Very Sad Today

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RSteve

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One of my closest friends confirmed a suspicion I've had for several months.
We've been friends for 65 years, since we raced against each other in Jr. H.S. track meets. He's a Ph.D. retired college professor, university dean. We are both Vietnam Veterans, one week apart in age. Lately, his correspondence has been a bit strange. He's retired in Atlanta. In an email I received today, he writes, "This memory thing is really getting annoying." I last saw him, in person, at our H.S. class members' 70th birthday party.
For myself, I fear dementia more than Covid, even death.
 

ftrplt

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Yep!! Memory loss and strokes scare me "to death!!" I just wanna' go when my time comes! FTRPLT
 

Brewdude

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I've been up close with at least 3 Alzheimer's sufferers and it's a tragic situation.


No Cheers,

RR
 

Zeno Marx

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I would take it as a blessing that you can be sad about this, because the people working directly with dementia aren't usually afforded the softer, compassionate feelings. It quickly goes from compassion or sadness to frustration and can easily escalate into anger. Doesn't really matter if the rational thing is, "They're sick. This isn't x, y, or z." My couple of experiences with it included meanness and ugliness to go along with the dementia. Going into it with kindness and understanding and come out of it with so much frustration that beating your head against the wall sounds like it would feel good. I found the meanness to be the worst of this situation. It affects both the present and the future. It's the last, and freshest, thing in memory.
 

RSteve

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My father's youngest sister was the sole survivor of eight siblings. She had no children. Her husband died in 1984. I was her court appointed Power of Attorney, Conservator, and Executor of her estate. At age 89, she began to exhibit obvious signs of dementia. Because she had sufficient financial assets, I was able to keep her in her apartment with a 24/7 attendant until the dementia was extreme and she had to go to a memory care unit in a nursing home. From age 92 to her death at 97, she existed, not lived, by any definition, in the nursing home. From virtually the moment she stepped into the nursing home, her complete memory vanished, even her ability to speak. To be certain that she was kept clean (diaper changed, as necessary) I had to visit her at least twice daily, never at the same times. I wanted the staff to know that I would be checking on their performance. From years 2000 to 2005, when she died, her estate paid, on average, $6000 per month for her care. For my immediate family, it was hell. Fortunately, in 2000, I was financially able to retire, but those years, 2000 to 2005, were by no stretch "retirement". In April, 2003, my wife was diagnosed with the stage 4 breast cancer that ultimately took her life in 2008.
During the last year of my aunt's life, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and we placed her in the same nursing home. She was lucky. Shortly after entering the nursing home, she broke a hip and died a few months later.

I have no regrets for those years of caring for family members. I did what needed to be done; duty first, always.

But, having experienced the pain of being a caregiver, I would much rather die this moment, at my computer, than put my daughters through what my aunt, mother-in-law, my wife and I went through during those years.
 
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