Thursday, April 14, 2011

When Mom or Dad Doesn't Know You Anymore

One of the hardest things about dementia is when Mom or Dad doesn't know you anymore. It doesn't matter that you've read The 36-Hour Day, or go to the local Alzheimer's symposium every year; it's just hard.

My Dad didn't have Alzheimer's, but at the end of his life, in the advanced stages of pancreatic cancer, he did not recognize me the last time I saw him alive. There is just no way to prepare for the first time that happens.

I just found a brand-new blog, My Father Doesn't Know Me Anymore, that addresses the many complex feelings that come with caring for a loved one with dementia. Finding the blog was accidental--I was looking at Katten & Benson's website statistics on Wordpress, and saw that we had been linked to on this blog. I followed the link out of curiosity, not sure what I'd find.

It turns out that the author is a client's daughter. I have worked with her and her father for about three years. As Lucy says in the blog, we have been through some ups and downs, but what relationship, even a professional one, doesn't have ups and downs? Lucy says some nice things about me and Steve Katten, the attorney I work for, but what I appreciate most about Lucy's blog is her honesty. She tells you what it is like to be a caregiver--the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

Lucy and her sister are some of the fiercest advocates for a parent I have ever met, and they are truly inspiring. I plan to read Lucy's blog on a regular basis, and I hope you do, too.

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