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The Care Team
Welcome to the second week of National Family Caregiver Month. Of course, I think every day is caregiverís day and every month, caregiverís month, but Iíll take any opportunity for people to pay attention to caregivers. One of the things Iíve been thinking about during our month, is how our loved ones, the care recipients are also emotionally affected by their illness.

This point was drawn clearly for me in a recent HBO special starring Patrick Stewart. The premise was actually pretty interesting - think of James Bond living with early onset. But the thing that struck me was one sequence when Stewartís character realizes that he could not control his rapid descent into Alzheimerís disease. In the first scene he was still fighting to maintain his mental acuity, and in the next, he was sobbing uncontrollably as he realized that this is one evil arch-villain he would not conquer.

I remember seeing my Dad and my grandfather go through the same thing as Stewart did in the special once they realized they would not win their respective battles, (Dadís with Multiple Myeloma and Grampís with Alzheimerís Disease). I would catch them both at times staring into the mirror, wondering whatever happened to their younger, healthier selves and worrying that their grandchildren and great-grandchildren would remember them in their later weakened state and not as the healthy and vibrant men they were for most of their lives. I remember watching my grandfather rubbing his wizened hands and sobbing, wondering to whom they belonged as Alzheimerís disease began to overtake his faculties.

Letís take a moment and remember those for whom we care as they once were and know that this month also belongs to them.


Gary Barg

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