Honest About Alzheimer’s

As a caregiver of a mother with Alzheimer’s disease, I very much appreciated the detailed and well-researched articles on the subject of Alzheimer’s.

As someone who is well read in the topic, I always find it disheartening and misleading for newspapers to publish research studies’ positive results with a heading that connotes hope for a cure when the research study is based on phase one and has many more phases to go through before it is even tested on people.

The majority of those studies will never make it far, but they don’t mention that statistic. It either gives false hope to those who are grasping at straws or adds pain to the family who is mourning the loss of their loved one, yet is not able to sit shivah.

Your article, on the other hand, gave very real, concrete ideas and information which we can apply in our caregiving modalities. You were mechazek the rabbim in an honest, practical and balanced way, without causing hurt or pain to us.

Kol hakavod and thank you.

I encourage anyone who is in this situation and needs chizuk to call the Zicharon organization of Boro Park that runs support groups and has caregiving classes, and the NYC Caring Kind Organization, which has many resources for caregivers. I have overcome my nature and become an advocate for more education in the frum community and have even given a talk, which people can hear on the CCHF Chazak hotline 718-258-2008 or 845-356-6665, about how being a caregiver of a person living with Alzheimer’s has changed me for the better. I am also featured on Torah
Anytime.com under the search bar “zicharon” where I give a talk entitled “A Halachic and Hashkafic Look at Family Caregiving” together with some experts in the field from Caring Kind and other organizations that provide resources and education about the disease.

I encourage those who are in this parashah or even if they suspect an issue with a loved one or themselves to reach out to resources (especially for proper medical care and for diagnosis) and not go it alone.

My brachah to everyone going through this difficult journey is to see the siyatta diShmaya in it, to see the personal growth and to feel the Yad Hashem with them always.

Rivkah Engelson