At some point, many caregivers speak of their lives entering a “new normal.” I believe what they’re referring to is entering a time when normal refers to uncertainty, unpredictably and transitions — lots of them.
Transitions are developments triggered by change — a change that must then be incorporated into one’s life. For caregivers, this transition might be the addition of a new responsibility, loss of personal time and independence, or a change in a relationship that once offered security.
Carol is a beautiful woman I know. She’s creative, intelligent and ambitious. She’s a passionate advocate for enhancing the lives of Minnesota families impacted by Alzheimer’s. During a recent conversation, Carol shared with me that the most difficult thing about being a caregiver to her husband with young-onset Alzheimer’s is all of the transitions you go through.
“Even though you can be mentally prepared and realize that the change is coming, you’re never emotionally prepared when it happens. Every time a big transition occurs I cry, mourn the loss, and then roll up my sleeves and figure out what changes I need to make for the new normal,” Carol said.
She described how some transitions are predictable, while others are unforeseen and likely to go unnoticed by those not directly walking this journey. What follows are some of the transitions Carol experienced. If you’re a caregiver, I suspect a couple of these will resonate deeply with you.
The changes before the diagnosis
It’s not very often that we think of a momentous transition happening before a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is made. Click here to read the rest of the story.
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