The Journal was my Journey

My secret journal was my journey. When my husband was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease I started my secret journal. Seven years later, when they changed the diagnosis I shoed him the journal, and he said, “Publish this.”

I finally did several more years later and now I’m embarked on a new journey. Starting with my own community I want everyone to Adopt A Caregiver. That is my vision for the future. Too many caregivers are alone and depressed. People call and ask, “How is the patient today?” Does anyone ask how you are doing?

One by one by word of mouth, which is so potent, I am planting the seed. Adopt A Caregiver and it is going to grow and spread with your help.

My vision for the future is to wipe away all the caregivers tears.

Every community can do this. Read my book, Behind The Mask, see what it feels like to be a new caregiver. Then and only then will you know how to be compassionate. Send an email, encourage caregivers to write in a journal to get their feelings out. Send them a journal with a bright colored pen, tell them to vent. Be a friend, listen, care, that’s all I ask.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

We Adopted Each Other

I spent a large portion of my time today looking over emails I had saved since 1993. When my husband was suddenly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and we were strongly advised by the Alzheimer’s Association and UCI to keep the diagnosis a secret, I felt I had no one to talk to. I didn’t want to burden my kids, I figured they would see it for themselves soon enough, and they had their own families to take care of.

I started looking in the message boards of the Alzheimer’s Association, and for days I just looked and read the messages. Then one day, out of the blue, I saw a message that said, “I need a hug.” Oh God, I thought, I needed a hug too. So I started writing to my new friend.

As I reread most of those messages this afternoon, I realized how much we needed each other, and yes, how much we helped each other. It was a blessing the day she came into my life. I know she feels the same way. We talked through our problems, our tears, and our future, or lack of one. The caregiver is also a victim.

I was the lucky one, seven years later, they changed my husband’s diagnosis, but my friend is still struggling with her life, as her husband is still here. What will happen to her? I wonder. I care.

I published my secret journal, Behind The Mask, and realized my story is every caregivers story. So now, I’m devoting the rest of my life to this new journey. I’d love to wipe away all the caregivers tears. That’s not possible, but it is possible for everyone to Adopt A Caregiver.Every community has caregivers, you can find them with no problem. Ask at church, in your community, find a caregivers group and tell them you want to adopt a caregiver. Tell them about my plan, my book, my journey. Together, one by one, we can make this happen.

Word of mouth is so potent, one person tells one person, and the seed is planted and spreads. Thank you all for your support and help. It is truly amazing what one person can do; with a little bit of help.

I cried today, reading those old emails..I’m still crying for you Bajha. I love you.

Keep love and kisses in you life. Helene

A Few Days Off

Visiting our kids and granchildren for a couple of days. Will post something on Sunday night.

The Henderson Senior Center has adopted my cause. I am going to be speaking to them on Tuesday afternoon, and am looking forward to telling them about my new journey, Adopt A Caregiver.

Loved Sarah Palin’s speech, it is time for change.

Granddaughter Allison is busy working on new brochures for me, hopefully in a couple of weeks i will have them. I want to give them out at my speaking engagements, but also to doctors, churches, synagogues, hospices, hospitals, and anyone who will take them. Thank you Allison for all your hard work and beautiful finished products, the book cover, business cards, bookmarks, and now brochures.

Everyone take care, and think about my plan to adopt a caregiver. It would mean so much to someone in pain who is lonely and possibly can’t or doesn’t want to go out.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

My Good Fortune Today

Today I had the good fortune of meeting with people who think that Adopt A Caregiver is a wonderful and worthwhile idea.  They have promised to help me in any way they can, and I thank the from the bottom of my heart.

Even if we can’t wipe away all the caregivers tears, we can make a difference in their lives.

Someone who read my book called her friend and said, “I never knew how much you were hurting, why didn’t you tell me?”

Another said, “I have a caregiver I write to, but since I’ve read your book, I know I have to do more, and I will.”

One person can make a difference, as I’ve said before, with a little bit of help. It looks like I’m going to get some of that help. Thank you.

To those who came to my house today, I want you to know how grateful I am for this chance, and to tell you that I am not only dedicated to this new journey of mine, but I am loyal to those who have stepped up to the plate, and said, “We will help you.”  I will not forget you.

Word of mouth is potent, lets get my word out for Adopt A Caregiver. Lets plant that seed and watch it grow.

Keep love and kisses in you life. Helene

My New Journey

My new journey is Adopt A Caregiver. This too, will be an uphill battle, but with your help it will get easier.

My old journey was devastating, when my husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease and we had to keep it a secret.  That seven year journey as I clawed my way out from the desolate darkness back to the magic and miracles in my life, as I learned that love and kisses do heal. And God has his own plans.

That is one reason I self published my book, Behind The Mask, so others could stand in my shoes and understand caregivers feelings. Then, they could go out and Adopt A Caregiver.

Call support group leaders, tell them about my Adopt A Caregiver program, they can give you some names of people who would want to be adopted. They need your help and support.

Give something back, talk about it, get the word out. It does not take much time to write an email, or send a joke.  Make someone smile, let them vent. Let the tears flow.

Caregivers keep their emotions inside, they save their tears for later. They don’t want to talk about it. They also don’t want to be left all alone. Imagine how they feel, especially the younger ones with early onset, they still know what is going on, they understand how their brain feels like a sieve, everything going in at the top, and sifting out through the bottom.That is what my husband always said.

But Alzheimer’s Disease is not contagious. Please help those who are so busy caring for others they have no time to care for themselves.

Adopt A Caregiver.

Word of mouth is potent, let others know about this worthwhile program.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene