Why Dementia is Like an Iceberg

I bet by now you’re wondering why I choose the name “The Dementia Zone” and an iceberg for this blog?

Well, I grew up watching Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone.” When I started caring for my mom every moment was Twilight Zone experience–I never knew what the day was going to bring. The day could start out great and then–whoosh–I would be transported into another time and place where mom sounded the same and looked the same but she sure wasn’t acting like the mom I knew!

When you are caring for some with dementia it’s as if some times you are thrown into a parallel universe where everything is the same but everything is changed and nobody notices but you.

I often hear that people describe caregiving as the movie “Groundhog Day.” Maybe it is for the person with dementia, but definitely not for the caregivers!

Most of the caregivers I know and work with would give their eye teeth to have just one day where they knew EXACTLY what is going to happen. Wouldn’t that be a nice normal day?

Unfortunately for us caregivers, each moment is a surprise- some good and some not so good. There’s a Jewish expression that says, “Man makes plans and God laughs”. Words to keep in mind the next time you make plans and then things don’t turn out the way you thought they would.

Going Beneath the Surface

Dementia is like an iceberg. Everyone see’s the tip but there is so much beneath the surface. It’s the same thing with a person who has dementia. The tip is what you see on the outside. There is a whole lot more going on beneath the surface. And we all know what happened to the Titanic! An iceberg can sink the strongest ship, and the same goes for dementia and caregivers.

A person with dementia is like an iceberg.

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