Friday, November 14, 2014

What's love got to do with it?

When a person with Alzheimer's is sick it is quite a bit like an infant that can speak.  In the late stages they truly have no understanding of what is wrong.  They just know they need help and that they are afraid but thy don't know why.  They don't even know who is comforting them.  I do believe they instinctively know when they are loved.  An infant has no understanding of a mother but they instinctively know she can calm them.  They feel a bond.

When my grandma was sick I would rub her head and talk with her.  She felt so sick yet she says softly "Thank you, thank you, that feels so good, that feels so good, thank you."  What else could I do but love her and comfort her.  I tell her she has a bad cough but she'll be okay, nothing, but just letting her know that she is cared for and loved.  They are human beings in need of the most primal necessities, they know when they are not alone.  Remember, their memory won't remember what you are doing for them but their body remembers.

Before grandma lived with us we read the book "Love and Survival" by Dr. Dean Ornish.
We had read quite a few of his books in the past, mostly regarding health and diet, but this book was all about the power of Love and Intimacy.  It is a wonderful eyeopening book .... I'd like to share a couple quotes:

"Love, promotes survival.  Both nurturing and being nurtured are life affirming.  Anything that takes you outside of ourself promotes healing---in profound ways that can be measured---independent of other known factors such as diet and exercise."

"The simple act of touching someone is a powerful way to begin healing loneliness and isolation.  While the most important benefits of touching may be beyond measurement, some can be observed and studied".

Love without restraint....touch them; rub lotion on their skin, hold their hand, brush their hair, paint their nails...just touch them.  It really does make a difference.