Alzheimers And Wellness Essay

2741 words - 11 pages

As I sit here writing this research paper on the fourth anniversary of my grandfather’s death to Alzheimer’s, I cannot help but to feel especially connected not only to the physical destructiveness of the disease, but also to the emotional tolls associated with having it affect a family member. When I was in my freshman year of high school, my grandpa (mother’s father) began his steady decline from his diagnosis of this ailment. A man who I knew my whole life to be strong and independent started to become physically fragile and even more mentally so; after some time, he began to show signs of drastic memory loss, constant confusion and a hazardous inability to perform tasks once done with minimal effort. The onset of these debilitations had an immeasurable impact on my family. My grandmother (his wife) possessed the largest burden of the constant care for my grandfather as he slid into a state of powerlessness and incapability for basic self-maintenance. However, since my grandma never learned how to drive, taking full care of my grandpa become a near impossible task. After nearly a year and a half of my family witnessing my grandfather losing himself to Alzheimer’s, my family decided to place him in a hospice care facility that could provide him with the proper care before his inevitable passing to the disease a few months later.
Since my father’s dad lived in Ohio and his mother died before I was born, I was only able to see him a few times a year. The proximity to my mother’s parents provided me with a special bond to them as I was growing up seeing them a few times a week. In addition, I had never been alive to see the death of a close family member so my grandfather’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s was the commencement of a new experience for me. It was very hard for me not only to deal with the reality that my grandfather’s death was now imminent within a short timespan, but also that the rest of my family was so adversely affected by his regression. I decided it was up to me to re-adjust my mindset and step back to approach the situation to ultimately benefit myself at the end of the process. Many people while they are well, debate whether or not they would want to live in a state of complete debilitation and despondence before death or be pushed towards the end of the road to avoid the immense suffering. Seeing my grandfather’s helpless, especially within the hospice facility was an unreal experience to me; I could not help but wonder what he was feeling, as his fundamental communication skills were no longer at his disposal. However, this is what helped me to accept to imminence of his death, that perhaps that would provide salvation for him and he would be in a better place.
Experiencing my grandfather succumb to Alzheimer’s induced dementia gave me a new awareness for the disease and its potential relevance in my family’s history. After some research, I realized a slight presence in my mother’s male ancestors but I did not make too much...

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