Identifying with the person who has Alzheimer’s

It’s said the best way to understand a person’s perspective is to “walk a mile in his shoes.” It’s true that no one can truly empathize with another’s situation without being in it himself or herself. But even when people are in the same situation, we know that each individual will respond to it differently. 

The best way to understand how a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is feeling might be to read about the experiences of others in similar situations. Numerous people have written books and educational material that reflect on their personal experiences caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. 

You can “walk” together with others who have “been there.” At times it might be heart-wrenching to hear of their devastating experiences, but they also can prove helpful and educational. Your own emotions might be stirred, but you also might realize how your loved one might be feeling. 

You might want to start with either of these books:  

* “A Personal Journey Maze of Alzheimer’s,” by Dianna Friel McGowin (Dell/Doubleday Dell Publishing)

* “Show Me the Way To Go Home,” by Larry Rose (Elder Books)

 They’re available online, at your local bookseller and at your nearest Alzheimer’s Association outlet.