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Elder Care Navigator Blog – June 2024

Within a single week of the month of June, it will be Father’s Day, the Longest Day and the anniversary of the day we lost our Dad to Alzheimer’s disease. Our Dad had early-onset Alzheimer’s, diagnosed when he was just 55 years old. My time of growth became his time of decline. What a stark difference in development. Life delivers some crushing blows. I felt guilty about planning for college and my life ahead while his life was in decline. I am not alone in my guilt, I share the reality with other caregivers and family members of this dark grey cloud that hangs above you for an indefinite period of time. It’s difficult to be happy about much, there is a constant pulling one way or the other. Even with cause for celebration, we can sometimes allow the cloud to cover up those things. I am now on the other side of that guilt and long ago adopted a mission to help others find a way to get some relief, whether it’s support group, a cup of tea or simply listening to what they have to say or to how they feel. I’ll always miss my Dad, but keep the lessons I learned close to my heart.  We all spent eleven years with Alzheimer’s disease so something had to come out of it. You can’t spend that much time at something without becoming somewhat of good at it. He taught me to really care for others, and to do what I would want someone to do for me. If I can share a single bit of wisdom with you it would be to forgive yourself, because we take ourselves far more seriously than our loved ones do! When it’s all about love, there is no right or wrong.


Eileen McGuiness is an Elder Care Navigator with The Elderlaw Firm located in Downtown Greensboro, NC. She is a certified dementia educator and trainer with many years of experience working with families affected by dementia and other chronic healthcare concerns. Eileen’s passion is to equip clients and their families to better deal with those chronic conditions, to maintain independence when possible and get the right care when needed. Eileen has three sons and one granddaughter and spends her personal time gardening, reading and drinking Irish tea.

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Dennis Toman

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