My last two living grandparents have passed away this year due to the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. I have worked with patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s as a clinician or therapy aide for twenty three years. For about ten years before that my mom worked as an activity director in nursing homes so my summers and after school days were spent doing whatever she “voluntold” me to do.
When my own grandparents went from being extremely intelligent, active, healthy, funny, loving individuals to people who wouldn’t know me if I walked into the room, this ugly diagnosis went from something I evaluated and treated to something that affected my entire life and the lives of those closest to me. My treatment perspective changed and my empathy grew for the families going through this journey.