My mother was adopted by her aunt(the family connection comes from the fact that the aunt who adopt my mother was married to my mother’s biological uncle. So the woman who I grew up calling and knowing as grandma is my second aunt. My grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and boy let me tell you how hard was, end of 70’s early 80’s we did not know what we were doing, for how long, or how well we were doing. We were just doing. It was a nightmare. Everything that could, went wrong, my grandma, was a runner, so we need to be paid strict attention to doors, and because she did not have balance, she became prone to fall down, I remember one occasion when I was going out to bike with my friends and I saw her on the floor, I scream for help and off she went to be hospitalized.
Enduring months at a time, in the hospital, and every day we used to go to visit her. Painful and horrifying was to see her sleeping away. My mom did not have any other siblings so no sharing duties or anything else, but my grandma’s siblings used to come every Wednesday to talk to her and cheer her up giving my mom a break, but my grandma, just wasn’t there, my father took upon himself to cut her toenails, I work as her aid, believe or not waking up in the middle of the night to make sure she wasn’t gone, and changing her legs bandages because the water in her body was liking through her skin calves.
Her final hospitalization was her last everything. Alzheimer’s had her after all. Financially speaking no we would not have the means to have her transfer to a nursing home, and quite frankly back in those days, in Brazil people who went to nursing homes were people dean crazy. Now that I worked in the healthcare field for the last 15 years, when a family says they can’t afford, it or they have to talk with other family members to make a pool, I know in my heart they are financially stranded. For all the families out there who have a loved one in need of in-home care and don’t have the means to hire a caregiver I understand.
But I also say whoever needs medical professional help they are better off at home. With a part-time aid and some family members covering the other end. All the family needs to do is come together and pool their resources, have one leader to set schedules, and explain what needs to be done, not only financially but emotionally as well.
Lost for Alzheimer’s we lost big, and continue to lose as long as the disease can’t be treated or have definitive answers. For all the families out there who have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s and don’t have the means to hire a caregiver I understand.