“Hopefully it was the Alzheimer’s talking.” I just read a very moving post and can so relate to being demeaned, belittled and insulted by the person we are caregiving for. I know when my husband was experiencing “chemo brain,” out of nowhere, a comment would come at me that was so hurtful it felt like a punch to the gut, and knocked all the air out of me. I wanted to yell and scream, “Can’t you see how much I’m doing for you? My whole life is on hold. I’m here for you 24/7 for you and you don’t appreciate it. It hurts me so much when you’re mean. I don’t deserve it.” Alzheimer’s, chemo brain, drug side effects and more can make a patient do and say things they might otherwise “censor,” but there is no censor any more—there’s no self-control. It took some time, but once I understood chemo brain (after sharing with other caregivers who had gone through the same thing), and had processed “It’s not him talking,” I was able to move on and care for him with love. There are so many of us going through this; the feeling of having the wind knocked out of you, and you’re right— it’s just not fair. But, it’s just one more thing we need to let go of and understand it’s out of our control. Sad but true. We’re here to listen to all of you Alzheimers caregivers. You’re not alone.

Written by Adrienne Gruberg
Adrienne Gruberg is a former family caregiver and founder of The Caregiver Space. After six years of caring for her late husband and mother-in-law she conceived of an online support space all caregivers could come to. Adrienne holds a BFA from Boston University. She founded AYA Creative in 1982, an award winning graphic design, marketing and advertising company. Her design training has helped shape the website and her personal and professional experience continues to inform and influence the caregiver centric support experience she has created at The Caregiver Space.

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