In her last years, my Mom suffered from Alzheimer's, a disease that has struck twice in our family. We at Tailored Touches are supporters of Alzheimer's research and wanted to dedicate this one year anniversary to that effort.
1 in 9 adults aged 65 and over will get Alzheimer's disease
In the United States, Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death - more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
I remember my Dad agonizing over the decision with my Mom right beside him. Making the decision to take someone out of their home and into nursing care is terribly difficult.
In 2015 in the United States, 15.9 million family members provided over 1.8 billion hours in unpaid care.
Only a few months later, Gammy would succumb herself to kidney failure…her mind had finally forgotten to make her kidneys do their job. That’s what Alzheimer’s is…an incurable brain disease that steals a person’s brain function...
Fast Forward 30 Years...
Only months later, we unexpectedly lost Dad but not before he pleaded with us that we take care of Mom. He knew - as we came to know - that she’d need more than just the emotional support of losing him.
A person's lifespan is about 3-9 years after diagnosis, but the disease may take up to 20 years to run its course.
5 million Americans currently have Alzheimer's
For any of you who have had to deal with Alzheimer’s, you know how frustrating it can be for both patient and their family. Mom knew her mind was slipping, and in moments of lucidity, she spoke of how scary it was.
Mom was extremely fortunate to have 5 children and a myriad of grandchildren to look in on her. We pulled together to honor the promise we gave our Dad. Some folks are not that fortunate.
1 in 3 seniors will die from Alzheimer's.
Picture: Mom in her nursing home with a quilt I made for her.
No cure - no way to slow the disease - it's terminal.
Our company, Tailored Touches, is a testament to her, to who she was, and to what she taught us. She is loved by so many and sorely missed.
Information on Alzheimer's
If you have a loved one suffering from this disease, here are a few tips to help you and them:
~ Be patient. In the early stages, they can sense something is wrong, and it's very scary. They may be irritable or defensive. Remember that they are literally fighting for their lives...
~ Plan ahead! Weigh your options early and gather as much info on care facilities and/or in-home care as far ahead as you can. Decisions will have to be made sometimes more quickly than you'd like, but with options in place, the hard decisions will be easier...
~ Be prepared to sacrifice a tremendous amount of your time and resources.
For more information and further reading, please check out these sites:
~ Alzheimer's Association
~ Mayo Clinic
~ WebMD article