Jane Snyder of Puzzle with Me here, on the road in France.
I have had the good fortune of traveling to Paris, France for my son’s graduation from University. It was a very happy occasion and a welcome respite as a caregiver.
My mother passed away last year from complications due to Alzheimer’s, and so I also brought my father. What a wonderful trip of reminiscence and discovery – and pride in my son’s accomplishment.
As I settled into the neighborhood and found my morning coffee cafe spot, I became more than just the kind of tourist that the French simply tolerate. One morning I had the opportunity to relax and enjoy the regular patrons. One was a lovely elderly woman – and I knew immediately upon our eyes meeting that she was living with Alzheimer’s.
As she passed the morning in this Paris cafe, she reached out to me with a smile and a wave of her hand. I asked the cafe owner her name – Jeanie – and we engaged in a half English and half French conversation.
Estelle the cafe owner was very kind and treated Jeanie with respect knowing as the hours passed her requests would be repetitive. I witnessed great respect for the elderly in Paris and indescribable patience outside a home or alternative living conditions.
Alzheimer’s is an increasingly global disease, and how we handle it is different country to country. I was proud of what I saw in Paris and the respect they show for seniors, and thought I would be nice if this was a global phenomenon.
Caregiving is a challenging task, and reaching out to someone as I saw in Paris is so relatively easy. What do you think?
End Alzheimer’s – and in the meantime let’s find ways of solving it together.