Before Yesterday Becomes Today…We spend loads of time reading and researching new ways to be healthy. The intent seems to be in extending life with preserving a high quality existence. Essential oils, nutritional choices as the Paleo diet, vegetarianism, pescatarianism and yet many other methods we implement to preserve our good health. Is it enough?
What happens when despite our best efforts disease strikes? We question the betrayal of our bodies or the effectiveness of our methodology. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dementia are said to be hereditary. Are they really?
Environmental exposures to heavy metals is shown to cause cognitive decline in recent scientific studies by damaging brain cells. Current strategies used to detoxify patients are showing promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease, along with other dementias. Poor diet and obesity are known contributory factors to heart disease and diabetes. Correcting nutrition as a preventative action for both conditions and treatment for overall wellness is a newer practice.
What happens when despite our best efforts disease invades our lives and attempts to rob us of our future? Getting older increases the chances of developing fragility and loss of normal body functioning. Dementia is one of the most devastating conditions. Most of its victims are lost in the past, along with collateral damage to spouses, children, income, hopes and dreams.
As a primary caregiver to a parent with a cognitive decline, it is common to experience isolation and hopelessness. The thought of losing a loved one is unimaginable. To have a loved one that remains physically alive but cognitively impaired enduring brief windows of their former self requires a great capacity of hope, love, patience, planning, flexibility and selflessness.
Think of parenting your children, limit setting, safeguards in your home. Imagine your parent calling you dad or mom. To them and you time goes into reverse. As I think about this situation it strikes me as ironic that not only is time reverting cognitively for loved ones with this condition, but so does life. The smaller the social circle, and support system progress becomes regression.
Think about families with best made plans to retire. Selling your home and retiring somewhere warm and sunny. College funding for adult children along with retirement investing for maintaining your relaxed lifestyle. Without proper estate planning dementia related conditions can halt these strategies. The need for constant supervision, in-home or institutionalization can deplete any budget.
Stress is the number one factor in disease. The stress of losing independence coupled with the caregiving tasks that increase as conditions worsen risk the overall well-being of all concerned. Plan now for methods of spiritual wellbeing. Burning, diffusing essential oils like lavender, frankincense, eucalyptus, peppermint, orange or other relaxation inducing oils can restore balance and reduce stress. Exercising can help both de-escalate stress, mentally and physically. Create new memories as personality and behaviors change. Take care of both of you, by maintaining balance with baths using bath crystals with dead sea salts, infused with or without essential oils for aromatic therapy designed for mental and physical release and relaxation. Seek out wellness treatment plans with natural remedies for sleep, reduction of anxiety.
Think of the experience this way, we now have a chance to have a do over as yesterday is becoming today, but this time we are prepared.
Dedicated to all families surviving daily with dementia….