I was born and raised in a tiny village in Austria and traveled the world working as a fashion model. In the 80’s I moved from London to New York City to continue my career. I fell in love and settled down (and gave a lot of guardian angels a much needed break from watching over me). I got married and had two delicious sun’s (not a typo). I’ve also worked in my husband Frank’s chiropractic practice assisting our patients with weight loss, exercise and healthy food and life choices and am a certified Reiki practitioner. Not in a million years could I have imagined that my friend Linda’s diagnoses with Early Onset Alzheimer’s would turn my life towards working with caregivers in the Alzheimer’s community and not in a million years could I be more honored to do so. Caregivers are unsung heroes! This disease is devastating to so many families! How can I be of help to YOU? The sole purpose of our website, our blog, is to assist you in your day-to-day life as a caregiver, to gently guide and support. So you can be the strong, centered, loving caregiver you need to be for your Loved One and Yourself! Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you might have – Joko@SupporttheCaregiver.com
I have been a chiropractor since 1981 in Ridgefield, Connecticut. My passion is caring for my patients, educating people on the principles of health, reading, writing, going to the movies, and traveling, on my Harley whenever possible. I try to spend as much time in nature as I can. Hiking is a great love of mine, and something that I continue to share with my wife.
I first noticed Linda’s behavior being a little unusual but dismissed it as those quirky moments we all seem to have. As ‘moments’ increased in frequency and seriousness, we went to a physician where the diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s was unceremoniously bestowed upon her. In that moment, I became an involuntarily ordained caregiver.
Witnessing the disappearance of my wife on a daily basis to this illness left me in a sea of tears and on the verge of depression. Over these few years, the progression of Linda’s illness accelerated and intensified. While there are still morsels of recognition present, they are subtle and rapidly diminishing.
This has been a journey where every sunrise has brought new insight and understanding. I have struggled to discover that caregiving is not a punishment or a jail sentence, but an extraordinary opportunity for understanding and personal growth. While it is a time of profound sadness and loss, it is also a time of discovering my best attributes, love, patience, compassion, empathy, courage and optimism. As my perspective broadens, I feel more at peace as a caregiver.
Linda has been a partner in marriage, and now in her illness, she is a teacher, unwitting and innocent. While she loses herself to this terrible illness, she retains her core attribute, which is love.
Linda passed away on February 18th, 2017