Our Facebook friends, Compassion for the Elderly shared one of their friends with us. Her name is Barbara Taylor Vaughan. She is 89 and in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. She started a Facebook page to help chronicle her illness and put a face on Alzheimer’s. She hopes educating others will inspire them to volunteer to help ease the suffering of those with the disease, families, caregivers. In her bio she writes,
“Hello buddies, this is my new page. It is a page about my alzheimers, about my daughters MS, just what happens around our house daily. I wanted to start out by saying that I have early alzheimers. I was diagnosed almost a year ago. People will tell me and my daughter, I dont agree with your doctor you seem fine. Then Missy will show them a video of one of my alzheimer days. When I get brave enough, and we all get to know it other better, I will have her post one of them here.
My alzheimers started with me not being able to balance my checkbook, misplacing things, for me that is very unusual. Then other things, names, happenings. Now, I have days that I do not recognize my daughter, I will be fine and all of a sudden want to go home, I will tell her to call my parents to come get me, I dont remember any of this, but have seen it on video, all I remember is confusion, and what I call my alzheimer sadness.
I think that alzheimers is terrible, you lose yourself, but most of all I think it is hardest for your closest family. When I think that my daughter has to watch me lose myself, and not know her it hurts me worse than the disease itself. My daughter is 58 and has MS, her biggest fear with MS is having to have someone take care of her, bathing her, taking her to the bathroom, wearing adult diapers, a wheelchair, not driving, she is living her worst fear by taking care of me. She is seeing first hand what might happen to her with her MS.
Sometimes I think that is why she has so much patience with me, she realizes she doesnt have a Missy, that is her name Melissa, to take care of her like I do. She has a wonderful partner Mike, they have been together 29 years. He is the true saint in our home. Anyway, just wanted to get going on here…I want all of you to volunteer if you can. I talk alot about volunteering in nursing homes, but also, if you know someone that is taking care of an alzheimers patient at home, bake them some food, call and make arrangements for them to take a break, even if it is for them to take a nap….tell them you are there, and dont just tell them you are there….be there!
Her compassion and humor are an inspiration. You can subscribe to her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barbara-Taylor-VaughanAUTHOR/198891276863829.
We think this a great resource for patients and family. Share on. Bravo Barbara.