Check out Jack Across the Land, over at Fighting Alzheimer’s. He has tons of resources, real life stories, a fabulous testimony of his own, and some support for caregivers. I have worked with many people who had Alzheimer’s and it really is a devastating disease, not well understood, not well addressed. Some people still view it as a symptom of getting older and confuse it with some slight memory loss that can occur with aging. It is not the same thing.
It’s rare, but sometimes it strikes younger people. I had a guy once, Indiana Jones, who was a real life treasure hunter. He broke my heart, first because he would read me love letters he had written to his wife who had passed away, but also because his disease progressed very quickly. He told fabulous tales of his adventures and showed me photos and videos from all over the world. I had some comical adventures with him, because eventually he began to wander, he’d believe he was searching for treasure and he lived at the edge of the woods near a ridge, so off he’d go. I’d have to run after him, through the woods, across the stream, down the embankment, and he was in far better shape than I was. He’d be leaping over logs and I’d be trying to get his attention, trying to convince him to slow down before we both got lost.
One thing he taught me, it hurts far more to be on the outside looking in. I could see his decline, the ground lost each week, but he did not really recognize it, not fully. I sometimes say families, caregivers, often suffer the most.
So, a hat tip to those who care, to those doing research, and to those caring for loved ones.