Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease. Sure, there is rarely physical pain involved, but the emotional pain of all involved is enough to bring a family to its knees, overcome with feelings of helplessness. No one should ever have to watch their father, their grandmother, aunt, friend, or anyone close to them become a shell of a human, a lifeless face and thoughtless mind.
Just a few days ago, I watched my father-in-law, now a little more than two years into his Alzheimer’s haze, wander around his home aimlessly, constantly picking up and putting down the same bag, walking in circles, never uttering a word. Later at a restaurant, he would wander off if no one was watching, and then be led back to the group, only to wander off again, without an expression on his face.
His brain is deteriorating at a rapid pace, the doctors tell his wife. Why? No one knows. How can we stop it? You can’t. That’s Alzheimer’s.
He was put into a nursing home the day of this writing. In just two years he has gone from a loving and healthy husband, father and grandfather enjoying retirement, to a lifeless body in a house of lost hope. And a family is left devastated.
This type of devastation is becoming more and more common as reported cases of Alzheimer’s reach epic proportions. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are approximately 500,000 people dying each year from the disease. And that number is only expected to rise.