THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT ALZHEIMER'S (AND HOW TO HELP)
Like most things in life, every experience with Alzheimer's can be different. These are just a few of my thoughts on this terrible disease and a suggestion to help make a difference 💜
- •It's not what you see on tvMy heart actually breaks when I see Alzheimer's portrayed on screen. It's not the stereotypical old man 'hilariously' thinking he's still in a war. It's my grandpa asking me who I was after 17 years of knowing and loving him.
- •Please don't ask if my grandpa remembers meHe doesn't. He is my best friend and he probably doesn't know I'm the granddaughter he helped raise. I can't know for sure because he hasn't spoken more than a handful of coherent sentences in almost a year.
- •We're one of the lucky familesMy grandpa was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's about 13 years ago. We had about 11 years where things were difficult at times, but for the most part, he was still my grandpa. He was stubborn, played card games with me, and constantly made me feel his unconditional love. Things got rough about a year and a half or two years ago. He had a few health problems and had to go to a nursing home. At the time, we didn't know he wouldn't have to stay there permanently.
- •I know I should visit him more often, but each visit breaks my heartMost times his faces lights up when he sees my family there to see him. He doesn't say much and he sleeps a lot. I try to say something to him, but it normally seems like it doesn't really register with him. My mom and I think he's normally happy to have company. We hope he can feel how much we love him.
- •Any change to their normal routines can be detrimentalConsistency is key.
- •It feels like my grandpa is already goneHave you ever felt lonely in a crowded room? It's a similar (and confusing) feeling. He's here physically, but, more times than not, he is mentally and emotionally gone.
- •I constantly have to remind myself that he IS still hereThis sounds horrible, I know. Sometimes I feel absolutely hopeless, and then my grandpa will say or do something to reaffirm that he is still with me. It makes me feel simultaneously happy and guilty.
- •There aren't any success storiesAlzheimer's often feels like such a hopeless disease. There is no know cure or even cause for Alzheimer's Disease yet. It's a mystery that we've been trying to solve since the first diagnosed case in 1906.
- ••-•-•-• BUT •-•-•-•
- •There is something you can do to help!!!
- •I'm raising money for the Big Sioux Chapter of the Alzheimer AssociationThey're working tirelessly to support those affected by Alzheimer's and research to find a cure.
- •If you can't donate, I would greatly appreciate you taking the time to relist or share this or just raise awareness yourselfRaising awareness can be just as important as raising funds. Wear purple in support of the 5.4 million Americans affected by this terrible disease, spread the warning signs, spread the love and acceptance
- •If you'd like to learn more:Visit alz.org - the official website and a great source of information.
- •If you'd like to donate:http://act.alz.org/site/TR?pg=personal&px=8434216&fr_id=8953 (it should be on 'Katie's Page' and you just hit the 'donate here' button)
- •Thanks for reading, and please know that whatever you're facing, you're not alone 💜