I'm leading the way to Alzheimer's first survivor by participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's®. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
My particular journey with Alzheimer's started with my Pap. As I was graduating from college back in 1987, I remember after the ceremonies, my mom telling me what had been happening to my Pap. He had started wondering during the night and a neighbor found him. He was in the hospital as they tried to figure out what was wrong. The answer can back - Alzheimer's.
The doctors told my mom, aunt and uncles that the best advice they could give was to have my grandfather placed into a supervised living facility. He would need to be watch 24/7 and there was no feasible way that the family could be expected to handle that on their own. So the hunt was on to find a place that would work. As I wasn't working yet I would occasionally go with my mom and aunt and I remember telling them that I didn't think one place would work as it was near a train track we'd be getting a call one day that the he had hopped a train and was down in Florida.
As hard as it was to watch Pap deteriorate, there were times that he made us laugh and those were special. Like the time he was telling this story and was using the names of several relatives. We weren't sure what the heck he was talking about until I realized that he was relating a story line from his favorite soap opera - Another World. Another time, was when the staff at the nursing home told us that he had lined up several of the other patients in the hallway and was pulling all the wheel chairs, including his, around like they were on a train... going back to my fear of him ending up in Florida via train.
But these were only some of the things that happened during Pap's downward slide into not remembering who anyone was. It was hard for all of the family to watch. Since then, I've always donated to the Alzheimer's Association hoping that something can be done to keep this from happening to other families.
Together, we can end Alzheimer's disease. Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
Thank you for joining the fight against Alzheimer's!
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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