Tis the season for holidays, Christmas songs, family and unfortunately for many of us with aging relatives, Alzheimer’s. I don’t really remember how my parents told me or how my grandma and aunt explained that my grandpa had Alzheimer’s when I was a small child, all I remember is knowing that he was like Forgetful Jones on Sesame Street. He no longer knew me by name, he knew I was his “Consentida” but he thought I was his aunt or his sister. There were times when I’d call him grandpa and he asked why I was calling him that? Then there were other times when he’d tell me “I love you more than I love myself” and that I was “number one” which always put the biggest smile on my face and made me feel like he still knew me.
Alzheimer’s disease has shaped my life in so many different ways, I don’t know what life is like without it. But I can tell you that I absolutely hate it with a passion. It’s no secret that life isn’t fair, especially for those of us who have to deal with a disease that many people think just causes a loved one to forget who one is; they don’t know about the hallucinations, wandering, sundowning and everything else that goes along with it. It’s no secret that this disease is very hard to manage, I hoped and prayed that never in my life would I have to witness another loved one suffer from Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately a few years ago, my grandma was dealt the same fate as her husband, my grandfather. My mother explained to me that my grandmother was suffering from early stage dementia. It was different from my grandfather who seemed to get worse overnight, hers came on gradually. I knew that the medication was far advanced than it was when I was a kid. My grandmother was repetitive for many years, she still knew who we were, but as time went on she started to get worse.
I long for the days when we would go crafting and spend time together just having fun. I loved painting pottery together, and still smile at the day she picked out a mug for one of her daughters that says “I love mom”. My grandma is my best friend, as was my grandpa. Unfortunately my grandmother rarely knows who I am, among many other sad things. It doesn’t change the fact that I love her and I hate that she has this awful disease. It makes my day when she says my name! On Monday I was having a really awful day, and she said “Thank you, Candi.” Christmas came early for me that day.
Alzheimer’s can be very difficult to understand, especially for a child. If your loved one is suffering from the disease or you know of a child who is going to find out (or has found out) that their grandmother, grandfather, father, neighbor, someone they’re very close to has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I urge you to get the book “Saturdays with GG” written by Dwayne J. Clark, chairman and CEO of Aegis Living. His “book about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia shows us that children of all ages can, with the power of love and compassion, continue to build memories with their loved ones even after they begin to forget.”
In fact, I’m doing a giveaway and giving one reader the book “Saturdays with GG“.
Mandatory entry: Please leave a comment in the comment section below on why you’d like to win “Saturdays with GG” and a winner will be chosen randomly. My apologies to my international friends, but this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. Giveaway ends on December 30th, 2014 at 9 pm PT.
Aegis Living is a leader in assisted living and memory care offering a continuation of care that allows our residents to age in place as their needs change. Our nursing staff and trained caregivers offer a high level of service from managing your medication to assisting with your daily activities to customizing senior care plans in cooperation with your medical doctors and monitoring any changes in your health.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this giveaway. Alzheimer’s has affected my life since I was six years old and I hope that this book can help a child in dealing with this awful disease.