Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Heartbreaking Disease

 

Not so much for the patient but for the family. Since I have two friends with Alzheimers Disease or Dementia I have observed a lot about it. They are both women, both in a different home and in a different town. One is older and unhappy and one is younger and seems okay with her plight. Both were and are Christian ladies and worked in a church. I'm amazed at the younger one at how she takes over and tries to help the others. One lady had soiled herself slightly and the younger patient gets up from her visiting with me gets behind the lady with both arms on the ladies shoulders and says come with me. She took her to an employee who already had her hands full. The patient stayed to see her friend was taken care of and I don't think she would have walked away until they did what she thought was to be done. Another time some one was screaming around the corner so she got up and went there to see what was wrong. When she sat back down to talk to me the lady across the table was coloring and got loud. My friend told her hey get quiet I'm talking. The lady coloring still knew how to stay in the lines perfectly and colored one picture after another while we sat there. Another lady at our table sat very quietly holding a soft toy cat. When we complimented her on how sweet it was, she opened up and talked. There was a big dog walking among the patients like it belonged there. My friend thought she and her husband  w ere baby sitting it. Sometime they give you the combination to get in or out but mostly they don't so when I  got ready to leave I stepped into a room where some employees were I ask to be let out. One male employee said no, once you get in here you can't leave. It kind of took me aback but then we both laughed and I told him well this looks like a nice place and I wouldn't have to clean house anymore. When I got into my truck I thought but for the grace of God I go, I might be next. Thank goodness for homes like this and the people who can and do work here. The other lady is another story, not happy and not settled in. I don't know the difference. Maybe the age, the personality, the home?

14 comments:

S. J. Qualls said...

I think it's a progressive disease and I also think some just have it worse. My mother had dementia and progressed rather slowly, over the years, she was very angry. My neighbor seemed fine and all of a sudden he was wandering all over, urinating in another neighbor's flower bed, completely in a fog.

jack69 said...

Oh yes, it is a heart breaker. I remember a line where a man told his doctor, "I must leave in a few minutes. I need to be with my wife in thirty minutes."
The doctor said, "Tom, she doesn't know you, what is the hurry."
"Oh but Doc, I know her, that is the difference."

I have friends and family also attacked by this mean disease. at times I think it is meaner than cancer. Stealing the mind instead of the body.
Love from over here in Florida!

Jon said...

I never knew how devastating and heartbreaking Alzheimers is until my favorite aunt had it. She was my mother's sister, and the mother of my cousin who lives here in Tennessee.

As you said, it is even harder for the families than it is for the victims. My aunt had been a beautiful intelligent woman - - and as she deteriorated she had no concept of who she was, and she didn't recognize her family. She would wander out at night and the police would have to search for her and bring her home.
Fortunately she spent her final years in a clinic in Florida, where she was well-cared for - - but her illness destroyed her family, emotionally and financially.

Sorry for the long comment, but this post really hit home.

salemslot9 said...

soft toy cat...

Donna said...

Alzheimer's affects every victim differently. An uncle who was always sweet and soft-spoken turned violent toward the end and they had to move him to a different home. He was putting nurses in danger by fighting them. Very sad.

I think Alheimer's is one of our biggest fears as we age.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

It's a difficult disease....my mom for one, she seemed to want to be back in time where her last 'love' of a time in her life she was happiest, so she 'lived' in that era after decades of not being there physically...it's hard to understand the mind and how it works.

That comment on not getting out after you're in there, would've set me aback!!

Linda Kay said...

I've seen a few neighbors make the trip to the nursing home or memory center in the past year when the spouse just couldn't care of them anymore alone. It is a heart-breaker for everyone. My hubby's aunt lived for 15 years after she was diagnosed, good health otherwise, but she didn't remember anyone at that point.

Sheila Y said...

I could picture these ladies as you told the story. It is heartbreaking and it seems everyone has been touched by it in some way. Take care, Sheila

betty said...

I just finished reading a fiction book about a guy with Alzheimer's. It was told from his perpective as well as his family's perpective. After I got done reading it, I told my husband if I get it, to put me into a care facility sooner than later. Exhausting disease for family caregivers I do believe.

Betty

Rose said...

Oh, you touched on a subject that so disturbs me...in so many ways. I do admire the people that works in these situations...but I hope I never end up in a place like that. I just cannot imagine living where I cannot have a moment to myself.

Lux G. said...

Oh, if only we don't have to deal with these. My grandmother had it.

Lori said...

I know that has to be one of the worst diseases (is it a disease or a condition?) that one would have to deal with. I haven't known anyone personally with either, but have friends who are going through it with relatives. It does make you wonder what factors go into how a person handles it as it progresses.

Wendy said...

I am thankful my Mother passed before this happened. She always wanted to die with a clear head. It is very sad.

Beate said...

I know exactly what you mean. My grandmother had Alzheimer's, too, and it was very hard on her on the days she realized she was forgetting so much and changing...and for us when she started not recognizing us anymore.
It's amazing that your younger friend is making the best of her situation and tending to others when they need help. I wonder if that's one of the secret ingredients to her coping much better. And the facility sounds wonderful, too!
Things like this make me realize how fragile life is and that we need to enjoy it every day as long as we can, always making the best out of every situation.
Thank you so much for your wonderful comment on my gratitude post!
Have a wonderful week, Paula.
Sending lots of hugs to you!
Beate