Confusion, fear, bewilderment, doubt. - these are just a few of the issues that go to destroy the life of the victim of Alzheimer’s disease.
This simple exercise will hopefully help you to understand, in a very small way, what these dear afflicted ones endure on a regular basis.
1. Make a list of fifteen activities that you enjoy doing.
Perhaps visiting with friends will be on your list... and shopping! Let’s not forget shopping! Perhaps you enjoy taking the occasional road trip, or going on a cruise to some distant and exotic island. Maybe you enjoy fishing, camping, or photography.
You get the idea!
And how about those dream activities, too - like sky diving, or going to Pamplona, Spain to run with the bulls, or what about swimming with the sharks? (Oh yeah, sorry. This is your list, isn’t it?)
Okay, go ahead now and make your list. I'll wait.
2. Now that you have listed 15 thing that you enjoy doing, I want you to eliminate 10 of the items from your list. Just pick 10 randomly and cross them off.
You have 5 left.
3. Now subtract 3 of your favorite activities from the 5.
What?! Yeah. Remember all of those 15 things that you enjoy doing? Of the initial 15 favorite activities and dreams, you now have 2 left.
Maybe of those 2, going on an occasional cruise is one of them... and of course shopping; lets not forget shopping!
But no, wait!
4. Due to the disease, the doctor rules out the idea of a cruise. And shopping? Forget it. Again, due to the disease, you no longer have control of your money.
Okay, I'll let you go back to your original list, and pick 5 different ones to keep instead. Maybe those will work out better.
How about fishing and hiking?
5. Sorry, no, fishing is out. You might fall into the water and drown. And no more hiking because you might forget where you were going.
Well... I think maybe now you might be getting the idea of it. A very small idea, but a truer reality for so so many.
A lifetime of independence takes wings and flys out the window.
And such is Alzheimer's Disease.
Dear heavenly Father...dear Lord God... help each of us to be compassionate and understanding to one another’s needs. Help us to love as you love, to care as you care, and to show love to all your children no matter the situation. We love you, and we thank you, in Jesus' name we ask it, Amen
Editor's Note: Alzheimer’s. Dementia. Such a diagnosis creates fear and apprehension in the hearts of families whose loved one has received it. What to do? Where to turn? Author Charles Towne had such fears and questions as he faced the long-term prospect of his wife’s illness. Through 20 years of caregiving, he found answers. If you would like to learn more, be encouraged, comforted, and inspired, check out his book Love Cares . Through short vignettes, Towne details his journey. With honesty and humor, he draws you in as he navigates his challenging life, always relying on Papa God to carry him through the tough times.
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