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Until recent years I didn't give much thought to or know much about Alzheimers and Dimentia. I was probably a little ignorant in thinking that most "old" people repeat themselves and forget things and that was just part and parcel of getting old. Even when my Nan and Grandad both ended up with this they were in their 80's and again I just brushed it off as a normal part of later life. It wasn't until I have experienced first hand a very well loved family member become unwell with Alzheimer's from such a comparatively young age ( early 60's ) when the symptoms first started that I now realised what a cruel and life changing illness this is. Not just for the person diagnosed with it but for the whole family around them. This person in particular is so physically fit and well and has the energy level most 20yr olds would envy and yet mentally they are not the person they once were. It is heartbreaking to watch the slow deterioration initially the forgetfulness maybe missing appointments or losing keys more frequently than you would expect, slight changes in behaviour or personality all easily brushed off but as time passes and the illness progresses its much harder to ignore. You then have to watch as the person you love be it your mum, dad, husband, wife, nan ,grandad, sister, brother or even as is in this case daughter ( her dad is 92 ) and although he is physically very restricted by his age mentally he is as sharp as you or I to watch his daughter go through times of confusion, fear, panic, frustration and sadness. They stop being able to remember how to do the simplest of things the weekly shop for example, cooking the dinner, putting the washing on. Life and the world outside become a scary place as your reality isn't anyone elses. Where are all your things going? Why can't you find anything? Why is no one listening to you when you say that your things are being taken or moved? Why are the people you care the most about telling you that you are not remembering things and making mistakes? You are sure that you are not?? Maybe they are forgetting things? Maybe they are making mistakes? Maybe there is a conspiracy? Why is everyone talking about me? I don't need to see a dr. I'm not unwell! I feel fine! Over the past 7 years I have watched one of the most fiesty, fit, motivated, independent, kind and caring and proud ladies I have ever met fight this illness with all her might. I have watched a son and 2 daughters losing their very much loved mum a little more each day,. I've watched the most amazing, loyal, loving and hard working husband gradually lose his wife and best friend and I've watched their grandchildren lose their favourite Nanny. She is still very much with us and to look at her she actually looks quite well but when you take the time to speak to her you realise how unwell she is. There I currently no cure for this illness only a medication that help to "slow" the process down which is only really helpful in the early stages and for us that was missed through pride and integrity this lady could not and would not accept that she was becoming unwell. I totally understand this it must be such a terrifying time for that person. I want to raise as much money as I can for this charity and I am running for one person in particular and their family so please donate however little as every little really does help.
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