My blog today is in follow-up to my blog on March 14, 2015. I love to use the term care partners instead of of caregivers. I feel that my team of care partners consists of my wife (as director of the team), my physician, myself, my family and any other persons involved in my overall care. Care partners are helping hands and hearts. I love care partners, and I know they are doing the best they can under the circumstances that are taking place. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I was my mom and dad's primary care partner. My sister lived six hours away and would come about four to six times each year and stay for several days each time. Dad died at age seventy-nine as a result of a stroke that affected the brain stem. Mom lived until age ninety. The last three years of her life were very difficult for her, my sister and myself. I have Lewy body dementia (LBD), and the roller coaster ride started early in my disease process. Mom never experienced a roller coaster ride during her fifteen year journey with Alzheimer's. It was a slow and steady decline.
My passion is in helping persons with dementia (PWD) understand their disease and helping care partners have a better understanding of dementia and the tools that might help all parties involved have better outcomes. I spend a lot of time, using my healthcare knowledge and pharmacy education to find solutions to a dysfunctional healthcare system. In my pharmacy practice, my patients would come to me or my daughter and ask us to help them navigate their own healthcare because no one else was doing it. Our healthcare system continues to fail us and especially in the arena of dementia care. Dementia cost were estimated in 2013 to be 203 Billion dollars annually. Teepa Snow, the world renowned expert in dementia education, does an incredible job with her videos and live educational seminars. Her videos can be found on Amazon. Our society and especially our government have failed to provide much needed education and resources that would most likely decrease the cost burden that is occurring in dementia care and diminish the number of families that are breaking up as a result of dementia being involved.
The thoughts that I am sharing today are the result of my mom and dad both having dementia, and my being their primary care partner. Now I have LBD and I see first-hand through a different set of lenses what the care partner is experiencing. It breaks my heart when I think about the impact of my disease on my family. My family does does NOT deserve what they currently experience or what may take place in the future. My family is strong, cohesive and are all on the same game plan. Unfortunately, every family does not have this. Coupling my experiences together with my family's experiences has given me new insights. Also, I practiced pharmacy for forty-two years.
Caregivers Are Helping Hands And Hearts - Tomorrow - Part 2
©2015 Robert Bowles
Robert Bowles, Jr.