For my Grandfather and Others
Years ago, I watched my grandfather change, in small ways and then increasingly bigger ways, as he progressed through the stages of Alzheimer’s. As his symptoms became more pronounced, I noticed it was somewhat easier for me to deal with the behavioral changes than for my mother, his daughter. Where I was more quick to acknowledge the disease in these changes, my mother seemed to struggle with these developments. “I’ve never heard him say anything like that before” or, “he’s never done anything like this before”.
The strong and independent man my mother had known all her life was changing and disappearing as Alzheimer’s progressed.
To me, dementia is a thief; a thief who seems to be capable of stealing our very existence.
Additionally, from my experience, interacting with or caring for someone with dementia, can often be a minefield of difficult emotions when personality or behavior changes occur.
In the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease for example, we may become a stranger to a person with impaired and declining mental abilities . If this is someone we have known and loved for many years, it can be heartbreaking.
After saying all that, there is still something I truly believe. While I do believe dementia is a thief, taking and destroying, I also believe it cannot steal our loved one’s existence, the life they’ve lived or the person they truly are. These are the things we must try to find a way to hold on to.
Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s can change someone’s personality and behavior. This disease can complicate and diminish a person’s ability to communicate with others. Furthermore, in addition to it’s effects on memory, the progression of Alzheimer’s creates challenging obstacles to everyday life.
Alzheimer’s brings unwelcome changes as it progresses. However, no matter what changes or losses may occur with memory, the ability to communicate, interact or function, I believe our loved one is still there; beneath the anguishing symptoms we see. To believe this can be both comforting and at the same time, miserably painful.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Video below from AboutAlzOrg
Stages of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease – Mental Health – NCLEX-RN – Khan Academy
Video below from khanacademymedicine
I found the film, Still Mine to be very powerful, heartwarming and moving. If Alzheimer’s and dementia have impacted your life, I feel that you can find this film to be very relatable. If you have not been exposed to dementia personally in your life, this is a very good story to allow some insight into some of the challenges, difficulties and even triumphs that people have experienced.
Writer/director Michael McGowan’s Still Mine is the story of Craig Morrison, a Canadian man who fights the red-tape maze of bureaucracy so he can build a small home for his wife, Irene, as she slips into late-life dementia.
STILL MINE – Official Trailer
Video below from Samuel Goldwyn Films
Note: At the time of this writing, the movie Still Mine is currently available on Amazon Prime Video.
Help With Planning for the Financial Impacts of Dementia
Link to Blog Post here.