The Full Story

Mark's Alzheimer's Experience

Thru out the 5 years my mother suffered Alzheimer's, I experienced every stage of this horrible debilitating disease.

Follow my story below

2003

My Mother was Diagnosed with Alzheimer's. 

My parents had always cared for my brother Joel who was physically and mentally challenged.  So immediately, Joel came to live with me.

8 months later after my siblings had taken my mother off her med's, stolen everything and were trying to put my mother in an elder care facility.

I took sheriff's deputies to the property and took my mother to Iowa

The Sheriff wanted to press charges, the prosecutor refused and said it was a civil case, we went to civil court where the prosecutors husband represented my sister and brother. It was not pretty.

So I had a lot of lessons to learn about caring for an Alzheimer's patient.

The first thing I learned was mom could not learn, What she had forgotten was not coming back.

The second thing I learned was I had to adapt, and re-adapt as, again, she could not.

The 4 years she spent with Joel and I was the best experience of my life, Joels as well as he was given the opportunity to help mom now.

The first week were full of lessons, first after a few days mom was looking  unclean, I asked her if she had washed her hair , she answered, I never washed my hair growing up, why do I have to now. I asked her to take a bath, we walked into the bathroom, she had a blank stair at the water control's, she did not know how to operate them.

I went to the store, bought bubble bath, fix a bath up, walked her in, she was ready to hop in.

Next as weeks went by we saw that same stair at the eating utensils on the table, so I began cutting her food up so she could eat, eventually we moved on to finger foods, then under her dentists instructions we had to take her dentures as they were wearing on her lower jaw bone, we then had to blend her meals.

Mom and Joel spent a lot of time together watching TV. They both lived in the past, so All in the family, Andy Griffith, Gun Smoke, all the oldies all day long.

I hired a gal to come in every morning, wake bath and feed her, then to the living room to join Joel.

Nights were all on me. We had dinner together every night, and every night @ 8 we put her to bed. The last 18 months of her life, she could no longer walk, talk feed herself ect, so part of the bed time was also potty time. I wiped my mothers bottom every night, tucked her in and kissed her good night like she did me as a baby.

l would like to write a hand book sometime for the things I learned during those 4 years. I guess the first thing I would tell everyone is

"DO NOT ASK IF THEY KNOW YOUR NAME" 

it will only frustrate your loved one and you, if they say some thing not correct, smile and agree,  You have to learn how to adapt, they can never learn again.