Founded in 1998 by parents, the Upside of Downs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization serving thousands of special needs individuals and those who care for them. Federal Tax ID#38-3375526
Taking Care of Dementia's Captives
That's my Dad, Niels Andersen, a WWII veteran, newspaper editor and family man who spent a lifetime supporting his family, community and country with incredible passion and drive. He, like thousands before him and since, lost a hard battle against Alzheimer's disease. That was 2010. For years leading up to his passing he fought valiantly; he fought with every shred of dignity he could hang on to. I was on the "front lines" during those years, I was his 24/7 caregiver. Both he and my mother, also a WWII veteran who was bedridden for years, lived under my roof with my husband, children, and me. Three generations under one roof. Each generation, each person, gifted by God with life and legacy. Through all stages of his journey on earth, Dad was my hero.
The role I had as caregiver for someone diagnosed with a dementia disease is in no way a unique role. In the United States alone, there are nearly 15 million people taking care of those who are captives of Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases. The number of captives stands at around 5.1 million men and women and increases every single day. The diseases carry a death sentence for the captives. There is no cure, there is only CARE.
Having been one of the 15 million caregivers, I know this is a difficult and many times mysterious and lonely journey. Those middle of the night "sundowning" episodes when it seems everyone else in the world is sleeping, those endless waits in doctors' waiting rooms trying to distract and accommodate, the time away from family, friends, church, the outside world as you tend to the personal needs and stand watch to ensure the safety of the dementia captive, these are why the Upside of Downs Umbrella has opened. It's an on-line, 24/7 place for caregivers to gather on Facebook, to just drop by or ask a question or share a story - to just BE and know you are not alone on the journey.
Please join others who take care of those with dementia anytime you have a chance and an internet connection, come "hang out" in our group on Facebook for fellowship and camaraderie. Just click the Facebook icon to visit with friends on the journey.