Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 5 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Carolyn A. Brent whose bookWhy Wait? The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Preparing Emotionally, Financially and Legally for a Parent’s Death launches on Amazon on Tuesday November 15, 2011.
Author Carolyn A. Brent, M.B.A. is a former clinical educational manager in the pharmaceutical industry. She is an avid activist and advocate working with the U.S. Congress for the purpose of creating change to protect seniors and veterans from financial and medical abuse. She has appeared on many local and national TV and radio shows, and is a sought-after keynote speaker.
Should people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease share their dementia diagnosis with family, friends, coworkers and employers? Certainly there are pros and cons to be carefully weighed when faced with a terminal illness having a negative social stigma attached to it, one of vulnerability, weakness and outright fear. After all, no one wants to deal with the cognitive decline and eventual death sentence of a loved one or acquaintance.
Disadvantages of disclosing an Alzheimer’s diagnosis might include jeopardizing a person’s job or alienating them from those ignorant about the disease. On the other hand, benefits of disclosure include bringing more awareness of the disease to the general public, generating additional support from the community, and finding inner acceptance that might pave the way for helpful treatment options to slow the progression of the disease while improving the quality of precious time that is left. Continue reading →
I read a great article in my local newspaper today written by a teenager named David Marshall who helps take care of his grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I just wanted to say “bravo” to this young man for compassionately offering to help his parents care for an afflicted member of their family. This is a difficult job requiring a great deal of sacrifice, and this young man is learning important lessons that will stay with him for the rest of his life, as he has already discovered.
Living with an older person with Alzheimer’s has changed the way I look at aging and at the responsibilities we have in regard for our parents and grandparents.
I just read an interesting article from the New York Times called “They Can’t Go Home Again” by Paula Span discussing how strained family relationships can negatively impact caregiving for elderly parents. I personally know how difficult it can be to overcome the roles siblings have adopted over the entire life of a family when it comes time to take care of an aging parent: the competent child resentfully shoulders the bulk of the burden, the slacker child avoids any responsibility or obligation, the hostile child criticizes every decision to pick a fight, the long-distance child bemoans the fact they are too far away to do anything . Every member of the family naturally falls right back into the same old dysfunctional patterns they tried to overcome as adults out on their own, making it incredibly difficult to work together for the greater good of a parent in need. Continue reading →
After recently discussing my own family’s genetic vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease, I’ve just come across another moving story about the Vincent family of Massachusetts that illustrates Alzheimer’s disease is a family affair. It is an emotional article that brought tears to my eyes, a difficult feat for a person who has witnessed the devastation of Alzheimer’s close up already.
Bruce Vincent is only forty-eight years old and has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, the same disease that claimed the lives of both his mother and grandfather at unusually early ages. That is three generations of the family who have all fought a losing battle with this incurable illness, and Bruce’s three children make a fourth generation now left questioning their own future and the future of any children they might bring into this world, a yet unborn fifth generation. Continue reading →