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Author: pmarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 150  
Subject: Re: Alzheimer's Disease Date: 1/7/2003 9:14 AM
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I was wondering if anyone has parents who are suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.

My mother was a bit of a hypocondriac, and from the day she heard about Alzheimer's, she was sure she had it. If she couldn't remember what shade of lipstick she'd worn 30 years ago, "Oh, I'm losing my mind!" I exaggerate, but only mildly.

When she actually had it, she couldn't have cared less. For this I am eternally grateful. Her Alzheimer's-related dementia didn't set in until her mid-80's, and heart failure took her at 89, while she still knew who and where she was and the people close to her, and without her having suffered the physical manifestations of the disease. You'll find some adventures (circa 2000-2001) with my mother over on the BBB, either under this name or TMFExRO, my other TMF persona. (I got a lot of support there from people who had gone through this--I suggest you post over there too, if you haven't already.)

There is a wealth of information available and a lot of research being done. I recommend an early visit to www.alz.org.

When I was still living 1200 miles away from my parents I talked with friends who lived in the same city as their failing parents. There's a tradeoff. You'll feel very frustrated being so far away, sometimes probably helpless and hopeless. I can't really help much, except to tell you that you make it through. The good news is that the distance forces you to have a life other than caregiver.

Having performed both roles, I can't stress enough how much the caregivers need your support. You'll also find on the BBB a lot of #itching by me about the lack of support from my brother. You don't have to be there physically, but you do have to be there in spirit, and you'd be amazed how much that will help those who are close.

It's an ugly disease, but there is still a chance for lemonade. You're in my prayers.

Phil
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