This week we celebrated World Alzheimer’s Day. It almost got by me. I have been preoccupied with several caregiving tasks for my loved one with dementia and for my elderly father (91 years old this year). Just as soon as I thought I had time to breathe and work on my own projects, life interrupted.
I was checking my Instagram when I realized it was a day to recognized all types of dementia and our caregivers. The current pandemic and elections takes up most of the newsfeed. ALZ day might have been mentioned but I did not hear it. I have stopped watching most of the news, limiting it only to short updates and receive updates primarily via the radio rather than television. With radio I don’t have the visual nor the extra news fields running on top and bottom of the screens.
Yes, I can miss important news as it is happening but I limit it to help me manage my own anxiety. I eventually catch up and I can always search via the internet on demand. I find it difficult to check the weather channel without the newsfeed so I use a phone app.
I am watching my elderly father decline faster over the past several months. He is saddened and disheartened by the news. This from a man that lived through the depression, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He can’t understand the needless shootings and mayhem in our country, especially from children.
The isolation to keep him safe from the COVID-19 virus it also accelerating his decline. As I write this the US has lost more than 200,000 lives to the virus and some of them were his friends.
Until recently he would wake up everyday and say “yes, I woke up and I have another day”.
He no longer has that thought.
One can say that it is age and I partially agree but it is not the way I want to see my dad live his remaining time. I want him to hear some good news for a change. I have suggested he not watch the news. But that is not going to happen. He grew up listening to the radio, reading newspapers and then television. It is his link to the world. He wants to know what is going on. To him it is not “fake news”. These are real deaths and suffering.
I try and keep him distracted. I do not discuss the news and do my best to redirect the conversation when he brings it up and shows signs of distress. Some days it is easier to do than others.
I consider myself an optimistic and a realist. The news saddens me as well but watching its impact on my family and friends is more difficult. I can’t change their thoughts and feelings about it. I can’t make them feel better if they don’t want to. That is what I am struggling with…watching others struggle with the news, whether it is fake or not.
HartFelt wishes that you and your loved ones can find some good news, it is out there!