There is help available for caregivers of those with dementia

“To love a person is to learn the song in their heart and sing it to them when they have forgotten” is a beautiful, inspirational quote by the late Norwegian author, Arne Gaborg. His words ring so true in my heart as I think back to my time spent caring for my late father, Gordon C. Gunn.Reflecting on my family’s experience during the 13-year period of caring for my father, I would love to help shed light on the often overlooked challenges of caregiving for a loved one with dementia.

The changes do not occur overnight, and often they are not readily noticeable during the early stage. It is almost like a quirkiness in their behavior that is barely noticed. However, slowly they begin to have minor slip-ups, a lapse in memory or poor judgment more frequently. Dr. Germane Odenheimer, a neurologist in Edmond who also was my father’s doctor, said that the disease affects the gray matter in the brain by causing small pin pricks that eventually turn into holes that resemble Swiss cheese.

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