My dad has Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home now. It’s pains me every day knowing he is there, but there really isn’t much I can do about it. I tried everything I could to keep him at home, but ultimately, the choice was taken out of our hands when he got Shingles and had to be hospitalized earlier this year. From the hospital, we decided to put him in nursing care. He fell several times at home and was acting erratically. He would wake up in the middle of the night and start wandering around. Once he got sick, we decided it was best to have professionals take care of him. That probably saved his life.
When I look back at it, I know that stress was a major contributing factor to his condition. 2008/2009 was a particularly stressful year for my parents (and me too). They ran into major financial troubles and family issues (which I won’t go into out of respect for those involved). I was unemployed and happened to be the only one that could provide a solution, so I decided to care for them full time. Once he was diagnosed in 2009 with this disease, I learned everything I could about Alzheimers. I came to the conclusion that stress was a major contributing factor. My dad was never very good with handling stress and anxiety anyways.
To make sure it never happens to me, I started looking for a different approach to life and found a lot of new ideas I could incorporate – meditation, living in the present, doing what you love, smiling regardless of the outcome, getting out of GOOP (good opinions of other people) and more.
I have a much better balance to life now. Do I have everything I want? Not yet, but I approach things differently now. And I’m mindful of stress-inducing people and situations. I don’t avoid stress – you never can. I just react differently to it now.
If you have aging parents, please don’t hand them life changing stressful life changes. Everyone has a good chance of getting Alzheimers and I can tell you from first hand experience that the primary issue in Alzheimers stems from diet. Inflammation inducing foods like non-organic meats, toxins, oils, and unrefined sugars and wheat are the major culprits. I don’t drink pop, don’t use oil in cooking, and remove stressful people wherever I can.
I know our parents are supposed to teach us and show us the way. I just never expected to learn it like this.