Today, for this special day, I asked my dad to write something for all of you about how he has dealt and is continuing to deal with his mother having Alzheimer’s:
For me Alzheimer’s has been a challenge to come to grips with for several reasons. You think you know how to handle it, but it is always advancing….so you chase it.
In the beginning stages, you just recognize it as an inconvenience. Patience at that point is all you need. You know that your conversations are still understood and your loved one is still with you.
Then, there are the lapses in memory that start to become a safety concern to you, your family and the person inflicted with Alzheimer. Food being prepared on the stove is forgotten and burning, baked cookies, which are made with such loving hands, now turn into flames because they are forgotten.
The realization finally hits you that you cannot handle this disease by yourself or from your home. So the thing you said you would never do to your parent, you do. Placement into a nursing home was the only option. That was the reality my 5 siblings and I realized.
Now is the worst part for me. The 2 or 3 phone calls a week are usually heart breaking and end in tears. There is very little conversation about the good old days or the great times we had or reliving any fond memories. Moms mind drifts to things that are not real like, how she needs to get home and take care of her mother (who passed away many years ago), or she needs to get back to work, or she has to find her car because she can’t remember where she parked it (the car was sold 5 years ago).
For me, I will continue my calls for I am always grateful went Mom does remember me.
If you need help or want to know more visit: http://www.alz.org/