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What It’s Like to Live With Alzheimer’s

I love this video so I had to share. Clearly I don’t have Alzheimer’s and I don’t know that the people who made this video did either. I also realize that everyone is different. However,  I could easily replace the two characters in this video with my grandmother and I.  This is exactly how her day goes, and what I would imagine life might be like for many people who live with Alzheimer’s. She has constant supervision and constantly has someone guiding her.  She used to complain about us always telling her what to do. As she has advanced, I think she has either realized that she needs the help or that complaining doesn’t do any good.

I’m sure she has no idea who we are most of the time.  I tend to have my hair all over my head and it’s pretty messy when I’m at home. Many times, she thinks I’m a boy. It doesn’t bother me. The wild and crazy hair is likely not very ladylike to her.  She and my mother have always been the type of women who wake up in the morning and comb their hair and change out of their night clothes, even if they aren’t leaving the house.  Even today, she is dressed, faced washed and teeth brushed every morning before we bring her to the kitchen for breakfast. Me, as a single bachelorette living alone, not so much.  As a matter of fact I still have on my PJ’s right now. (It’s 2PM.)

I think she is more aware of who my mother is, but even so, she will sometimes ask, “Where’s Linda?” when Linda is standing in front of her. She used to always ask to go home. Understandable because she moved in with my mother. But even after 3 or 4 years here, she still had not grasped that this is home. She seems to trusts us, and she knows that we are the seemingly pleasant people who take care of her.

Politeness and spirituality are two things that are clearly ingrained to her core, and those personality traits might be the things that makes this just a little easier. She is constantly thanking us for everything we do. Everything from helping her out the bed, to passing her a toothbrush, to putting a plate in front of her or handing her a tissue. She always says “thank you.” Don’t get me wrong. She has her moments. Usually when you try to have her do something she doesn’t want to do, like get out of bed or take a shower.

And she is what you would refer to as a “prayer warrior.” She prayers for herself, she prays for us, she prays that the Lord takes care of us. I often joke that Jesus is probably tired of us calling on him. Between the three of us, “Lawd Jesus” is on repeat all day long. I have no doubt, that I am who I am today and where I am today because of the prayers of my grandmother. She personifies the old gospel song, “Jesus is on the Main Line.”

Sometimes it’s helpful to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Doing so increases compassion and awareness of how we treat each other. The video is brief and simple, but says so much.  Do you think it offers an accurate depiction of what life might be like for someone living with Alzheimer’s? Check it out and let me know in the comments below.


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