Cataract Surgery

Yes, my husband needs cataract surgery. The doctor wants it done soon. So, August 8th is the date.

I just need new glasses, as my eyes have really changed. I’m grateful that I can read, write, see, drive, and do anything with my eyes that I want. I feel so bad for people with low vision. Missing the spectacular colors of nature, the people you love whose faces are blurred, I have empathy.

You need to stand in someone’s shoes and feel their emotions and then have empathy for them. Listen to what they are saying, really listen, without interrupting.

Especially to caregivers. Their work is never over. Some of them can’t get out to a support group. All it takes is an email to a new caregiver in you community. Be a friend, listen, don’t judge, have empathy, it’s a wonderful way to give something back. The caregivers need anything we can help them with.

Don’t know what it’s like to stand in the caregivers shoes? Read Behind The Mask by Helene Moore. It’s my secret journal that I finally published after they changed my husbands diagnois from Alzheimer’s Disease to Age Associated Memory Impairment. I never expected to let others see my writing, I put my guts into it, but if it helps someone it was the right thing to do.

My book, Behind The Mask, has helped people. Believe me, I have written thank you’s about how it helped others. That means so much to me.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Caregivers: Live In Their Reality

One of the most valuable pieces of information I received after my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease was: You will have to live in his reality.

Those were the truest words I heard. I still tell caregivers that same advice. I know how hard it is, and yet, it’s also simple.

I was talking to one of my caregiver friends and we talked about it, and she said, “It doesn’t always work, but it’s still good information.”

Caregivers, you are my heroes. No one else can or would do the job you do 24/7. How I admire you and your tenacity, your ability to carry on. That’s not to say you never get depressed, or feel like you are all alone, and no one understands. They don’t. It’s that simple. Unless you actually stand in someone’s shoes you don’t know how they feel, or what they are going through.

I think that’s one reason I finally decided to publish my secret journal. To show others what it feels like, the thoughts and emotions going through a new caregiver’s mind. Now, I’m so glad I did publish it.

Tomorrow I’m speaking at the Henderson Senior Center, and I’m looking forward to it. They are the greatest bunch of people, giving, caring and open. The kind of heroes no one talks about. They are always behind the lines.

After that we are meeting old friends from Howard’s hometown of Baltimore, MD for lunch, what a treat that will be. I don’t think we’ve seen them in decades. A chance encounter with their daughter who works here and we found out we knew her parents. What a small world.

As this year is coming to an end, I feel blessed in all that I have accomplished. I publsihed my book, Behind The Mask, so people could stand in the caregivers shoes and know what it feels like, and hopefully that will inspire them to go out and Adopt A Caregiver. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow night.

Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

A Spiritual Quest

Something that I wrote while I was a caregiver for my husband who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1993, and the doctor changed that diagnosis seven years later. As I look back over this writing, I realize it still resonates with me and my new journey.

“Once upon a time I embarked on a spiritual quest. It was a long and arduous journey as I was swept along the sea of change, riding the waves and learning the tides.

When the tide was out, I encountered the demons of the sea, when the tides were in I was sheltered and calm, unafraid.

I am looking at the future. I see hope ahead, but I also see devastation. Life will continue and we will continue to have hope. A round robin to be sure, but with calmness and courage and dignity and laughter, the stormy seas will again be calm.”

November is National Caregivers Month, and my new journey is to have everyone Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that last forever and costs nothing. Find someone in your community who is a caregiver, and become their friend. Encouage them to talk, to journal, to get those revolving emotions out.

Give something back, it’s so easy to Adopt A Caregiver. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Emotions

This is something I wrote during the time my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

“My emotions are on a crazy roller coaster and I’m spinning round and round. My vibes are whirling questions at me that I don’t want to answer. Climbing up to the top of the hill, a winding long road round and round the mountain.

Getting to the top takes courage and humor, vulnerability slows me down, but I keep climbing up and around, stepping into holes and on stones, slowing me down but I am determined to persevere.   One step up and falling down two, doesn’t matter, not important, just keep going, keep moving, keep breathing, only winners get to the top.

What is waiting for me at the top? I’ll never know unless I keep putting one foot in front of the other. And after I finally make it to the top, then I can tell you (others) about the journey.”

That was written years ago. My husband’s diagnosis was changed after seven years. I showed him my secret journal and later published it as Behind The Mask. It shows every emotion a caregiver goes through.

Now I’m on another journey. Adopt A Caregiver. I want caregivers to have support, friends to talk to. Journals to vent into. I want people to remember to ask not only how is the patient, but “How are you!”

Caregivers can feel trapped, no place to turn to. Help them out, support them, give something back. It costs nothing to send an email. Every community has caregivers. Find one and adopt a caregiver. This is my journey.

November is National Caregivers’ Month.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Adopt A Caregiver Mission Statement

The most important things in my life are my family and friends; my passion for writing, reading and knitting; and my self respect.

My book Behind The Mask is a caregivers secret journey showing the emotions churning through me each new day.

Alzheimer’s Disease is not contagious, yet the caregivers are usually left alone without the support of friends and neighbors.

Adopt A Caregiver is my unique way of giving back, all you have to do is check your neighborhood, your social clubs, church, synagogue, your doctor’s office, the Alzheimer’s caregivers message boards, and the Mayo Clinic message boards.

Then go Adopt A Caregiver.

Just send an email to the person who needs a friend, listen and come back once a week to check on your caregiver, letting him/her know you care, and will listen without judging.

Give something back.

Adopt A Caregiver.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene