I was much older when my Granny Sue went to a retirement home. I remember the events leading up to it. How she would get sick all the time, and we were pretty sure she was either forgetting to take her medication or taking too much because she forgot she already took it. Then she was in a car accident that should have killed her, and then developed pneumonia in the hospital that should have killed her, but she was tough. She was the youngest of 15 and wanted to write a book about her family. She could remember all of her siblings, but started getting her grandchildren mixed up. My dad went to visit her every morning on his way to work, and she would be upset because she thought she hadn't seen him in weeks. The last time we went out to dinner on her birthday, she told a funny story about me when I was two, then paused and asked, "Have we ordered the food yet?" We had just ordered two minutes ago. The memory is an amazing thing.
In my job I've seen clients start to show the signs. They call a few times to ask the same question about their annuity. They want to donate their RMD to their church and don't remember that they already did so months ago. The early signs are tough to watch, but it's nothing to what comes next. Nothing to what the families and caregivers will go through, and especially nothing to what the patients themselves will go through for months and years as this disease eats away at their memories and their identities.
I am so proud to work for a company that is dedicated to making a difference to this cause. The Alzheimer's Association always talks about the "first survivor" - today I really stopped to think about that person and truly believe we will see them and many other survivors to follow.
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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