Unconditional Love: Walk to End Alzheimer's

Unconditional Love. This is when you love something without expecting anything in return, no matter how you are treated in the relationship. It involves empathy, respect, and a genuine appreciation for who it is that you are loving unconditionally. This is not always easy, but it is infinitely more challenging when dealing with someone with Alzheimer's or another form of Dementia. It's frustrating to not be able to communicate with someone you love so much. It's tiresome to do everything for them without a thank you ever mentioned by the person, especially when they refuse the necessary bath, meal, or whatever it is they are fighting you over today. It's heartbreaking when they don't recognize who you are.

But caring for someone with Alzheimer's is rewarding. It's an excellent opportunity to practice patience, compassion, and problem-solving. There's nothing better than to be able to make someone constantly laugh, even if it's a joke you've told them a dozen times that day. You get to be an explorer of a previously unknown world, the new reality of your loved one. It is different than the reality you live in and not worth arguing over. Each day brings fresh challenges that we triumph over, and all successes should be celebrated!

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This is why we do what we do here at SimplyHome. We've all known, loved, and/or cared for someone with Alzheimer's. We've been in the trenches, we've offered the respite, we've advocated for better research. Professionally, we assess situations regularly that involve elopement/wandering issues, cooking safety, and sleep routines. Family members want to be notified if mom gets up in the middle of the night, thinking it's time to get the kids up for school and starts cooking breakfast. Maybe breakfast is soon forgotten and before you know it, it's 3:00am and the kitchen is full of smoke because a pot's been left on the burner way too long. Maybe mom walked out of the house at 3:00am to walk the kids to the bus stop and she is found 5 blocks away in her nightgown. We know because we've been there.

For the third year in a row, SimplyHome will have a team in our local Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraiser. We're passionate about this cause and want to share that passion with our community. Funds raised go to support services and research to hopefully find a cure some day. Join us! Be a virtual walker with us or start a team in your community today. If you'd rather support the cause in other ways, check with your local chapter about volunteering, advocating, or make a donation. Any and all efforts make a difference in the lives of those affected by the disease. Can we count on you to join us?

- Gabrielle Corey, Walk to End Alzheimer's Team leader and SimplyHome's Customer Service Manager.