What If the One You Love Is Disappearing?
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What If the One You Love Is Disappearing?

Often I forget things or find myself walking through a room while wondering where I was headed. This isn't anything new. It's been happening for years. But now that I am chronologically older there are likely some observers who might think this is something they should be worrying about.

Last fall, I was saddened to realize that one of my best friends has developed a condition to worry about. When I would talk with her on the telephone, I noticed that she would repeat herself or tell me stories about her grandchildren that I had heard before - in fact, years ago.

We had seen each other for awhile. When we did meet, my suspicions were confirmed. She would stare with glazed eyes and ask me for information that she had either stored decades ago or just received in a previous sentence. It was so sad! What a change from the dynamic and intelligent woman who taught high school History and French classes, travelled with her Executive husband and ran several Bible studies. I began to realize that the person who I knew and loved was disappearing!

During a visit to her home, I was able to have a private conversation with her husband. He is in his eighties, physically strong and sharp as a tack! He said that the family has been looking back and now realizes that this problem had actually started about three years ago - but the decline was so slight that no one really noticed.

I was surprised when he asked me about how my sister who is handicapped treats her husband. He looked so sad when he said "I just wondered because now I am the worst person on earth!" You see, he is the one who is preventing my friend from driving for the safety of everyone and making arrangements for them to move from their home into a condo. He is not the enemy but sometimes it appears that way to her!

There are so many emotions and reactions that arise when you notice that your loved ones are cognitively not where they were in the past. You might find yourself doing and saying things out of frustration that you would otherwise never even consider. Guilt, fear and worry can explode into anger so easily and then lead to regrets and even more guilt feelings.

I find that often individuals try to provide care on their own without accessing resources. Then, when they are completely out of energy and ideas, they turn to the "system" only to find that there is a waiting list! Put things in place before you are in crisis!

If you have someone in your life who is "disappearing" you may actually need even more resources than they do to help you deal with things. Call a psychologist to set an appointment and you won't have to worry about being alone during this difficult time. It's always a good idea to seek support from someone who understands and will help you with the problem-solving process.

And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com

From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker

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