A Surprising Conclusion
Having written a new chapter, A Positive Way Forward, for my book I was surprised at the conclusion I came to. After weeks of work that culminated in 25 pages and 5,000 words, as I was writing the conclusions and had an aha moment.
A Positive Way Forward is a practical guide that brings knowledge and understanding about Alzheimer’s to families, carers, health care professionals and educators. It covers a wide range of subjects and draws on my personal experience, recent research in neuroscience, information from medical and non-medical sources and Alzheimer’s organisations.
Here is a quick preview of the subjects covered which I hope you will find interesting.
Facts About Alzheimer’s: What is Alzheimer’s? Symptoms and stages of Alzheimer’s.
Core Care Conditions: Wellbeing, connecting, presence, compassion and love, trusted companion and validation.
Communication: Meaningful Communication, non-verbal communication, empathy, emotional contagion, touch, verbal communication, directness, thoughts and memory and subtle energy.
Memory and Emotions: Memory, emotional Memory, changing emotional landscape and healing the past.
The Brain: Repetition, fixating, oblivious to errors, misperception of time, misperception of age and intermittent disruption.
Altered States of Consciousness: Lucidity and Other Worlds.
Other Core Care Provision: Creative activities, outings, exercises, hydration, treatment and remedies.
Caring for Yourself
Guided Visualization Exercises
Conclusion – so what was my conclusion?
It is our emotions, our feelings, that give meaning to our lives and this is no different for people with Alzheimer’s. Although their physical bodies and parts of their brain are deteriorating their emotions live on. This means people with Alzheimer’s can stay connected to people and the world through feelings, right to the end of their lives.
We can help them do this in a number of ways: by ensuring they feel safe and are well cared for, by being fully present and loving with them, by being emotionally engaged with them, by providing opportunities for creative expression though which they can express their emotions.
These things not only enhance their lives but they enhance ours lives too. So this is not only A Positive Way Forward for people with Alzheimer’s, it is a positive way forward for us. But in order for us to move forward we probably need to change. We need to become more present, more emotionally honest, and more direct in our communication with others. In truth, we need to be more like our loved ones.