My husband Dale and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this year and one thing I keep reflecting on, beyond our own journey, is our family and how everyone else’s lives have gone over these three decades. In this podcast, the first for the new year, Dale and I collaborate to share a part of our life adventure and that’s helping Dale’s mother, Leonie navigate the mysterious and unknown world of Alzheimers.
If you could’ve told me that Leonie would encounter Alzheimers before it became a reality, I never would’ve believed it. For as long as I’ve known her, she’s been fiercely independent. She raised four kids as a single mother. She was a teacher who taught computers before we even really knew what computers were. In a roundabout way, it was because of Leonie that I even met Dale. because she got him involved in a Rotary Exchange Student Program which allowed him to live in America for a year. This was a big deal adventure for a 17 year old boy from Tasmania, the equivalent at the time of living at the other end of the earth. That experience gave Dale a taste for adventure and a love for the States and on a follow-up trip a few years later, we met across a crowded room and fell in love that night.
Leonie,and her husband of about 25ish years Kelvin, have their up and down days but I have to say, I get such inspiration from their attitude and outlook. They are devoted to each other and take on each challenge with courage and sensibility
We are all kind of in a “take it as it comes” mode mixed with a “try and prepare for the future” and this is not only for Leonie’s sake but for Kelvin’s. At this stage it seems like there are resources for both of them, it’s just a matter of navigating the system and a bit of trial and error. Because so many of us at midlife are finding ourselves with the reality of helping our parents in their stage of life, it’s really important to both Dale and I that we share what we’re going through. We’ll be talking about it more down the track and if this episode resonates with you, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you have a family member who has Alzheimer’s here are some resources to check out:
Music used in this episode