Being in the senior housing industry, I see and meet those with dementia or Alzheimer's every day. Or if I'm not meeting them I'm meeting their families and care givers. From a professional standpoint Alzheimer's is tough. From a personal standpoint it's excruciating.
My Gramps, my mother's dad, has been experiencing a mental health decline for the past several years. We now have the diagnosis of Alzheimer's - and even though we knew that to be a possibility all along it's still a great blow. There is no cure. There is no getting better.
What was once a vibrant, social, hardworking, independent man, is now a quiet, reserved, and totally-dependent-on-my-mom person. Not only is this rough on him but it's devastating for my mom. However, she carries it like a champ! She's a true advocate for him and is totally devoted, especially since her mother, my Gampi, passed away almost two years ago. I can't imagine those that don't have a daughter like her to look after them or those that don't have the monetary resources for homes such as where I work.
This is why finding a cure for Alzheimer's is so crucial. With the baby-boomer generation getting older and our life spans getting longer, more and more will receive this diagnosis every year. The research and support that is provided by the Alzheimer's Association is amazing and my family whole-heartedly supports them. This year we did the annual Alzheimer's Walk with my whole family. My mom won an award for individual contributor and fund-raiser. She also (in my book) wins an award for being an amazing daughter and advocate for my Gramps.
For more information on how you can help, visit www.alz.org.