The Grapevine: Personal Thoughts on Alzheimer’s

By Rosalyn Queen on April 18, 2024 from The Grapevine via

As we round out the month of April and prepare for May it comes to my attention that May is Alzheimer’s Month.  Many of us know the word and most of us have been exposed to the disease either by word of mouth or directly with a family member.
As we grow older, and it seems to me our population is now living longer, Alzheimer’s becomes more prevalent.  We seem to associate the disease with age and most frequently it does appear in older individuals, but it is not that rare for younger adults to contact it. Some individuals are diagnosed with dementia, some not too bad, but some that developed into Alzheimer’s.
I feel I am a little qualified to speak about this as my family and I nursed our mother for almost 10 years with this disease and watched it progress  to the final stages until she passed.  We chose to keep her at home with round the clock caregivers.
I can share with you a few of the symptoms that started with forgetfulness and progressed to not knowing us, not being able to talk with us and needing complete care as she became bedfast.  The hardest part for any child is to look into their eyes and wonder what is behind them. You search fervently for them to recognize you and you know the recognition never comes.  It is very hard for a loved one to accept these conditions.  At this point you wonder if you have the right to pray for a peaceful passing.
Then you address the subject if Alzheimer’s is genetic.  We have always wondered if we should be tested but then we understand that there is not much that can be done for you. Can you live knowing you have the genes and currently there is little that can be done?  Approximately five million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Now is the time for all of us to support awareness and research.  Locally we have a wonderful program at WVU.  I hope to be able to supply you with direct contacts.
I urge you to consider helping a family who is being affected by Alzheimer’s.
Purple is the color for May and for Alzheimer’s.  I hope to be able to wear purple every day to remind me what I can do to combat this disease and I hope to get you to do the same. Prayer is the answer.
Take care, stay healthy and until next week, “Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine.”

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