Blog by CJay Smith, CEC
For about three weeks now, I have had a topic in mind for this month’s blog. As a matter of fact, I had already written about 200 of the required words. I wanted to “circle back” with you to see how your “Life Reimagined” process was going. My articles including: Your Time is “Write” Now, Resolve to Laugh and Lessons Learned were written with my hope for you to #1. Enjoy reading my blogs, and #2. Take the opportunity to take a close look at your own life and imagine all the possibilities it has to offer you from this day forward . And then…
For about three years now my husband’s family has been dealing with their mom who is suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and in the last months her condition has progressively worsened. My knowledge of Alheizemer’s dates back about five years ago. A good friend invited my husband and I to a luncheon and the topic of discussion was this disease called Alzheimer’s. What I gathered from this luncheon was this disease was fairly new to me, yet astoundly, affected so many people and many, if not the majority were Baby Boomers. That struck me hard…! Since now I recognize that I, yes I, am part of the Baby Boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1964.
Per Webster’s Dictionary, Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease of unknown cause that is the most common form of dementia, that usually starts in late middle age or in old age, that results in progressive memory loss, impaired thinking, disorientation, and changes in personality and mood, and that is marked histologically by the degeneration of brain neurons especially in the cerebral cortex and by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques containing beta-amyloid. Wow… what a mouthful…! The footnote definition says: a disease of the brain that causes people to slowly lose their memory and mental abilities as they grow old.
As siblings struggle to accept their mom’s condition saying “ seeing her “like this” is so hard to take when only months ago she was able to get around and take care of herself” became the common sentiment. It can happened just that quickly. As months passed, I saw firsthand the devastating effect on the family and my husband. She would get up in the middle of the night, get dressed, and try to leave home. Their mom went from being physically active to being bed ridded, from knowing all their names and recognizing all their faces to hardly being able to recognize any of them at all. As I write this blog, I think about the disease and my mother-in-law, I encourage you my Baby Boomer generation to educate yourselves on this disease and for further information contact your local Alzheimer’s Association, we did and I’m glad we did.