My Dad—a retired pastor—has Alzheimer’s disease.  I first wrote about our family’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease in the August 14 blog

[click here].  Now, further along the road less traveled, a few lessons have been learned that are worth sharing.

1. Believing the disease is easily managed is wishful thinking.  “Beyond natural reactions to the disease, a family may experience high levels of stress.  Up to 50 percent of caregivers experience significant psychological distress, including depressions.  Caregiver stress can present serious health and psychological problems.  The stress of caregiving eventually causes stress in other areas of life.  Those family members who are not involved in primary caregiving also experience effects as a result of a loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease.” Click here to read 

2. Caring for Alzheimer’s patients is an expensive proposition.  Eventually, the primary caregiver (usually a spouse) will “reach the end of her rope” and supplemental care will be sought.  This is an expensive proposition that adds up quite rapidly.  Moreover, good caregiving is hard to find.  A family must know its financial capacity to bear the cost. Click here to read

3. Preparing in advance for end-of-life care is important.  The loved one’s health eventually will decline, making the body more susceptible to life-threatening illness.  Education about comfort, or palliative care, is a must.  A family must be prepared to discuss with the physician the full range of care options. It may be the family who initiates those conversations. Click here to read


And in case you missed itclick here to read last week’s blog post which focuses on the shale gas revolution.

We hope you enjoy reading these articles along with us and hope you find them informative.  Please forward this to your family and friends.

J. Mark Nickell & Co.

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