Wednesday, June 30, 2010
For a couple of years, Flip and I have attended a support group run by the Alzheimer's Association of Northern California and Nevada. They divide participants into two groups, the diagnosed and their caregivers, which meet in adjoining rooms. Each is run by a facilitator. Flip has complained to me several times that the woman who leads his group has been mean to him. She has scolded him, treated him like an imbecile when he tried to contribute to the group, and on one occasion, said, "Just spit it out already" as he struggled to express himself verbally. One of the symptoms of this disease is the increasing inability to do so.
It's possible that he misunderstood her intentions. Since I was not there, I can't say for sure. But I think she's a bully who believes that those in her group lack the capacity to report her treatment of them. If so, she underestimates them, and perhaps she overestimates the degree of job security she has. I would think very seriously about going after someone's job, but it is unacceptable for Flip and other victims of this disease to be treated with anything less than respect and kindness.
We have not attended the group much the last several months despite our need for any support available. There is something terribly wrong when someone in an Alzheimer's support group feels ostracized for showing symptoms of Alzheimer's by a representative of the organization founded to fight the disease. It makes you wonder.