Catching Hope

Catching Hope

I have a dream catcher in my office. I love the beauty of it, but I’m not sure of the success rate. I believe in dreams, and encourage others to dream. Sometimes, instead of dreaming just hoping for things is the best I can do.

One of the things I hope for is a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. I know that when a cure is found, it won’t affect my mother. I see how far medical science has come. The advancement in the treatment of any number of diseases is impressive. However, if you or someone you love is the one affected, medical science is not moving fast enough.

Scientific research dealing with Alzheimer’s is, of course, ongoing. The Alzheimer’s Association website (Alzheimer’s.org) keeps track of new medical testing and clinical trials of new medication. There are now TV commercials in prime time about new medications. But, again, if you are in the middle of it, nothing is moving fast enough.

Almost everyone knows someone with cancer or has lost someone to cancer. Alzheimer’s disease is quickly becoming very commonplace. In a recent Ask Amy column, (Los Angeles Times, Friday, March 6, 2015) Amy Dickinson responded to a readers question by saying, in part, “An estimated 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s; by midcentury that number is expected to triple.”

The number of people with Alzheimer’s is one thing, the number of caregivers is another. The cost of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient, either in a facility or at home, with professional caregivers or family and friends, is outrageous. I don’t have the figures, but the financial amount is in the millions. Then there is the emotional toll, on everyone. Everyone that is but perhaps the one who has Alzheimer’s.

At a certain point, my mother was not aware of having any medical issues. That was good news for me, she didn’t feel angry at the world, or at me. I know some people with Alzheimer’s who have a great deal of anger directed at anyone or anything. They know something is wrong with them, but haven’t any idea as to what it is.

I was very lucky with my mother. She was, most often, very nice. She had her moments of anger, but those passed quickly. She was easy to be around, considering she didn’t always know me, or who I was to her. But those are the moments you have when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. There is no dream catcher that can handle that for you.

Right now, the only thing I can do is hope. I hope those dear friends I have that are dealing with a loved one who is suffering can find the strength to go on. I hope, if they need me, I am able of offer what I can, be it time, errand-running, or just an ear to listen. And of course, I hope for a cure. Right now, the world has a lot of ills. Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s won’t made the world perfect, but it will be better. I can only hope.

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