I came across this story today, an open letter from a grand daughter describing how Alzheimer’s disease has affected her grandmother.
She talks of the realities of the disease, for which there is no known cure, and explains that it is so much more then simply someone forgetting a name or not recognising a family member.
Her honest letter really hit a chord with me as my wonderful Auntie Ina (who was like my grandmother) had Alzheimer’s. It happened quite literally overnight, following the death of her husband, Donny. She was a strong woman and was definitely the one who ‘wore the trousers’ in the relationship. It was as though she had been hanging on to everything, to be strong for both of them, and once Donny, the love of her life, had passed away, she let go. She didn’t have to be strong for them anymore because she had lost her life partner. She let down her defences and Alzheimer’s rushed in.
We experienced the memory loss and confusion and even found ourselves in some humourous situations in the beginning. However, the onset was fast and soon enough she had to go into a home. The staff were amazing, and this was never seen more than in the way they dealt with the aggression that Alzheimer’s brings. But it was hard to watch a once vibrant woman, a loved member of our family, fade away before our eyes.
It is a terrifying disease and I hope one day there will be a cure.
If you would like to read the letter I came across which sparked this post visit http://dailyamerica.info/this-heartbreaking-letter-will-open-your-eyes-to-alzheimers/
But be prepared for an emotional read, especially if you have personal experience of this disease.
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia visit www.alzheimers.org.uk
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