There are many different diseases that can cause different types of dementia. My dad's condition resulted from surgery, while Mom's developed more subtly—the type they used to call "senile dementia." Now it is called "organic brain disease." Whatever the type, Alzheimer's disease, vascular, Pick's disease, Parkinson's-related, or just plain "organic brain syndrome," it is painful for the caregiver. Sometimes the pain is so raw and isolating that the caregivers become more ill than those they are caring for. Statistics vary, but upward of thirty percent of caregivers die before the people they are caring for. Some of those are adult children, lonely, depressed, isolated, frustrated, and often torn by guilt. These caregivers can develop cancer, commit suicide, or have heart problems and other ill health that can likely be traced to the stress of caring for their loved ones.
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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