Mondays With Mother: An Alzheimer's Story

In 2002 my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It is a hard road, and we live it one day at a time. This is a chronicle of her disease and my Monday visits with her.

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Name: Anne Robertson
Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Your Kindness

I have some actual posts to make about May events, but I'll do that separately. First I want to respond to the incredible kindness that some have expressed both in writing to me personally and in some of the comments posted here about starting up a fund to keep my mother where she is.

Let me say a heartfelt thank you for the thought and a strong Please don't as a recommendation. As I'll post about shortly, I think we have found a suitable place. I've been waiting to post until an actual move, since you never know until it happens, but it does look hopeful that she will be going to a good place.

Of course moves for people with Alzheimer's are never ideal, but rarely is life ideal. One of the things I have not posted about are personal family dynamics related to all the issues of my Mother's care. When it comes to thinks like accepting funds from others, you probably know from within your own families that such gifts bring up a lot of issues with people and my family is no different. In our case, such a fund would bring as many difficulties as blessings within the family.

I also would not want my postings here to be seen as manipulation. Many write to me to say they have read with tears in their eyes. I'm all too aware of the way that some use heart-rending stories as a way to scam money (have you gotten those sob stories from Nigeria in your e-mail?). While I know such things were not even in the realm of thinking of those who have suggested a fund, but I feel that the presence of a fund would compromise my ability to post honestly in the future by creating a conflict of interest.

So while I am humbled by the offer, for several reasons I would ask that you direct financial responses elsewhere. Maybe you contribute to Alzheimer's research. Maybe you help someone you know personally afford Long Term Care insurance or fill someone's gas tank to help them visit a loved one more frequently. If my story motivates your generous nature, I'm thrilled. But I don't post so that the generosity will be directed at me. This isn't really about me--it's about all of those who suffer with Alzheimer's and those who love and care for them. Helping me might solve one issue for a limited amount of time. But helping to fund a cure or passing on just a tank of gas to help someone torn between wanting to see a loved one and wanting to put food on the table...those things will make a more lasting difference.

I hope this doesn't sound ungrateful...nothing could be further from the truth. I am deeply moved yet respectfully request that anyone feeling like they want to help, do so in a different way so that our family dynamics are not complicated and so that my postings can remain free of the appearance of a conflict of interest.