Dear Family Caregiver,
I salute you! You are one in a million! Wait – NO – make that one in about 15.7 million in the United States who provide support and care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
September is set aside as “World Alzheimer’s Month,” and September 21 as “World Alzheimer’s Day.” Alzheimer’s organizations around the world concentrate their public relations efforts this month to raise awareness and encourage a better understanding of Alzheimer’s and dementia. About forty to fifty percent of people living with the disease are never diagnosed.
I saw a Facebook “Minion Quote” (Despicable Me Minions.org) that said, “Sometime I just want someone to hug me and say, ‘I know it’s hard. You’re going to be okay. Here’s a coffee and five million dollars.’” Sorry, I don’t have coffee and money to give you, but I would like to give you a big hug through the internet! Thank you for your dedication, love, and compassionate care!
You and your loved one have first-hand experience what it’s like to live with the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association estimated that 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care were given last year by family and friends who support those diagnosed with the disease. About seventy-five percent of you provide this care at home. Oftentimes your efforts go unappreciated and unseen by family members and friends.
“We can ask ourselves daily what we have done to make the world a better place, to make someone smile, to help someone to feel more secure, etc. It’s the simple things which have the greatest effect. We must never underestimate the strength of a smile or act of kindness,” noted Dr. Leo Buscaglia, famous author, professor, and motivational speaker who passed away in 1998.
Thank you for your daily efforts to help make your corner of the world a better place for you and your loved ones! Thank you for your selfless and courageous love!
* * *
To hear Dr. Leo Buscaglia talk about courageous love, a five minute segment of his “Speaking of Love” series, go to: https://youtu.be/0Tpsg0scod4.
* * *
For more facts and figures, please check out the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers Fact Sheet, March, 2015: http://act.alz.org/site/DocServer/caregivers_fact_sheet.pdf?docID=3022
* * *
For more information on World Alzheimer’s Month and World Alzheimer’s Day, please go to: http://www.alz.co.uk/world-alzheimers-month
* * *
For a 9.5 minute meditation on “Loving Kindness,” please go to: http://marc.ucla.edu/mpeg/05_Loving_Kindness_Meditation.mp3