With my father, his brother and their father having had late onset Alzheimer's I can't help but wonder if someday it will be my fate. This is what I have told my family.
If it is ever me with Alzheimer's disease please protect me. I don't want to be lost. I have a terrible fear of ever being lost. Keep me safe from those who would take advantage of my confusion. Keep me fed and clean and dry. That having been said. . . please don't try to keep me at home any longer than you can do it without taking a toll on your lives. If this is my fate let me be in a happy place in my mind where you are my babies and I will give you hugs and kisses even if I don't call you by name.
Let me be a part of your life but don't surrender your life for mine. I want my husband to have a wife. I don't especially want to meet her, but I do want him to keep living once I no longer understand. I want to keep as much dignity as I can for as long as I can and I want those who love me to understand that if I am not myself on the outside I am still me on the inside.
Bring me a puppy to cuddle, home made cookies to eat and soft blankets to cover me. Fill my room with pictures of my life so I can look at them and know I am loved.
Don't ask me about my life. . . tell me about my life. Feel free to leave out the times I wasn't at my best, or times that bring back painful memories (deaths of those I loved). Tell me about the good times.
Deborah Uetz author of Into the Mist, When Someone You Love Has Alzheimer's Disease website http://www.intothemist.us