Debbie Mandel, a stress management expert, discusses the important lessons that a care giver should know when they are taking care of a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It is important to remember to enjoy the everyday little blessings that you share, and find to happiness in everything that you do. "Carpe diem," seize the moment and the day, because the moment is all that we have.
Debbie: With any disease that you are taking care, don't look at what you once had. You have to be in the now. Things have changed, so we tend to bemoan and say, "why me?" That's not going to be productive, what will be productive is to say, "look what I have." So when my mother had Alzheimer's, and she didn't know who I was, I knew that we still had something special that I wanted to share; she took my hand, and she smiled; she couldn't say my name, but she was there. In viscerally we knew one another, and I felt so lucky and so blessed, and that helped me to become more creative and more passionate about my daily existence. You have to seize happiness, and happiness is about interpretation. I learned something so important from Alzheimer's that every care giver should learn, it's a disease that forces you to let go. When you let go, you're in the moment, and the moment is all we have. One moment could be bad, and the next moment could be better. That's what's wonderful about what Alzheimer's taught me. I shut my cell phone, and I was there.
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