Imagine feeling off, feeling as if you have forgotten something. Knowing that you should know where to go, what to do, who is around you and why things are happening…but you don’t. Imagine knowing that something is wrong, but not being able to put your finger on just what. Imagine looking in a loved one’s eyes and seeing their pity, because you can’t remember their name.
When you look at someone with dementia, they seem the same as everyone else. At first, they comb their hair the same, drive their car the same and even do their checkbook the same, but slowly this disease steals their ability to recognize traffic, to calculate numbers in their head or even on a calculator and their desire to look their best.
In some cases, this disease ‘pickpockets’ the memories that are held most dear, but leaves behind the traumas and insecurities of life. It may choose to leave their traits of laughter and social grace, but ‘shoplifts’ judgment and personality, leaving those they loved feeling mugged and alone, but still in the physical midst of a beloved stranger.
Dementia does not discriminate in how it burglarizes the individual mind or our community as a whole. It affects grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, spouses, grandchildren, friends, neighbors and the list goes on. Currently 1 in 3 people know someone with memory loss. It is not a matter of who has been stolen from, but how many times this violation has occurred to someone they love.
A caregiver for someone with memory loss can easily feel victimized by this disease. They wonder why me? Why them? Why now? But just as with all adversity it is how we come together to address it that helps us overcome. Dementia is not a thief we can overpower on our own. It is a disease that demands that we come together to fight. To battle for those memories which are not lost because of age, but because a disease named dementia steals them from us and those we love.
Join Team Azura Memory Care as we participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s throughout Wisconsin. The goal of the Walk is to raise money to help support the educational and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. If you are unable join us, please consider making a donation at www.alz.org/walk. With your help we can put this thief behind bars and End Alzheimer’s.