I walk for all the husbands who, like me, are loving and caring for their wives who will never be the same.
Together, we Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and individually, each of us is on a personal walk with this disease every day. My journey has taught me many things — mostly patience.
Patience for the changes your loved one is going through, and how to constantly adjust to the “new normal” that your life becomes. Patience before you open your mouth to say something, knowing that you now have to find a completely new way of relating to this person you love. And knowing that the solution to a situation you discovered earlier in the day my not work as well even a few hours later.
Just like with a race, it’s about going the distance – – and that takes strength. Physical strength to carry through with whatever is needed, and emotional strength to deal with the inevitable ups and downs that you, your loved one, and your family go through.
And like in a relay, there’s the point where you need to pass the baton to others to carry things forward. I am truly blessed, in that I have a lot of help from caregivers and my family. Their assistance helps to sustain my strength.
While my race is mostly run at home, my son and daughters also help carry the torch for me by participating in the Walk To End Alzheimer’s. One of my daughters is a marathon runner, so she strongly carries my hopes with her at this event. And our retirement community, Atlantic Shores, also bands together with a huge team to participate every year.
People need to know about this disease and find ways to get their questions answered, and how to find support. In the Tidewater area, we are blessed with a fantastic Alzheimer’s Association. Their website was a wealth of information for me, and is a fantastic source for anyone searching for resources.
Whether we actually participate in the Walk, or simply support it financially, we are all striving to reach the end of the race — a cure for this devastating disease.
Resident, Atlantic Shores Retirement Community