How a Loved One’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Can Effect You As a Caregiver

Even though Alzheimer’s disease does little to effect its victims physically, it is undoubtedly one of the most painful diseases you could ever imagine both mentally and emotionally. With no known cure, Alzheimer’s worsens as it progresses until eventually, it takes your life. While early signs may be mistaken for simple old age or stress, symptoms slowly become more pronounced through confusion, long-term memory loss, trouble speaking clearly, irritability and so forth. As absolutely devastating as it is for a person to live with Alzheimer’s, it is equally if not more difficult for loved ones to watch them go through it knowing there is nothing they can do to help them.

Most often, it is the children or spouses of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease who take on the role of caregiver. While they (understandably) want to be the ones who are there to care for their loved one, it’s an incredible weight to bear. One of the most honest and telling displays of this can be seen through the story of Pam White and her husband, Ed.

After being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2009 at age 61, Pam’s cognitive function gradually began to decline, eventually coming to a point where she could not perform everyday tasks on her own. Over the course of four years, Pam and Ed’s filmmaker son, Banker White compiled footage of his conversations with his parents about his mother’s worsening state and how it has changed their lives.

In discussing this powerful documentary, Banker said, “My dad cried in every interview. Then he would get embarrassed and say, ‘Don’t use that.’ But he was so overwhelmed with caregiving duties, how else was he going to find the space to grieve, to have moments where he could admit how much he misses and loves her? It was emotionally cathartic.”

Nobody sees what caregiving is like up close,” he added. It’s all behind closed doors. It’s a thankless job.”

Hiring someone to help with some of the caregiving duties does not mean that you are abandoning your responsibilities as a child, spouse, sister, brother, friend, whatever. It just means that you want to hold onto those titles that tie you together; husband and wife; mother and son; patient and caregiver can be all too much for many, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Watch a snippet of Banker White’s painfully honest documentary below, and when it comes time to ask for help, give Your Own Home LLC a call and allow our professional caregivers to help take some of the weight off of your shoulders.