Observations of Life

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What if life flowed along with tranquility, like a beautiful arrangement of music, or a rippling stream of water, or an eagle in flight?  We can all make that happen.

Life is the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual.  To exist is to continue to be, to have life or the function of vitality.

When your mentality disappears, and there is no vitality as you function in life, what does this mean?  I think of those with dementia.  They are disappearing mentally, they do not function with vitality in their existence.  Does life cease if you cannot be that total productive, normal functioning human being?  After all Life is – The period of birth to death.

I noticed when I was a caregiver that people acted as if those with dementia did not exist.  How sad!  The person with dementia was still alive, still in their body, and still functioning to an extent.  Yet, people acted as if they were afraid of this person with dementia.  They actually acted as if they were afraid to treat them as a human being. After all dementia means you cease to exist.  Right?

I knew as a caregiver that my loved one was still there.  My brother does not know me anymore, but I know how much he still means to me.  I know I love this person who is afflicted with dementia.  I watched my loved one suffer when others ignored him.  Those with dementia can not express themselves as society expects.  Those with dementia do not understand why others shun them.  How does it feel to stand on the edge of a group of people and never be included in the conversation?  I know how I would feel, I would feel shunned and left out.  I saw my loved one with dementia: cry, suffer, become more disoriented and confused.  I saw the sorrow.  I saw their existence as a human being discarded by other people who chose to classify them as an unessential, non-existent human being.  A human being that was dispensable, and unimportant as a person.

Some feel the person with dementia is void of essence.  Essence being the most significant element, quality, or aspect of a human being.

I tried to help my brother, tried to fill the void in his life.  Caregivers try to physically and mentally help those in their care.  I tried to protect my loved one from those that turned their backs and acted as if he was not present.

You see, those with dementia dislike their caregivers, become angry with their caregivers, do the opposite of what the caregiver ask of them.  Why?  A caregiver has to assume the role of a parent who is helping a child.  Remember how your children act when you try to direct them.  A caregiver is doing what they think is best, but to those with dementia you are simply trying to rule their lives.  They think they are quite capable of ruling their own lives, after all, they always made their own decisions.  A caregiver tries to be their friend, but they do not want you ordering them around and they stop talking to you and avoid you.  They actually begin to hate their caregiver.

Those who come in contact with a person with dementia need to step up and treat them as if they were normal human beings.  This eliminates the stress in the person with dementia and also in the caregiver. The concept of how you treat someone with dementia also holds true of how to treat any person with mental or physical disabilities. Society has the habit of ignoring or scorning anyone who they consider inferior or different.

Help those who need help, help those caregivers who feel overwhelmed.  I have shed many tears watching how others dealt with my brother.  I have learned many life lessons from my experience with dementia.  I have never shunned or turned from a person with any disability, my Mother instilled that asset in me.  Mom would always tell me, I was not better than any other person on this earth.  I know that I am not better, we are all equal.

There are a lot of cruel, uncaring people in society.  I also know there are large numbers of good caring people on this earth.  I know many of my fellow bloggers truly care and would help in any way they could.  I thank all of you, who step up to the plate, and help others when you see someone who needs help.  God bless you.


10 thoughts on “Observations of Life

  1. I can’t imagine what your brother must feel like. I didn’t know much about dementia before this (I also just researched it to learn more). You’re a strong person to love so much through such a hard time!! People do need to take more time to be caring and understanding toward others

  2. This brought tears so raw and true for me, my mum feels isolated at times and has told me in the past people think what she has is catching. The dementia is progressing sadly but your words and insight really make sense. My parents have joined a Alzheimer’s group carers and sufferer’s meeting once a week, sometimes difficult for my dad to persuade her to go but once they are there she’s shines, talks has fun, she feels safe accepted.
    I truly believe we have been brought together in friendship to help each other. Thank you for this reminder, a wonderful heartfelt post.
    Times ahead for us with my mum will soon reach difficult discussions and routes you know too well. I appreciate your honesty and help. 🙂

  3. My husband went to see my brother yesterday, he has slipped further into dementia, so sad. My heart goes out to you and your father, the road ahead is not pleasant. Yes I value you as a friend. I think we help each other because we are dealing with many of the same issues.

  4. Thank you so much. Dementia is touching more people each day and has become an epidemic. The sadness involved with dementia is overwhelming for famiies. Everyone on this earth needs to be more kind to others.

  5. Debra says:

    Thanks for reminding us to be compassionate. I am sure part of the reason people with dementia can be unreasonable is that they are trapped in an unreasonable situation. It must be especially fearful for them at teh beginning when they realize what is happening and so sad for caregivers as they reach the last stages. But they are people who need our love.

  6. True about compassion. Those with dementia deny they have it at the beginning. They say something is wrong with all of the rest of us. Mid-stage they are not suffering, they do not know what is happening. The caregivers suffer much more than those with dementia. Plaque that builds on the arteries in the brain destroys the brain.

  7. Reblogged this on Merry Hearts Medicine and commented:
    ME! ME! ME! It’s all about ME!

    With or without realizing it, I may be living my life with a “ME attitude.”

    Concerning interactions with others, Lizzie puts it this way: “Society has the habit of ignoring or scorning anyone who they consider inferior or different.”

    In her blog called “Helping Others,” Lizzie wrote about our interactions with people with dementia and their caregivers, but the principle is applicable to our relationships with anyone we meet.

    There’s a world of people around me, many of whom are hurting, and all who are equal in value to ME! That being the case, I would do well to quit focusing on ME and seek out what compassionate, loving actions can I take to brighten someone’s day.

    I hope you will take the time to read her post and do a little self-examination because we’re all in this life together, and relationships truly are what makes life worthwhile.

  8. Thank you. Well said. Do not shun others. You never know if one kind word from you may change someone’s life for the better. There are lots of lonely people that get ignored everyday.

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