Progress & Potential - Caregiving

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Caregivers have an enormous job.  In the beginning we didn't really understand how much love and how much emphasis and how much stress care giving caused.
And we know they're doing a job that, frankly, many of us in the health care profession wouldn't be able to do twenty-four-seven.
Ten years ago, we had ideas and we had some strategies, but we didn't have the science behind those strategies. And, we didn't have the ability to employ those strategies to be the most useful for the most number of people.
In my research, we have tried to really structure those strategies so that caregivers can learn them in a very systematic way.
That means understand ending the disease.
Understanding with the person who has dementia can and cannot do, what they are trying to do, kind of becoming more empathetic, more understanding so that as a caregiver, I can step back and not take something personal, not take something and get upset myself.
To really try to understand.
And my understanding the disease process and understanding the day to day functionality, I can be a better caregiver and in turn I can take care of myself.
I've been doing this for a long time and the trajectory of my research, I like to believe has really helped people.  I like to believe that there are individuals out there who are benefiting from this research that would never have happened without NIA funding.
Never.
We look back ten years.  It's a healthy thing to say, "Yay! Look what we've done."  And it's even healthier to say, "Wow, what have we not done?"  What do we still need to do?  What do we still need to understand?
So although we want to acknowledge the significant advances, there are so many gaps still.  So at the end of the day, what inspires me and keeps me curious to ask?
The next set of questions is to hopefully find the next set of answers.
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