Alzheimer’s Robbed Us of Our Ability to Communicate

Their communication and way of relating to one another changed – abruptly, over night. It was as if their ability to effectively communicate was taken away. While she knew and understood the changes that were being caused by her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease, her mother couldn’t understand what was transpiring.

When her mother would act out or say mean things, she felt anger, frustration, and agitation. It’s extremely difficult to come to the understanding that the meanness and craziness are a symptom of the disease.

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For some, it takes years to fully adjust and come to an understanding that Alzheimer’s is the cause of the behavior.

“It is almost impossible to explain to someone how difficult this adjustment can be. How difficult? It took me years. Years while I was trying to do it day after day after day. Every day,” she said.

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She had to change because her mother couldn’t. She had to find a way to get into Alzheimer’s World, instead of trying to drag her back into the real world.

There worlds looked like this before her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s:

“My mother had her life. I had my life. Our lives clearly intersected and we had all of our shared experiences stored in the intersection of the two circles. “

They had an understanding and frame of reference that was developed over their entire lives. They knew each other very well and could deal with each other.

After Alzheimer’s struck, this is what their life looked like.

It felt as if they were two new and different people. They had to start over and get to know each other once again.

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She had to find a way to accept and deal with her mother’s new found behaviors. Behaviors that were at times impossible to understand. The challenge was to learn how to accept rather than becoming angry, frustrated, confused, and worked up.

You can either walk away and hand the problem to someone else, or learn how to love and care for someone that will test you at every turn.

After choosing to learn to be with her mother her world looked like this:

The yellow section is the intersection of her mother’s world (red circle), and my her world (green circle).

She calls the yellow intersection, Alzheimer’s World

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