Alzheimer’s update…

Yup, my father-in-law rmains afflicted… no miracle cure. Last night we stopped and sat on his bench at the MBL. There are a bunch of benches, each with a plaque. Ther’s something poignant about the fact that the other benches have birth and death dates on them, but Walt’s bench doesn’t. I suppose when he passes away, they can fill in the blanks.

He’s wonderfully affable. He’s generally quiet and present, and occasionally reflects on something in the conversation around him. We took a walk. On the walk I learned more about his illness. He got into a repetitive thing, re-stating the same interesting observation from time to time, as if it was new.

I’m grateful that his wife is caring for him, and I know that he’s well off in his own house… that a shift to some kind of “long term care” (what I uncharitably think of as a warehouse) would be bad for him. He reads his Boston Globe and does simple word puzzles and he smiles and when we left last night, this man who was at my wedding to his daughter twenty years ago shook my hand and said, “It was good to meet you.”

Posted in Miscellaneous
6 comments on “Alzheimer’s update…
  1. So sad, Frank. It says much about him that he remains gentlemanly.

  2. My mother had it, went the whole 10 years, it was an ugly business. No cure, no real paneceas or stop gaps currently. But the Alzheimer’s folks are working hard.

  3. joared says:

    Yes, you’re right that being at home in a familiar place through many stags of Alzheimer’s is beneficial. Expect he’s most receptive to visual stimulation, photos with names underneath (printed or cursive, depending on reading skills.) Hope his wife as primary caregiver is getting regular respite, or as she needs it. Good that you visit as some find the experience so distressing they think they might as well not bother.

  4. Winston says:

    Your hearts will be broken many times until his is freed. We endured this with Roomie’s Dad who had, not Alzheimer’s, but a similarly debilitating form of dementia. His wife also cared for him at home, and as positive as that was, it took a toll on her, especially the last year before he succumbed. Keep a close eye on her and get/provide relief frequently, even if she doesn’t want it.

  5. Anne says:

    Memories is who we are and all we have at the end. To lose that one thing which is the essence of our lives is beyond sad.

  6. I’m sorry about your father-in-law.

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