Walking for Fred
Walking for Fred
Written by Theresa Harris
I walk in Memory of my husband, Fred Harris.
Fred was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease after we visited several doctors. One of the first things I noticed was that his personality changed. He had difficultly following conversations, if the subject changed to quickly or if too many people where talking at once he lost interest. At first, he was successful at covering this up with his quick sense of humor and his comical personality, but it rapidly became more noticeable and more unmanageable.
I had to seek help from various support groups. I was given the name of someone who works with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia and I used their services several times.
As a caregiver, you feel lost. You question your decisions; it was always good to know there was someone who had more expertise than I felt I had. Sometimes, it was just someone to voice your frustration at, because it made you feel better. Sometimes, it was just someone to validate your feelings and remind you that it was normal to feel as you did. Without support, being a primary caregiver, is very lonely and frustrating. This is my way of giving back.
Because Fred's Alzheimer's disease was further complicated by Parkinson's, it came to the point where I could no longer care for him alone. I placed him in a Nursing Home where he past away 18 months later. On most days when I visited he always knew who I was, in fact he remembered most of his friends. On days when he was more "himself" he would like to pretend he didn't know you, and then joke about it later when the truth came out. He never lost his sense of humor.
There are many things I miss about Fred, I wish there was a cure; and I hope someday there is.
To donate to Theresa's Walk for Alzheimer's, click here.
To learn more about the Walk for Alzheimer's, click here.