Alzheimer’s Acceptance: Blog 5 – Final Conclusion

Hello and Welcome to the final blog in The Alzheimer’s Acceptance series!

This blog is going to be a conclusion to the series and is going to wrap up some of the key points that we have talked about. I originally planned to make this series longer than what it is going to be by talking about different techniques that I have used to manage the stress and obstacles faced however I think it will be better to do in a different series.

As I have discussed in the previous blogs in this series acceptance is a word that can have a million definitions. Its difficulty can fluctuate based on the situation, the people involved and the environment in which it takes place. It is advised that to fully accept an entity/obstacle one must break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

I have really enjoyed writing the blogs in this series. Although the series can be seen as quite sad and emotionally based it is also a series that I felt like I needed to do. Writing in this harsh reality style is a good way to portray some stories which people are usually too scared or not comfortable in talking about.

Accepting Alzheimer’s is one of the hardest things that I have had to do in life and in all honesty, it is not something that you fully understand until you are in the position where you have to do it. I had read so many stories about it before going through it myself and had never once expected that it was going to be as hard as it was to do.

If you do ever find yourself in this position and need support, please do reach out. No matter how hard or how much you are suffering, there will always be someone there to help and support you. Please do not go through this alone, people can help you more than you may know at first.

Thank you for reading! If any of you have any questions about this series or any of my other blogs, please contact me. All feedback is listened too and appreciated!

James Sweeney

Alzheimer’s Acceptance: Blog 3 – Personal Alzheimer’s Story

Hello and Welcome to Sweeny’s Blogs!

This is the third blog in my Alzheimer’s Acceptance Series, My Alzheimer’s Story.

Today’s blog is going to be based around a story that I have written about the first time my grandmother forgot who I was. The story is quite a sad story but provides a real insight into the realisation for how Alzheimer’s can affect everybody’s lives.

The story is only on its draft phase at the minute so there might be changes added to it in the near future. Even though the story does take quite a sad and bleak narrative it is an excellent story to read. It is a very personal story that was quite hard to write.

You can view the story here: Alzheimer’s story

Thank you for reading! I know this blog is shorter than others but the story itself is very long and took a long time to write. Hope you all enjoy this weeks blog, if you do have any comments or feedback please let me know! If you have any questions or queries please get in touch and I will do my best to answer them all.

James Sweeney

Alzheimer’s Acceptance: Blog 2 – The Term Accept/Acceptance

The term ‘acceptance’ is used a lot in day-to-day conversations, but do we really know what it means? Is accepting Alzheimer’s an easy task to do? How do I accept that Alzheimer’s is now in my life? Today’s Alzheimer’s Acceptance blog looks at the answers to these questions and more!

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

This blog is going to discuss the definitions of the terms accept and acceptance. In the blog, I aim to discuss what these phrases mean, how they relate to Alzheimer’s, the effect that they can have on both our Mental and Physical Health and about how even though the words are only short words, their definitions carry with them much larger impacts on everyone.

The words Accept and Acceptance are words used almost instinctively in day to day life. Usually, when you use the word you don’t really think about it as a complex word, a word with a deeper meaning in some instances. This can be the case with numerous words. Their original definition may seem easy to comprehend however if you look deeper into the meaning it can lead to questioning the majority of what you already know.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Acceptance as an “agreement with or belief in an idea or explanation”.This definition seems very easy to understand and digest. However, it is not always that simple. When it comes to Alzheimer’s and similar illnesses such as dementia the word Acceptance can have a much more of an impact and an insightful meaning.

In my experience Accepting Alzheimer’s was an incredibly hard thing to do. I didn’t know what to even try to think of first let alone try to understand certain parts. Do I accept that my grandmother, one of the most influential people in my life, will never be the same? Do I accept that I will slowly have to watch my grandmothers memories fade away? For all of the secrets that I told her to become non-important?

It was these questions that revolved around my head on a daily basis. I found myself asking questions such as Why My Grandmother? What has she done to deserve this? Will she forget me? How will I move on with that? These questions almost seemed impossible to answer in my eyes at the time. I could barely sleep which led to me getting even more frustrated with these questions.

The interesting thing with acceptance, however, is that you can break it down to very small pieces and work your way up from there. You slowly begin to accept that even though the grandmother, friend or relative that you know will never be the same person again, they are still there. There is still a piece of the person there, no matter how small it may seem to be.

You slowly learn your own way of how to accept these small milestones and you work forward from there. In order to maximize the quality of life for the person who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, you need to fully accept the condition, no matter how impossible it may seem.

The way that I learnt to accept the fact that my grandmother had Alzheimer’s was by putting my mind purely on creating my Alzheimer’s Awareness website Don’t Forget Me: http://www.dontforgetme.org.uk. I needed a way to channel my emotions into something with a meaning. A resource I could use to help others who were going through similar experiences, a way to create a community around this horrible illness.

The motto/slogan for Don’t Forget Me came from here: For every memory lost, another is formed. This was the slogan that I used to fully complete and comprehend my grandmother’s condition. I understood and accepted the fact that even though the grandmother I knew all of my life was going to slowly disappear in front of my eyes. I learnt to try and make newer better memories to try and replace the memories that have been lost or forgotten.

Thank you so much for reading this week’s blog for Alzheimer’s Acceptance. This blog was an interesting one to write as it allowed me to link in my own personal experience alongside a method of how I coped. As with every blog I post all feedback is greatly appreciated, please message me what you think. If you have any queries or questions please get in touch.

I understand this is a longer blog than usual so I want to say a big thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the next blog!

James

Acceptance isn't always paper-thin, sometimes it's like climbing a neverending staircase - James Sweeney