MY ALZHEIMER'S ADVOCATES STORY March 24, 2015
My father died two years before his body died.
Alzheimer's robbed him of his participation in the world, robbed him of his love for his daughter and grandchildren and robbed him of his dignity and independence.
In order to cope with caring for him and finding places to get help, I had to take a reporter's attitude and stand back from the situation so I could clearly see what was going on. I had to put my emotions aside to watch my father slip away, little-by-little every day. That way I could make the tough decisions of what care center to put him in and where the money to do that would come from. That way, I could talk to a man I no longer knew and who no longer knew me.
Only when I saw him lying in his bed in the last nursing home, looking like he was asleep but knowing that he was not, did I let my strength drop and cry.
When I heard about the Alzheimer's Advocates going to Washington, D.C. to lobby for resources to help scientists find the cause, treatment and cure for the disease. something clicked for me.
My Daddy was always an activist. Most of the work he did was behind the scenes, but because of the causes he took up and the people he helped, things happened. I think my father was whispering in my ear: "get up and get busy".
For him... for my children... maybe even for me, I put on the purple sash and got involved.