Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?
I don't remember how I stumbled upon this video. It's a long one - about 30 minutes - so you have to have the time to watch it. Still, I hope some of you will. It's about kids whose grandparents have Alzheimer's and what they think and how they cope. Some have grandparents living with them; some visit grandparents at nursing homes or assisted living centers.
Maria Shriver is the announcer/commentator. Her father has Alzheimer's and she said that she learned so much about how to deal with him from her own kids and neices and nephews.
My dad had Alzheimer's. And before that my Grandmother had it and my ex's mother had it. My son had to deal with my ex's mother at a very early age. He has no memories at all of her being "normal" because she lived in another state and didn't come to live with us until she was already ill.
He did know my parents when they were just normal grandparents, thankfully. But after my dad started losing his memory and started seeing cars running up and down the walls and such (although medications did end up helping with that), my son didn't want to ruin the memories of what he had been by replacing them with new memories of what he had become. He feels the same way now with my mom who has a different kind of dementia.
A young girl in this video said basically the same thing. I think what she said was that with each new memory, it's like it's pushing an old one out, and soon there will be none left.