With my father, his brother and their father having had late onset Alzheimer's I can't help but wonder if someday it will be my fate. This is what I have told my family.
If it is ever me with Alzheimer's disease please protect me. I don't want to be lost. I have a terrible fear of ever being lost. Keep me safe from those who would take advantage of my confusion. Keep me fed and clean and dry. That having been said...please don't try to keep me at home any longer than you can do it without taking a toll on your lives.
If this is my fate let me be in a happy place in my mind where you are my babies and I will give you hugs and kisses even if I don't call you by name.
Let me be a part of your life but don't surrender your life for mine. I want my husband to have a wife. I don't especially want to meet her, but I do want him to keep living once I no longer understand. I want to keep as much dignity as I can for as long as I can and I want those who love me to understand that if I am not myself on the outside I am still me on the inside. Bring me a puppy to cuddle, home made cookies to eat and soft blankets to cover me. Fill my room with pictures of my life so I can look at them and know I am loved. Don't ask me about my life...tell me about my life. Feel free to leave out the times I wasn't at my best, or times that bring back painful memories (deaths of those I loved). Tell me about the good times.
Deborah Uetz author of Into the Mist, When Someone You Love Has Alzheimer's Disease website [http://www.intothemist.us]
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