Alzheimer's Community Member of the Week: Helene Berger
This week's Alzheimer's Community Member is Helene Berger. Helene is a former caregiver,
popular public speaker and author of the ground breaking book, Choosing Joy.
When her Husband Ady was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, Helene set out to make of the most of their time together.
“Our attitude was not one of presiding over the deterioration of a human being, but rather of building something new together, of collaborating on this complex new challenge that life had presented to us.”
Helene stepped into her role with optimism and determination. She set out to help make her husband's last years as good as she could. She would do daily activities with Ady to stimulate his mind and overtime, he experienced a remarkable regeneration of his cognitive abilities.
He was able to do Sudoku puzzles again and could play Mozart on his piano for the first time in years. By the end of his life, Ady was even able to recognize 17 close friends and family member at a dinner party. Helene credits this to the constant work her and Ady put in to making his final years as happy as possible. Along with the daily stimulation, Helene stepped into her un-chosen role as a caregiver and worked to change her perspective. She attributes of her Ady's successes to her optimistic outlook and learning how to patiently communicate.
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Her six years caring for Ady are chronicled in her book Choosing Joy. The book teaches caregivers the importance of acceptance, ideas to help stimulate your loved one, and offers encouragement on how to find a balance between caring for yourself and your loved one.
Since the book's release, Helene has been invited to speak at countless Alzheimer's events, and has been interviewed on the news and several podcasts.
(Helene and Ady on their wedding day)
We here at the Nostalgia Caregiver Community were happy to feature her and we look forward to seeing her continue the fight for improving Alzheimer's care.
You can find Helene on the following social media sites: