What I Learn From You

Every day I learn something new, mostly from people who email me or contact me in some way. I know how my caregiver friends are feeling, and I wish I could change some of what they are going through. They are mostly alone, or feel like they are alone.

I am speaking at the Henderson Senior Center on Tuesday morning, and I am counting on some of their seniors to come to the rescue of some of the caregivers I hear from. That’s the way Adopt A Caregiver works, one on one, so they can become friends. someone to share with, someone they know who does care.

I will start speaking to groups again, and word of mouth works for me. It’s potent, and the seeds get planted.

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.

Thanks For Giving

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing.

How?

Adopt A Caregiver! Do you have any idea how much an email will be appreciated. That someone cares about them, is thinking of them. How easy it would be to do nothing.  But, think about the caregiver, someone who is there 24/7 doing whatever they have to do, usually alone most of the time. If the patient has been sick a long time, most of their friends have left, their kids are grown with their own families, and no one calls or visits.

What does it take to send an email. Or to make a phone call? Or to send a card? Or flowers? Or give a gift certificate from your social club for a massage, a haircut, or a lunch out with some friends. This is Thanksgiving week. Please think about my Adopt A Caregiver program. Please think about the caregivers in your community. They are there! Stand in their shoes for a moment in time.

Then go out and Adopt A Caregiver. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

I am leaving in the morning to see my children and grandchildren in California. Hopefully I will be able to write from their house. If not I will be home on Saturday.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And remember that word of mouth is potent. Please help me plant my Adopt A Caregiver seeds to one and all.

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

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

Word Of Mouth

Adopt A Caregiver:

Word of mouth is potent. If I can plant a seed and watch it grow, it will be worthwhile.

One person can make a difference; with a little bit of help. We can’t wipe away all the tears from the caregivers faces, but we can do something to show we care. We can listen. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Remember that caregivers are men, women, and children. Don’t forget the kids. They are starting to go back to school now, and if they are caregivers or caregivers helpers, they think no one understands what they are going through, and they keep it all inside. Do not leave them alone in their misery.

I know men who are dressing their wives, who have learned how to put makeup on for them, and sometimes they even spritz some perfume on just because they know their wives or mothers or grandmothers like the smell.

Remind caregivers to take care of themselves. Send and email, tell them you are here to listen, to let them vent, send them a list of things you could do for them. An email, or a card goes a long ways to making a caregiver smile.

If you want to Adopt A Caregiver, call the local Alzheimer’s support group in your neighborhood, tell them about Adopt A Caregiver, ask them to let  you adopt one. Or go to the Mayo Clinic, or the Alzheimer’s Association, the Cancer  website, remember a caregiver is a caregiver. They need our help and support. They are too tired, to depressed to go out to support group themselves, especially if they can’t find someone to sit with the patient.

My book Behind The Mask, is every new caregivers story.

Lauren Kessler’s book, Finding Life in the Land of Alzheimer’s looks at life in an Alzheimer’s facility. It’s a marvelous  book, a different perspective. A great gift, something to read and ponder, to talk about at book groups. I loved it and I learned so much from her story. Thank you Lauren Kessler.

When I start my new book, Adopt A Caregiver, do you want me to post some portions of my story here? Let me know, send me an email, or comment at the end of this blog.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I try to get the word out about my Adopt A Caregiver program.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Behind TheMask by Helene Moore

This is the first page of my book Behind The Mask.

“The Victim

The diagnosis is in. In the blink of an eye I become a caregiver. I am the one in charge, caring for someone who no longer can care for himself. The more he deteriorates the harder I will have to work, not only physically but to hide my emotions as well. To stuff away in a trunk all my tears, feelings, anger and hurt; not to be opened until we re separated by death. Then, and only then, will I be able to acknowledge what all caregivers know.

The death sentence for Alzheimer’s Disease is for two people. One is a prisoner of his mind, and the other is a prisoner of his soul.

I refuse to be a victim. I reject wallowing in self-pity or mournful depression. Instead I celebrate life with my family and my friends and vow to be fully alive in the moment.

The Reprieve

Seven years later, God’s plans have changed. I am no longer climbing that steep winding mountain. The disease has either slowed down or never materialized.

The strength of the mountain is within me. I am walking on level ground with peace and happiness and love.

I can handle whatever comes next with God’s help.”

What comes next is Adopt a Caregiver. I decided this is my new mountain to climb, my new road to travel. One person can make a difference, with a little bit of help. I am starting to get that help. Thank you.

If I planted a seed, it is growing.  Word of mouth is potent.

Let’s wipe away all the caregivers tears.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene