My older brother Gus was diagnosed six or seven years ago with the dreaded Alzheimer's disease. He was an engineer for 49 years, never married and lived a nice, comfortable life. All of a sudden he spoke of a "problem" and he would point to his head.
Well, this has been a journey that I never thought I would be on. He currently resides in a Alzheimer facility in Jefferson Parish, La., and he is doing as well as can be expected. I have his "cubby" decorated with family pictures, mementos and small things from his past. I make a new wreath for the door to his room as the seasons change as this helps him to find his room.
Three time a week I go to the facility, shave, wash hair, clean him up, lotion his legs, feet and arms, and take him for a ride and go to lunch. The pleasure that he derives from this is so rewarding to me. He is 69 and I am 66. It is hard, but I will continue as long as I am physically able to do these things.
Gus no longer speaks and his only word is YES! I really believe that he understands me, and he speaks to me with his eyes.
What is so sad is to see the number of patients who have been dropped off by family and never return. I remedy this once in a while by bringing muffins, donuts or treats to these forgotten souls and to see a smile on their face makes me glow.