My mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s in 2010 when I was just 25 years old. I didn’t know anyone my age who understood what I was going through. I didn’t know anyone who had ever dealt with a parent having Alzheimer’s disease. None of my friends, co-workers, or other peers could relate to what I was going through. I was desperate to talk to someone about my mom and what I was going through, but I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to.
I didn’t want to attend a support group because I figured most of the people there would be at least 30 years older than me. I didn’t think anyone there would be able to relate to what I was going through as a younger person dealing with my mom’s Alzheimer’s. I also didn’t want to sit in the basement of a church drinking bad coffee and eating stale pastries while talking about the saddest, hardest, and most challenging thing that I had ever been through—at least that’s how I always pictured support groups when I thought of them. It also wasn’t convenient for me to attend an actual in-person group because of my hectic work schedule and I was helping care for my mom. The days and times the meetings were held never seemed to work with my schedule. Plus, I didn’t have the time or energy to get in my car, drive somewhere, spend at least an hour in the meeting, and then drive home, especially when I didn’t think it would be worth the effort if no one there could relate to my experience.
I eventually found a few Facebook support groups, but I still felt like they had limitations. For one thing, there were far too many members in the groups for me to really feel seen and heard by anyone. I was never fully comfortable posting in the groups because of their size and whenever I did, I felt like my post just got lost in the myriad of other posts from members on that day. I never received many comments on my posts and I often felt like the comments I did receive weren’t very helpful. I did gain some support by reading other members’ posts and the comments on their posts, but I also saw a lot of the typical judgement, criticism, and arguing that comes with the social media territory. This often made me doubt whether or not I should post something in the group and ultimately kept me from doing so for fear of being judged and criticized by the other members. I felt bad enough—I certainly didn’t need to be made to feel worse by a bunch of strangers on the internet.
I never saw a therapist while my mom was living with Alzheimer’s either. I felt like it would be too much work to explain what I was going through to a therapist who had never been through it themselves. And I thought it would take too much time to find a therapist who had been through it themselves. Either way, I didn’t think a therapist would truly understand what I was going through. I didn’t want to waste my time and money going to talk to someone about how I was feeling if I didn’t think it was actually going to help.
So, where did that leave me?
Well, it left me feeling completely and utterly alone and isolated in what I was going through. I kept everything bottled up inside for a long time because I didn’t know anyone who would understand. I eventually started my blog, wrote my books, and cultivated a sense of community on my Facebook and Instagram pages. I went from not knowing a single person who could relate to what I was going through to knowing thousands—some who became friends in real life—but that took me years. When your parent is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have years to wait to find support. You need support now. And most people will never start a blog or write a book or share their story publicly on social media. How do those people find support? How do those people find someone who just gets it?
That’s why I am now offering affordable one-on-one mentoring sessions for Alzheimer’s daughters. I will be working mainly with women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who have a parent with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia because that is who I feel I can help the most. That is the group of people I can relate to and identify with the most and vice versa.
If you don’t have anyone in your real life who gets it or you just don’t feel comfortable telling anyone in your real life what you’re really going through, you have me. If you are looking for support and someone who just gets it, you have me.
I’m not a licensed therapist, counselor, or life coach. I’m not certified in anything. I’m not an expert on Alzheimer’s disease, but I am an expert on loving someone who has it. I have over a decade of experience as an Alzheimer’s daughter. I have been writing about and sharing my story since 2014. I have written and published two books about my experience. I have spent a great deal of time processing what I have been through and learning many lessons as a result. I believe I am more than qualified to help you along this path.
I am not here to offer personalized plans for caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. I am not here to provide tips and tricks for challenging behaviors or daily caregiving tasks. I am not here to discuss medications, nutrition, care options, or legal planning. And I am not here to give you some magic pill that will make all of this seem like a walk in the park because that’s just not possible.
I am here to help women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s cope with the emotions of slowly losing a parent to Alzheimer’s disease. You don’t have to be an actual caregiver to utilize my services. You just have to be the daughter of someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia. I am here to listen to your thoughts and feelings without judgement or criticism because I have been there and I get it. I am here to help you sort through and process your thoughts and feelings. I am here to make you feel seen, heard, and validated as an Alzheimer’s daughter. I am here to be your big sister. And most importantly, I am here to be your friend—the one who just gets it. Who better to help you deal with what you’re going through than someone who has been through it herself?
If you have ever gotten any value out of anything I have ever written, then I believe I can help make this journey just a little bit easier for you. You probably won’t thrive during this extremely challenging time in your life and that’s okay—you don’t have to thrive. But you do have to survive. I can help you do that. I want to help you do that. I really, really do.
If you could use some extra support along this journey, purchase a session and schedule a chat with me today! Or, you can schedule a free 15-minute call with me to make sure it will be a good fit before moving forward.
Click here for more information about my mentoring services. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Let me walk this path with you.