Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Glimpse into Caregiving

This is Alzheimer's: I'm upstairs to dry mom's hair after her bath and she starts putting hand lotion on her face. No mom! That's hand lotion silly! We giggle and start chit chatting. Two minutes later it is smeared on her face.....Mom! No! That is hand cream!!! Her witty response, well shit-I knew something wasn't working. We break out into hysterical laughter. Caregiving is heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. We are Steel Magnolias and laughter through tears is our favorite emotion.

I posted the above picture and text on facebook and could not believe the responses I received. I wish I could do a post a week like this but in all honesty I know that my friends on social media probably grow tired of my constant Alzheimer's posts and requests for donations. I completely understand which is why I try to use some restraint. But I wanted to also post it here so that I could share it with several of the organizations I work with. Neither of us have on make-up or are styled for this picture, it was just a moment that I knew I would always want to remember. I wish I had pictures of all of these happier ALZ moments.

Blondes vs Brunettes Team Photo 2013 photo via Robert Christopher

My friend Robert Christopher is a very talented photographer and spends quite a bit of time photographing events for the Alzheimer's Association here in Charlotte. I first met him during the Blondes vs Brunettes Flag Football activities in 2013, and worked with him again this spring while on the committee for the Queen's Cup Steeplechase. 
Queen's Cup Steeplechase Save the Date Party photo via Robert Christopher

He is beginning a Caregiver Portrait Series that I would love love love to make happen for my family but if it works for yours please contact him! He wants to capture moments similar to the one I posted (but obviously not a selfie with an iPhone). He does this out of the love in his heart for his Father who passed from Alzheimer's. 

And because Caregiver's are the ones who carry the stress and heartache the most, here are some tips for those of you out there who have been tasked with such an important and trying position.


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