early. Together we can make a difference.

Adopt A Caregiver, be a friend. Listen to the caregivers who are lonely, depressed, and wondering what is going to happen next in their lives. Evey day is a struggle. Emotions can run high, and there is no outlet.

We can help. A friend is somene who does not judge, who listens, who is there. A simple hello does wonders for morale. Especially now that winter is on it’s way.

My brochures came today, and they are beautiful. Thank you Allison. I’m giving them out, trying to reach as many people as possible. Spreading the word, one person at a time. The seeds are taking root.

Comments about Behind the Mask, my secret journal, come in regularly. I started my new book, Adopt A Caregiver, and I’m using as many stories and comments as I can. They are so important. No one understands until they stand in the caregivers shoes.

We must lift the stigma from Alzheimer’s Disease. We must remember that it is the disease talking, not the person. One of the problems is they look the same, dress the same, walk the same, but they are not the same. Sometimes they don’t even make sense. And asking the same questions every few minutes, well, we would all lose patience. It takes courage and compassion to be a caregiver. Lets try to help them, those who are so busy caring for others, they have no time for themselves.

Let do it before November’s National Caregivers Month.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Courage, Community, Compassion

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, and I was thinking about courage. There are all kinds of courage, but I was thinking about the time we, my sister and I, had to put our parents into a nursing home. It took the courage of our convictions to do it. My sister didn’t agree at first, and that created some guilt on my part. But she soon realized that I was right. I was also twelve years older than she was.

Courage was cleaning out the apartment. The personal belongings of a parent; papers and things from their desk, going through the closets and the closed drawers. It was heartbreaking to see how little was left inside those closed doors and drawers.

Where were the letters and pictures? Why did Mom throw all of them out? To make it easier for us? To make it easier on the grandchildren who loved them? Dealing with the grandkids took a quiet courage.

And then there was the courage to pull the plug. My father had already died, and my mother had no lungs left. She was on life support, couldn’t talk, we couldn’t get close enough to give her a hug, all we could do was hold her hand. It seemed to me her eyes were pleading for us to let her go. We talked to the lung doctor and there was nothing they were able to do.

Yet, when all is said and done, we know we did the right thing, and yes, it took courage.

When my husband was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and we had to keep this news a secret because he still worked and they insisted we not say anything. So we didn’t say anything.

It took all my courage tp write my guts out on paper in that secret journal. Who could I talk to except the paper? Seven years later the diagnosis was changed, and I showed my husband that secret journal. He said I had to publish it. It took courage for me to do it. But do it I did, and the rewards are now coming in.

My book, Behind The Mask, shows the courage and also the compassion for the new caregiver. My thoughts are their thoughts. I am so glad I took off my Mask. The comments are so heartwrenching and heartwarming at the same time.

And now since the book came out, I decided that I want everyone to adopt a caregiver. Older people have courage, dreams and wisdom.

I have a vision for the future. Committment to the community we live in. Find a caregiver, give her your support, write her an email, ask how she is doing, and mean it. Tell her/him you can listen, you have compassion and the courage to do this.

Now my courage comes from within myself. I know where I’m going and with everyone’s help my Adopt A Caregiver will be everywhere There are already many people helping me, planting the seeds.

Remember there is nothing to join, no dues to pay, no committment to anyone but yourself.

Support the caregiver, you too have courage, compassion and community within yourself.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Every Caregivers Book

Behind The Mask is every caregivers book. It expresses all the feelings that caregiver have, but never talk about.

That’s why I want everyone to adopt a caregiver. I don’t want caregivers feeling alone, depressed, and thinking no one knows what they are going through.

I was asked today about finding a caregiver to adopt. Easy, do you know someone in your neighborhood? In your church or synagogue? Ask your doctor if he knows someone. One on one we can show caregivers that they are not alone, that someone does care and is willing to write an email once a week and just listen.

It will do you as much good as it does them. The lessons learned are invaluable. It takes courage to be a caregiver for Alzheimer’s Disease, or any disease for that matter. Let him/her know you are listening. It only takes a few minutes of your time.

I am so glad that I was able to take off my mask.

One on one we can make a diference.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Inspiration To Adopt A Caregiver

Behind The Mask is receiving many more interesting comments. Like, “Why didn’t you ever tell me you felt that way. I did not know.”

Truth is Alzheimer’s caregivers show a lot of courage facing this disease. They don’t want to burden anyone else, while they are overburdened themselves. I wish I could tell caregivers to write in a journal, I do think it helped me get through this very painful period of my life.  Behind The Mask is that secret journal, and I poured all my emotions into it. I felt the darkness like a cave, and I couldn’t claw my way out to the top where the light shined through. It was a devastating time for both of us.

While my heart cries for caregivers, I also salute their courage and their ability to smile for the world to see.  When you watch someone you love who looks the same, walks the same, but isn’t the same, you just go through the motions of life.

If you adopt a caregiver, you will be giving something back, and doing something wonderful for the caregiver. You listen, you don’t judge, you help this person smile when they don’t have anything to smile about. My four adopted caregivers are very vocal about how much they appreciate what I am doing. And it makes me feel like I am doing something for them.

One on one, we can make a difference, with a little help.

I hope I’ve inspired you to adopt a caregiver;  your life will never be the same.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Behind The Mask is available, signed, from my website.