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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:44 PM   #1
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Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

Hi. Has anyone else had both grandparents diagnosed with Alzhemier's? I am actually looking for ways to help my dad cope with this. He has heard about the disease being hereditary and now that both of his parents have it, he gets very depressed anytime he forgets something; thinking that he is going to get it, too. It's so hard seeing both of my grandparents struggle with this disease, but equally hard to see the toll it is taking on my Dad. Any advice for helping my Dad?
Thanks!

 
Old 08-24-2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

Welcome to the board Green. I am your father. Both of my parents have dementia. Dad's is vascular and Mom's is ALZ so I have two different dementias to worry about..... but I don't worry. It is truly heart breaking to see both of my parents struggling with this disease. I also watched my grandmother die of it, my great aunt, and several aunts. Vascular problems have taken all but one of Dad's 8 siblings. My health heritage is truly dismal. The inherited aspect of the disease is not like some inherited diseases. Just because your parent or parents have it doesn't mean that you will get it. Others that have no heritage of ALZ still get it. It's random no matter who has had it in your family tree. My grandmother had it and my mother has it but Mom's only full sister doesn't have it. Grandmother had a sister with it but the other five siblings didn't have it. Two of five half sisters had it but that meant three didn't have it. If I am going to worry about ALZ just because my Mom has it makes as much sense as worrying about getting hit but a dump truck because that's how my good friend died, or worrying about dying of old age because that will eventually get us all.

I am not going to waste my life worrying about how I am going to die. I am going to live my life. I may get hit by that dump truck tomorrow and then all the time I worried about ALZ would be wasted. All we have is time and I don't plan to waste any of it. Tell your dad to get "The Last Lecture" by Randy Paushe. He didn't have to speculate. He was dying of pancreatic caner and knew he only had a few months to live. His is a story of inspiration that challenges you to live life to the fullest and dare to dream big. He lived until he died rather than spending his life worrying about how long he had to live. There is no way out of this life but to die. We will all do it one day. We don't know when or how but it is up to us to live until we do. How sad it would be to spend your life worrying about something that may or may not happen. The only thing he can do to be prepared is to buy long term care insurance and tuck it away just in case. Then take care of his health and learn something new every day. I hope he dares to live his dreams.

I will honor my father and mother by living my life to the best of my ability and deal with what comes my way when it gets here. Hopefully by the time your father or I have to deal with this disease, if we every do, there will be a cure. That's what I focus on.

Your dad did a good job raising a wonderful caring daughter. Hopefully you can help him see that life is getter when you live it and not worry about how it will end. I will keep you both, and your grandparents, in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, deb

 
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:44 PM   #3
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

HI

I completely understand how your father feels...especially with BOTH parents affected. We kinda joke about it..my kids and I...but, yes, I do worry a bit about it. If I forget something, my kids will say stuff to make me laugh about it. I don't get depressed but I would be lying to say I'm not concerned. All I can do is try to live as healthy of a lifestyle as possible, keep my mind active and my body as well. And hope they come up with a cure real soon!
Gotta have hope.

My mom is the one affected and it is a myriad of emotions just dealing with her. I can't imagine all that your dad has to endure in their care and just the worry involved.

One of the thing that helps me most in my mom's care is the support I get from my son. Just knowing he is here to help in any way is so comforting. He is my rock. So, stand by your dad and tell him to not give up.

We do use humor a lot in our family. SO, the joke with us is that when and if the day comes that they see me slipping away they are to take me on a cruise, get me drunk and then push me over! Awful, I know...but it always makes us laugh during some of the worst times in dealing with my mom.


Good luck...
Meg

 
Old 08-24-2008, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

Meg.... it's not awful, I think it is a good plan. Talk about going out with a ... spalsh? hehe

My daughter definitely helps me keep my prespective. She is my rock. Sometimes I do forget my resolve (more about Mom and Dad's situation than any worry of my future) and she's always there to tell me to shuddup and enjoy life. We also use humor. I told her once to be sure to find me a facility on the ocean. She told me if I didn't hush she was going to get me a facility in the desert. We both laughed. So stick with Dad and help him keep his spirits high.

Love, deb

 
Old 08-25-2008, 06:35 AM   #5
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

Green,

Both of my folks had a form of dementia. Mom was AZ. Dad was Vascular Dementia. Do I worry about it, sure. But I'm not going to let it consume my life.

Right now I'm more concerned about when I'm cremated if the titanium rods in my back are going to melt or not or if my poor kids are going to be left with a box and two long rods. I told my daughter-in-law this last night in the car and I thought she was going to wet her pants she laughted so hard. She asked me if I was planning on going soon because if so she needed to clear her calendar. Hadn't planned on it, but I'd thought of this at 3 am one morning when I couldn't sleep due to twitches. My son, bless his heart, said he was going to turn the rods into jewelry and my ashes into diamonds so I could really be expensive and of some use. That boy is always thinking...Now what are they going to do wiht the 20 screws.....

 
Old 08-25-2008, 06:46 AM   #6
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

What about making a nice necklace ??

LoL
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... your loved one hasn't forgotten you ... the DISEASE doesn't remember you

 
Old 08-25-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

OMG IBake... you are such a hoot. I literally laughed out loud. THANK YOU!! Your good attitude is infectious!!!

Love, deb

 
Old 08-25-2008, 11:18 AM   #8
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

Again with the sick humor..all of you..OH, me too.

See, Green, even through the worst of times we can smile. I hope you can make your dad smile sometimes too.

Hey, maybe he'd like to go on that cruise with us.
Let's just hope it's a good 20 years off...by that time they may have found the cure. Then we'll drink to celebrate.

Meg

 
Old 08-25-2008, 05:50 PM   #9
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

Hi GreenFrog,
Just wanted to welcome you to the Boards!!!
My grandmother suffers from dementia and I believe right now is in late stages, she is 95. My mom also has concerns that she may inherit this as well, every time she has trouble remembering things, I know she worries. But as the ladies say, there's not much point in worrying, it will not change the future in one way or another.....you can just take each day at a time....along with the rest of us.

I hope you'll enjoy this Board, right now it is as comforting to me, just like "home"...

God bless,
Caroline xo

 
Old 08-26-2008, 04:19 AM   #10
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

Sure it's scary. Having seen what AD does to a person (my Mom) it is the last thing I would want to happen to me.

I have a lot of faith in science and research - and they do say a pill is 'in the pipeline' to be released within 5 years This pill will prevent or even cure the 'plaques and tangles' in the brain which cause AD. So if I can hold out for 5 years before becoming bonkers, I will be OK ....

or am I already a little bit bonkers?

Love,

Martha

 
Old 08-26-2008, 05:55 AM   #11
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

Thank-you so much for all of your posts. I was having a very difficult weekend after helping my parents move my grandpa into an assisted living facility. I am in my 30's and my grandparents were really a big part of my life, especially my grandma, who doesn't even know me anymore. My grandpa is getting that way, sometimes he remembers me, sometimes he doesn't. It's just sad, but your posts made me smile. I am very close to my family and somedays I just feel overwhelmed with sadness over the whole situation. So thanks so much for all your support!

 
Old 08-26-2008, 08:01 AM   #12
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

I wanted to respond before I left to go visit my parents in AL Green. Yes, it is difficult but you also know it is the best for you grandpa. He needs the constant care. It is the best for you Dad as well. Now he knows they are safe and well cared for. And you as well. You can still be a part of your grandparents lives. They may not know your name but they recognize the face of love. Even if they don't remember you were then after you leave, they know you are there at the moment. The memory may not linger but the feelings do. So continue to keep them in your life. This disease is a tragic one. None of us would chose this path. The only choice we have is how we deal with it. Be sad for a while, even cry if you must, then continue to enjoy every moment you can with your grandparents. I hope you all adjust well to this new arragement. It is an adjustment for all.

Love, deb

 
Old 08-26-2008, 04:16 PM   #13
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Re: Both grandparents with Alzheimer's

You're so right. My dad seems much more relaxed now and grandpa has been pretty positive about the experience so far. I think he was getting very lonely and now he has a lot of people to talk to everyday. So, so far so good. My dad has told me that he has secured plenty of long-term care insurance so if the time ever comes for him; don't hesitate, just send him. But you all are so right, you have to enjoy today and not dwell on problems that may or may not ever come. And Deb, that's good advice about staying in the moment when visiting my grandparents. Thanks again!

 
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