I’m sure that each of you were equally as shocked as I was at the recent story of an 85 year old woman suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, who was found on a Pompano street, raped and shot. According to the newspaper, she wandered away from home in a matter of minutes and police responded, quickly finding her in this condition. Dementia patients, those who have Alzheimer’s disease or some other illness which causes dementia, are often the victims of crime and tragedy, but many of us allow the suffering of others to fade from our memories as quickly as the headlines fade. Family caregivers, however, do not have the luxury of forgetting. They are caught in a 24-Hour, seven day a week struggle to provide adequate support to their loved ones, and still retain some sanity for themselves.

Even the best, most devoted family caregivers can’t be expected to do it all alone, and yet, I have found that the most devoted often live with guilt for not having done enough. We all must consider what part we can play in making their jobs easier. We can no longer afford to throw the newspaper away and deny the reality around us. Some day, the “stranger” will likely become our own family member, or we will need to be cared for ourselves. Now is the time to support an atmosphere of admiration and support, for those who unselfishly serve, that will carry on for years to come.

At Champion Home Health Care, we recognize that family caregivers have one of the most difficult tasks any of us will ever be expected to perform. We would like to take this space to simply say, “Thank you and hats off,” to all family caregivers who so sacrificially give of yourselves to love and care for family members.

The world is a better place because of you.

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