Zou ik ook, later? Af en toe sta ik voor een geopende kast. Daar ben ik naartoe gerend, want er ligt iets in dat ik drin­gend nodig heb. Maar wat? Geen idee. Dan weet ik het zeker. Ergens diep in mijn hersenen sluimert de ziekte die mijn moeder sloopte. Af en toe wordt meneer Alzheimer wakker en pest me een beetje. Pas jij maar op. Jij krijgt het ook.
Toen mijn moeder pas was overleden, maakte ik een euthanasie­verklaring op. Daarin deed ik een dringend beroep op mijn naasten om mij waardig afscheid te laten nemen voordat ik in vreemde tehuisgangen zou verdwalen. Drie jaar later heb ik de verklaring verscheurd. Gek is dat. Ik weet niet precies waar­om. Misschien om al die mooie momenten met mam. De knuf­fels, de warmte, het onverwachte oogcontact en soms, gemom­peld, mijn naam… Pareltjes in de mist. Misschien ook door de herinne­ringen aan dat rommelige huis, waar ze mams nagels lakten en appeltaart bakten in kleine oventjes omdat dat zo lekker ruikt op de huiskamers. Mam’s grijze krullen boven dat bakje appels op haar schoot. Roerloos zit ze, niet wetend wat met die appels aan te vangen. Maar het is toch heel vertrouwd, het ruikt naar vroeger en ze zit er tevreden knikkend bij.
Maar hoe moet dat later? Is er voor mij dan nog een plekje in een tehuis? Of moeten de meiden voor me zorgen? Dat hoop ik toch niet. Die dromen zich een rijk gevulde toekomst. Als er naast alle carrièredromen ruimte is voor een paar kleinkinde­ren, dan mag deze toekomstige oma haar handjes dichtknijpen. Voor mij is er in hun huis geen plekje. Zeker niet als ik in de war begin te raken en wegloop.
En als er al een tehuisplek voor me is, hoeveel handen krijg ik dan aan mijn bed? Hebben ze nog tijd om mijn nagels te lakken en gaan ze met me wandelen in het park? Of zetten ze me bij het raam om me te luchten?
Ik maak me zorgen om mensen die niet meer voor zichzelf kunnen zorgen. Om hun naasten, die daardoor een werkdag hebben van vierentwintig uur. Ik maak me zorgen om ieder bezuini­gings­plan, om iedere sluiting en als door samenvoeging de wacht­lijst ‘een jaartje moet oplopen’. Terwijl de meesten pas op de wachtlijst komen als het eigenlijk al te laat is. Ik maak me zorgen om de loonontwikkelingen in de gezondheidszorg, waar­door jonge mensen dat prachtige beroep als ondergewaar­deerd beschouwen en liever geen oplei­ding in de Zorg kiezen. Ik tob vandaag heel wat serieuzer dan u van mij gewend bent. En natuurlijk is er een lichtpuntje. Dat is er altijd. Dat zijn al die vrijwilligers die klaar staan voor opvang, oppas, troost, een gesprek en heldere voorlichting. Alzheimer Nederland heeft veel regionale afdelingen. Informeer daar eens naar, als u ze nodig heeft. Ze zijn ervoor. Je kunt niet in je eentje blijven tobben. De Alzheimertelefoon is dag en nacht bereikbaar: 0800-5088.

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