We live in a world which has proven to us that life can be lived based on your expectations. Your expectations, not those of others. And it applies just as much for Alzheimer’s disease. The general perception of people who have Alzheimer’s is that their lives are lost to them, that they will live in permanent pain, that they will go mad and there is nothing they can do about it.
But it is not like that. Giving in to despair is the easiest way and it is the way of cowards. While Alzheimer’s is indeed a terrible disease, people can put an end to their own misery and live a happy life despite its effects. Life is over when you draw your last breath and there is no point in dying way before your dying hour.
Anybody’s first reactions are normal. You can be depressed, you can cry and shout at god for making you or your loved ones having to go through it, but lingering in vengeful thoughts or negativity is not the way. Alzheimer’s, like any other aspect of life, is what you want it to be. If you want it to be your damnation, it will, but if you have the will to live, it will not stop you.
And this is not only a motivational, “please read me” text. It is something that experts also agre with. In several books written by experts, they too agree that Alzheimer’s, while it is difficult to cope with, cannot rob the patient of his their own life force. There is joy even after Alzheimer’s.
Virgina Bell and David Troxel, both Alzheimer’s experts, have written in The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care that the “tragic side” of the disease is way overrated and it gives room to victimization and a lower standard of care. Teepa Snow, also a well-known Alzheimer’s expert, agrees that people who are deep in dementia can enjoy life if the proper care is accorded.
So if you are reading this right now, wherever you are, know that this is not the end. If either you or someone you know has to face this cruel disease, be at their side, but not sad or mad. Be joyful, live your life, experience it to the fullest because this is not the end and there is a long a beautiful journey ahead of you.
And don’t apply this only to Alzheimer’s. Apply it to anything. The majority of your life is not what happens to you, or to others. It is how you react to what’s happening.
Photo Credits dailygazette.com