My Dad’s Fight with Alzheimer’s Disease

Healthy brain (bottom) versus brain of a donor...
Healthy brain (bottom) versus brain of a donor with Alzheimer’s disease. Notable is the “shrink” that has occurred in Alzheimer’s disease; the brain was decreased in size. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a long while since my last post.

A lot has happened. I was first appointed POA and then Guardian for my father who was an Alzheimer victim. As he progressed in his illness, the dementia made it difficult for us to understand each other. Therefore, I read whatever material and books recommended by his physicians and the state.

Family and not so friendly ‘friends’ appeared and made things more difficult for no good reason other than not understanding and choosing not to be informed about the disease. They reported, “He’s okay. I spoke to him yesterday and he doesn’t have Alzheimer’s.”

I suggested reading material. I explained the progression of the disease. My decisions were interpreted as excuses for me to do whatever I wanted, not what my father wanted.

Over seven years, my father was tested and re-tested for Alzheimer’s and each time proved him worse than before. He didn’t know what year it was, how old he was, how long he was in one place, how much his rent was. He insisted he needed money daily and called me several times a weeks demanding money be sent to him. He had always been an angry, accusing man. He became more so as the disease progressed.  Over the last two years, his confusion and inadequacies brought on by his dementia infuriated him. So, he blamed me. I understood. However, outsiders believed his accusations and encouraged him to fight for his rights. None had the courage to communicate with me at any time. None of them knew I was ensuring his rights. They seemed to thrive in the drama they helped create.

One day he said, “I’m sorry.” I replied, “I forgive you, Dad. I’m sorry, too.” Dad died two weeks later as I held his hand. No one else was there to challenge the facts. He was finally at peace—so was I.

His picture sits on my desk smiling at me as I work. The family and friends still believe what they want. There is nothing I can do to change the choice to be ignorant of important facts about the disease by these people. However, if ever they are interested, I suggest they read the public documents and affidavits written to the Court. Most importantly, pick up a book on Alzheimer’s‘ and read it to be informed.

Rest in peace, Dad.
Love,

your daughter

Love.
(Photo credit: @Doug88888)

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