The Gift: Becoming Primary Caregiver for Mom with Alzheimer’s by Beverly Ellison

Introduction from Lillie: This is the first post from my associate, Beverly Ellison. You can look forward to more posts from Beverly in the future.


Chances are many of you who are reading this have been impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). As our society continues to age, AD will continue to make itself known. My 91-year-old mother was diagnosed six years ago.

AD affects people in different ways. In my mother’s case, this mysterious disease has taken away her short-term memory, but that’s okay—that’s why I’m here. AD has changed our lives—my Mom’s, of course, as well as my husband’s (Carl) and mine.

I am primary caregiver for my Mom, yet when I was gifted (yes, gifted) with this responsibility, none of us was prepared. My Mom left her home one day for a short stay in the hospital as the result of a fall at her home (no broken bones!). When she was dismissed, she came home with Carl and me; she never returned home to live. Understandably, she resented it.

The first several months were challenging for all of us, but over time, with God’s help and the love and support of my husband (my Mom’s “son” as she calls him), things progressively got better. My mother lived with us for nearly three and a half years. She has resided in an assisted living facility for nearly three years now, and she enjoys it very much.

What an amazing transformation—for all of us—in the six years since Mom’s diagnosis! My Mom, like me, is by nature an introvert. As long as I’ve known her, she has been an introvert and was always very shy. As a direct result of AD, she exhibits the behavior of an extrovert, and is having the time of her life! She dances—I never knew she could! She sings—I never knew she could do that, either! She and I have so much fun together sitting and talking, running errands, watching a good movie together, and  going to church together, to name a few.

Taking care of my Mom and spending this cherished time with her has created a closeness we never knew before. We laugh and joke all the time. We’ve even made a game out of the loss of her short-term memory. When she asks the same question every few minutes, I respond in a way that makes her laugh and laugh and laugh. I love to hear her laugh! Why, I think that because of her and my naturally extroverted husband, I am becoming an extrovert, too!

So, you see, taking care of my Mom truly is a gift!

Next Tuesday, September 21, is World Alzheimer’s Day. Lillie will have a post on that day, then I’ll be back next Thursday  soon with some do’s and don’ts for dealing with people with AD. Stay tuned; I’ll tell you more in a few days!

Until then,

God bless you!! God bless America!!!

Beverly Ellison <><

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