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Joan's Story
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Joan

My mother and grandmother both had Alzheimer's. Today, I work as a caregiver and work with a sweet lady who has dementia.

When my grandmother was alive, she would get lost. Eventually we had to put her in a nursing home in New Jersey - not a very nice place. She didn't remember any of us at that point, but she lived until she was 92.

My mom who was diagnosed with dementia at 76 years old. She would get angry and kept repeating herself over and over. This was over six years ago. She died at 78. 

I know that she was very depressed and lonely, but refused any help; she did not even want to take medication.  We believe she lost the will to live. She died in her home and was found by a meals on wheels person.

Back then, I could not even find a reliable caregiver to take care of her. Today, there are so many agencies for caregiving.  The awful thing is I have guilt that I did not take care of her enough. The week before she died, I was trying to get an appointment for her to see a neurologist. But of course, because of the wonderful healthcare system we have in this country, I had to wait for her referral to be approved!

My fear is that I too will get it, but I am determined not to. We must all band together in this fight. This is a terrible disease that takes away a person's integrity and value as a human being.


 

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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.