Monday, November 3, 2014

What we all have within ourselves

We realize that dementia/Alzheimer's symptoms are as varied as the people that have them.  So every response or treatment must also be unique, but the three things that will carry you a long way are; love, patience, and trying to meet them where they are.  The list of what an elderly person requires may seem overwhelming and endless but what they need above all else is what we all have within ourselves.

An irony is that as we feel they are losing their human qualities (the traits that allow them/us to function in society) I would argue that our truest human qualities, the qualities that we all share are being laid bare.  There are many groups raising money for a cure and in labs all over the world their are people seeking cures.  We hope someone finds a cure....but today lets celebrate caregiving and recognize our highest essence.  I am not expecting a cure for the human condition, our essence. When dementia/Alzheimer's is cured, caregiving will continue.  It represents what is best in us.  We are "hard-wired for care" (David Korden).  Focusing on the simplest tasks when everything falls away, we still have the need and desire to connect and care for.

In the big picture; aliments and disease will come and go, but the need for care will always be with us. When  we speak of the transforming power of care, it  not about us becoming something other than who we are, but actually the transformation takes place by us fully recognizing our truest nature. I argue that aspect of ourselves, our humanity, can only be reached with the skeleton key of care taking or empathy or Altruistic acts.