Sunday, September 27, 2009


I have been pondering the power of communication and isolation. A friend who works in a smaller district told me how isolated she feels; she even shared; "I hardly ever get emails so I never know what is going on elsewhere."

After hearing that I realized I get lots of email at my job and home. I even get email from our car. My husband and I recently bought a new Equinox, it is set up to run self checking diagnostics monthly and then to send me an email explaining the diagnostic results. I feel pretty connected and supported.

That wasn't always the case when I was my Mother's care giver. I often felt very isolated and alone wondering how to best care for my mother and how to maintain myself despite depression and at times feeling overwhelmed.

I was very fortunate to have a very supportive family and a supportive group of friends. I had access to caregivers and respite when I was at work and when I needed to attend workshops and training; as well as occasional nights out.

The resources available on line are abundant; the quality of information out in cyberspace is very good. I would encourage everyone to either investigate an on-line support group or a support group in the community where they live. Many care givers do not have internet access and many others are not computer savy. For these care givers having a community support group can be a real life saver.

Support group members are great sources for real life solutions to common problems. Just being able to talk to others who are experiencing the same problems you are can be very reassuring.

The individual experiencing Alzheimer's is also feeling isolated and frustrated with communicating. Naomi Feil in her book Validation Therapy, Jolene Brackey and her book Creating Moments of Joy as well as many others offer some very sound ways to communicate with your loved one.

When my Mom felt understood and felt included her behavior and moods were more positive. Virginia Bell and David Troxel in their best friends model for dementia care share that most of all people with dementia need a best friend. I think everyone needs a best friend.

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