AlzAuthors is a community of more than 200 extraordinary authors who have written about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. Today I am spotlighting those books written by the community’s supportive management team, of which I am a member. Please take time to visit the six books spotlighted below. I truly believe you will be glad you did. Let AlzAuthors light your way through Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Alzheimer’s Daughter – a memoir by Jean Lee. A poignant accounting of a family’s life after both parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease on the same day.
Blue Hydrangeas – an Alzheimer’s love story by Marianne Sciucco. A touching account of a couple’s journey into Alzheimer’s and of the love that never succumbed to the disease.
Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia by Vicki Tapia. This engaging memoir offers useful information from experts within the field of Alzheimer’s research, personal lessons the author learned along the way, and ideas and tips for managing the day-to-day ups and downs of dementia.
Weeds in Nana’s Garden by Kathryn Harrison. A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias geared toward the children in our lives.
Motherhood: Lost and Found – a memoir by Ann Campanella. A memoir of the ordinary and extraordinary courage of those who endure debilitating and even crushing illness, and those who suffer with them when they do so.
Requiem for the Status Quo by Irene Frances Olson. A novel that explores the delicate balance of families upended by Alzheimer’s disease and how they manage their loved one’s needs with their own.
The eBook and audiobook of Requiem for the status quo will continue to be available on Amazon until the end of 2019. I am going to self-publish the paperback version through my publishing arm, Words Matter Press so as of March 1, 2019, you will not be able to purchase a paperback copy for your bookshelf until Words Matter Press’s Spring 2019 release on Amazon.
In the meantime, the Amazon paperback price for the month of February has been reduced so those who want to add this book to their library can do so at a discounted price before supplies run out. If you are a Prime member, shipping is FREE!
Let these recent reviews encourage you to get your copy today!
Rubies My mother recently died from Alzheimer’s, and I could really relate to everything she wrote about. All her information is very accurate, and I felt like she was on the journey with me.
This week’s kindness spotlights the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) a fabulous group for writers of women’s fiction. Most if not all the administrative staff is volunteer – the reason why their kindness is this week’s selection. As a member of this organization, I was given the opportunity to have a podcast recorded for their Hear Me Roar program because I’m a debut author. Although my novel, Requiem for the status quo was released a year ago, it was my debut publishing effort.
This podcast is approximately 30 minutes in length, and although my novel is certainly the focus, much attention was spent on the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the world. Perhaps this podcast will keep you company on your commute in the next few days; although it may seem a bit choppy, I think it’s worth hanging in there to hear my, and the host’s, provocative discussion.
I gave the members of that group 24 hours to leave a comment on my giveaway announcement if they wanted to be entered into my contest to pick one lucky (hopefully lucky) reader to receive a complimentary copy of my novel, Requiem for the status quo.
I received 37 entries, and a considerable percentage of those readers’ entries made mention of their own personal Alzheimer’s/dementia caregiving journey. Here are just a few of those comments:
- I am a geriatric care manager, can’t wait to read it!
- My friend just had to put her mom into a caregiving rest home because she could no longer handle her. She was becoming quite violent. It is a horrendous disease.
I love that you are writing inspiring stories! Many of us are or were caregivers and the hopelessness we feel when we dont see them getting better can be overwhelming. Your compassion is so sweet and much needed in todays world. Im really excited to find a new author I can enjoy!
- I would be honored to read this book, my father had Alzheimer’s disease. I want to tell you that the cover is totally amazing !!!!!
- I would love to win. My husband has Alzheimer’s/ dementia so it is if special interest to me.
Even as familiar as I am with the statistics for this disease – 44 million diagnosed worldwide as of this writing – it still astounds me to hear the personal stories associated with it. Like every terminal disease known to man, Alzheimer’s and other dementia are very personal diseases. The brain – the very essence of a person’s being – is the initial body part affected. What we say, how we behave, and who we are resides in the various, vital parts of our brain. Our brain is the grand traffic director of all things me.
It’s no wonder the very long goodbye associated with this disease is so devastating to the one diagnosed, as well as for the one caring for her or him. It’s very personal, isn’t it?
I am of the belief that family dementia caregivers are 21st century heroes. Additionally, all caregivers, not just those on a dementia caregiving journey are the best of the best. They are:
Ordinary people, doing the ordinary right thing, at an extraordinary time.
I am honored to be in your company.
Requiem for the status quo will be released by Black Rose Writing on July 20th. You can order Requiem at Barnes & Noble and Amazon as well as all online and brick and mortar chain and independent bookstores. Be sure to shop around for the best price, you won’t be sorry you did. And for those of you with eReaders, the eBook will be available at most online book retailers on, or about, July 27th.
I’m reblogging this article I wrote in April of 2013 because it comes up in my blog stats as being extremely popular to many of you out there. I can only conclude that it’s popularity remains high because there are so many caregivers in the world who are tangled up in a daily life that centers around those with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. I hope many more will be encouraged – and pleasingly challenged – by what I have to say in this post.
Walk in Their Shoes… Just for a Minute. The attached article contains encouraging advice that caregivers worldwide need to read, and re-read, from time to time.
Those of us who have been caregivers to loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementia know very well the frustrations felt when we come to the realization that we’re not sufficiently equipped to handle that which this disease presents us. We’re walking in caregiver shoes, fully incapable of walking in those of the person with dementia. If we could, we would shriek at what we see and experience.
So we get frustrated – understandably so. We raise our voices in anger – and feel guilty immediately thereafter. We complain to others about the one we’re taking care of – because we crave to be heard and understood by someone!
Do not ask me to remember is a loaded statement and one which should give us pause. We know the person with dementia is not able to remember the previous five seconds, so why do we ask them to remember where and when they were born? Why do we think that repeating an answer LOUDLY AND WITH EMPHASIS will help the loved one remember this tenth time you’ve answered their same question? Why do we think they will understand our logical explanations about circumstances when their ability to understand anything requiring organization of thought is a function forsaken long ago by the brain that they’ve been stuck with?
Because we’re human – and we want order out of chaos, and we want the one for whom we are providing care to finally “get it.” And we want them to understand that this ain’t no cake walk for me so why aren’t you appreciating all that I do for you?
Because they don’t remember.
A recent NY Times article, On Dying After Your Time, poses many topics for discussion that must be addressed. I knew before I even started to read the article that readers will have varying opinions on the matter of extending life beyond its appointed time to die. These opinions will be based on ethics, biases, age of the reader, and religious beliefs, to be sure, but another factor that comes into play is the personal experience of each reader.
If the reader has watched a loved one perilously balanced in limbo with a ravaged-by-disease body and/or mind, that reader might lean towards declaring that too much is being done to artificially prolong life. In the past five years of my life, I have watched both my father and my sister-in-law die from Alzheimer’s. Who they were at the end of their lives didn’t come close to resembling who they were pre-disease. If the reader has had no experience with this aspect of life and death, that reader may feel more comfortable with the decision to throw every treatment possible at the patient with the goal of allowing that person to live as long as humanly – or scientifically – possible.
One of the issues presented in the NY Times article is the fact that as we live longer, there is an increase in the amount of chronic illnesses – a fact that certainly stands to reason. “This rise in chronic illness should also give us pause about the idea, common to proponents of radical life extension, that we can slow aging in a way that leaves us in perfectly good health…The evolutionary theory of senescence [growing old; biological aging] can be stated as follows: while bodies are not designed to fail, neither are they designed for extended operation.”
The author of the NY Times article is an 83 year old man who closes out the piece by stating, “We are not, however, obliged to help the old become indefinitely older. Indeed, our duty may be just the reverse: to let death have its day.”
If you haven’t yet formed an opinion on the matter of life-extension at all costs – I encourage you to do so before it’s too late. Life and death decisions are best made well in advance of the necessity of such decisions.
Bloomberg Businessweek posted a provocative article, Sex Among Dementia Patients Spurs Call for Policies, that will no doubt get the attention of professionals, and family members alike. The attached article is well-worth the read, and I have a few comments of my own to add.
I acknowledge that sexual activities most likely occur in every long-term setting out there. Consenting adults – even those with varying degrees of dementia – need touch and physical connection. I think it’s fabulous that in spite of the limitations brought about by cognitive impairment, human beings still maintain the desire to give affection, and receive affection. In some instances, affection may simply be expressed with hand holding or sitting next to someone, hip-to-hip. Or perhaps a hug and a kiss are involved. All of these actions are perfectly innocent without harm as long as all touching is consensual.
Some residents may express their need to give and receive affection with more intimate sexual activities, so if both parties are willing and able, I think intimacy is an important part of their well-being.
What about those patients who are already married to someone else?
It takes an understanding and flexible spouse or partner to overlook the intimate activities of their cognitively impaired loved one. The commitment made between the two parties years ago is a commitment that still resides within the deep recesses of that person’s being – but it’s a commitment that can not be drawn upon and reaffirmed because of memory impairment. (I think it’s important to not assume that adulterous motivations are in play here.) Marriage itself may be a concept that is no longer understood by the patient, and as is oftentimes the case – the visiting spouse exists as a friendly visitor, not the wife or husband that the patient used to know.
I can’t predict how I would feel if similar circumstances came my way in the future – my husband and I have not fallen into the cognitive impaired category – yet. And you don’t have to agree with what I’ve stated above. The sentiments I have provided come from my own personal beliefs, and from the perspective of having both worked in long-term care in my past, and having had family members who have lived in long-term care housing.
One last thing: As dementia care specialist Teepa Snow stated in the attached article, “No matter what you do, somebody’s going to see you as wrong.” The issues of sex and intimacy touch many personal, religious, and ethnic biases and beliefs. There are no completely right or completely wrong answers. I’m simply thrilled that the long-term care industry has stopped pretending that geriatric sex isn’t happening, and that they are no longer treating it as a taboo subject. I take comfort in that fact.
The attached video, just 3 minutes long, showcases how very personal Alzheimer’s and other dementia are to those involved. The toll on the patient – measurable, as you will see in this Shapiro family video.
The toll on the family – especially those caring for a member with the disease – beyond measure. Imagine taking care of someone who has lost his or her faculties, who can no longer express themselves verbally, and who has become a shell of his former self. Can you imagine it?
Imagine you must, because I sincerely believe that the only way people will stand up and take notice and do something about this disease, is to wear the mantle of a loved one with the disease, and/or the mantle of the beleaguered caregiver.
If you can help monetarily, please do so: www.alz.org.
If you can help within your community to relieve the stress of a caregiver with whom you are acquainted, that support is equally as needed and valuable.
Whatever you do, please do something to make a difference.
The above public service announcement shines a spotlight on a disease that will affect you one way or another:
You may receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or I may receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis
- A loved one of yours may receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and you’ll be his or her caregiver
- A good friend of yours; a neighbor; a coworker may receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis
The point is – just as all of us know someone who has had, or currently has, cancer – all of us have some sort of connection to someone who has Alzheimer’s or other dementia.
None of us is immune to this disease that steals a person while their heart is still beating.
I like the above article and every single article that mentions some sort of steps moving towards diagnosis and treatment, even steps that are stunted right out of the block.
Stillness gets us no where. Although limited, at least this article discusses some progress towards shutting down Alzheimer’s and other dementias. During a time where very little good news is forthcoming relating to this disease, I’ll take anything – thank you very much.
The attached article, written by a blogger in the UK, is straight-forward and thought provoking – it should be.
I live in Washington state, and I am glad that Death with Dignity is a legal option assuming all the legal requirements are met. This is a very personal subject matter, as is the choice that individuals will make to seize the opportunity, or to reject the opportunity. There is definitely a separate element of this option when the law is utilized for those with dementia. When is someone still capable of making the decision?
A non-profit in my state, Compassion & Choices of Washington, is an excellent resource for materials and information. They have even developed an Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Mental Health Directive – a first-of-its-kind directive that allows people – while still competent – to document their wishes related to who will provide their care, where care will be provided, how it will be financed, how to deal with difficult behaviors that may arise, and many other matters that both caregiver and patient face. Bless all of you who face this horrific disease that has no effective treatment, and certainly no cure.
I’m attaching the above article from a fellow blogger. He, like so many of us, find it difficult to fathom how anyone would take advantage of a vulnerable human being. The very unsettling fact, however, is that incidents of abuse of the elderly occur and are far too common.
Whether the abuse is instigated by family members upon the elderly in the privacy of their home, or by “professionals” in long-term care settings such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or group homes – it happens. Oftentimes such incidents go unchecked for months, or years, and are discovered only when a death occurs, or when someone with a conscience steps forward and complains to the authorities. Those being abused either don’t have the ability to complain or they fear that doing so will make matters even worse for them.
Worse? Residents fear that if they complain, they’ll be thrown out of the place in which they live – the place in which they receive the abuse. I know that you and I are quick to say, “Fantastic! What a great relief that would be if the person no longer lived with his or her abusers!” We say that because we have not experienced what they have experienced; we have not heard the threats and vicious statements directed towards these vulnerable human beings. These violated human beings don’t understand that abhorrent behavior is not normal because it’s all they’ve known.
These are older human beings who at one time were innocent children showing up on their first day of school; worried teenagers fretting over what to wear to the prom; young adults heading off to college and/or a career; husbands and wives, moms and dads … people just like you and me. Now they’re nothing but broken, barely alive bodies who have been treated worse than a junk yard dog.
That makes me mad.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Questions Answered | PBS NewsHour. We need all the help we can get in order to make well-informed decisions about any caregiving journeys that might occur in our future. The attached article shows a snapshot of one adult daughter’s 24/7 caregiving journey with her mother.
Perhaps you’re saying that you don’t anticipate your parents requiring any caregiving assistance in their frail years (perhaps your parents have already passed so no need exists there.) Do you have any siblings? close friends? a significant other? If you answered “yes” to any of those designations, the possibility exists that you will be called upon – or you’ll volunteer – to be of assistance to someone who needs help with their activities of daily living (ADLs).
Taking care of a loved one is no easy task. It doesn’t matter how much you love the person, your patience and your abilities will be tested. I truly admire the subject of this PBS article. Rebecca Wyant is the full-time caregiver and guardian of her mother, Mary Wyant, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 65. Mary moved in with her daughter in 2006, is now 74 years old, and Rebecca is in her seventh year of personally providing her mother with full-time care.
How does Rebecca do it? She thought she was prepared for the task but soon discovered that finances, and creative ways of managing her mother’s care, are dwindling resources. With that said, however, Rebecca states that she is the only person who can provide the care that she can. She agrees that professionals could provide the care, but absolutely no one could possibly care for mom as Rebecca can. That part of the video disturbs me a bit, and I’ll tell you why.
I was an Alzheimer’s Association caregiver support group facilitator for several years and heard the voiced concerns of those daughters, sons, and spouses, who carried a great deal of guilt on their shoulders for not being able to keep up with the care of their loved one. They did provide the care initially, and then found their abilities wanting – and their health declining. They eventually made the very difficult decision to place their loved one in an assisted care setting.
Here’s the story of “Constance” and “Robert.” Constance first came to my support meeting at the age of 80 having already taken care of Robert at home for the previous three years since his diagnosis. Constance’s health started to decline due to lack of sleep – Robert’s dementia had no respect for the clock. Added to that dilemma was the fact that she had no existence outside of her house. She was trapped! Her friends abandoned her, all the social activities in which she had participated fell by the wayside, but she refused to move her husband into an assisted care setting, even though she felt they had the finances to support such a move – many do not and have no choice but to provide 100% of the care. “No one can take care of Robert like I can. I would never do that to him – placing him in someone else’s care. That’s my duty as his wife; a duty I take seriously.”
Fast forward one year later, and Constance had no choice but to place Robert in an adult family home with five other residents; it was either that, or she would have been forced to relinquish her caregiving role because, quite frankly, she ran the risk of dying before Robert. Once she relocated Robert to a care home, the well-trained staff provided all the assistance Robert needed, and Constance could now have the sole role of being his wife. She visited him almost daily until the day he died one year later.
Constance admitted that she wished she had moved Robert to the adult family home earlier than she had because she realized that being a committed wife didn’t have to include caregiving that risked her own health. She relished her reprised role as his loving wife when she visited him – none of the other care staff could fulfill that role but her – and the staff did what they do best, providing all the care her husband needed.
This is the nugget I want you to come away with from my above commentary: guilt and obligation are normal emotions that might prevent you from making decisions that may very well be in your best interests and those of your loved one. Please believe that allowing someone else to take care of your loved one does not equate to you shirking your familial duties. It does, however, tell me that you know your limits, and you know what is best for your personal situation in the long run. Additionally, it shows that you value your long-standing role as a daughter/spouse/partner/sibling, more than any new role as a care provider. There’s something to be said about retaining your given role in a relationship.
Caveat: as I indicated above, finding affordable care outside of ones home is no easy task, and you may have no choice but to provide the needed care for your loved one. But if you are able to find trusted family or friends who can “spot” you from time to time so that you can enjoy a needed time of respite, please do so. You’ll be far more able to carry out your caregiving task if you take care of yourself first. See my article: Caregiver: put on your oxygen mask first.
Read the above article if you’re not convinced that traveling with a loved one who has dementia can be challenging. Or read it if you too have experienced this particular type of stress because you have already ventured into the travel hell that this Blogger describes. I make that statement with no disrespect intended. It doesn’t matter how much you love your co-traveler, it doesn’t matter how wonderful your destination – getting there is not without its mishaps and aggravations for both the caregiver, and the cognitively impaired traveler.
Then there is the other side of the coin: imagine that you are a person with mid-stage Alzheimer’s or other dementia who is not accustomed to staying put – you actually wander constantly when you’re on the ground – and you’ve been put on an airplane by yourself and you have no concept of what is taking place. You don’t have the capacity to understand that this metal tube in which you are sitting is a confined space and trying to “get home” is not an option. If you can’t imagine that scenario read the attached article, Alzheimer’s “exit-seeking” behavior at 35,000 feet, an article I wrote shortly after returning from Bar Harbor, Maine in October 2012.
In my post, President Obama says the “A” word: Alzheimer’s, I provided some Alzheimer’s statistics that focus on those who are predicted to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementia in the years to come. I also talked about caregiver statistics.
One statistic that really resonates with me is the following: a new caregiver is set into action every 33 seconds because someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds. In actuality, the stats are far greater than that. Caregivers are “created” every second of the day because there are countless diseases requiring the assistance of someone just like you and me – an unpaid caregiver for a loved one. I use the distinction of “unpaid” so as not to be confused with those who work as caregivers in the health care industry.
The following statement is attributed to former First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn Carter:
There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers,
those who are currently caregivers,
those who will be caregivers, and
those who will need caregivers.
I really don’t think there’s any way around it. How about you? Have you dodged the caregiver or being-cared-for bullet yet?
Attention one and all! There’s a new website out that will be addressing the challenges of being a caregiver. The author/owner of this website, Don Desonier, is coming from the perspective of someone who very recently lost his spouse as a result of dementia complications.
Don’s five-year journey as a caregiver provided him with heart-rending experiences from which he garnered exceptional insight and wisdom. I personally look forward to his article postings – so much so, that I became his first blog follower. At the very least – why don’t you check out the website and visit from time to time. I feel confident that you’ll walk away feeling renewed with the realization that you’re not alone, and somehow or another – there’s a way through this difficult journey that you’re on.
I commend this Blogger, and I love him. Don is my brother and he was an extraordinary caregiver to his wife of almost twenty-five years.
The attached link, written by a blogger in Singapore, describes his experience as a cab driver when he picked up a woman with dementia who needed to get from Point A to Point B but who lacked the cognitive capacity to effectively do so.
Personally, I think he excelled at compassion and even though he feels he could have done more, I respect him for what he did do. We don’t want to entertain the thought of someone who might have taken advantage of this woman but there are many who would have looked at this situation as an opportunity to exploit her vulnerability.
I congratulate you, Lim James, for showing all of us that goodness exists, and it exists in your soul.
I strongly encourage you to read the above article. Too often physicians with insufficient training on elder-health issues dismiss the early signs of Alzheimer’s or other dementia as simply being age-related developments. Doing so presents the risk of missing the small window of opportunity in which to treat cognitive issues early on, rather than when they have fully taken up residence in a patient.
Sure, there’s nothing yet that prevents or cures the disease, but being able to manage the symptoms early on certainly adds to the quality of life that both the patient, and their loved ones, seek to experience.
For those of you who have taken on the role of advocating for your loved one: when you escort your loved one with early memory loss or confusion to the doctor’s office, do not back down when he/she concludes the symptoms are to be expected due to advancing age. NO! Those symptoms could very well be indicative of disease-related dementia, OR the symptoms could be caused by medication side-effects (blood pressure medication, seizure medication and the like) or other medical conditions, such as urinary tract infection (UTI.)
It’s all about advocacy. Do you go the easy route and take the doctor’s word for it, or do you push for worthwhile diagnostics to rule out any other serious or life-changing causes?
Thanks are due to the author of this article, linked above, who provides a list of movies with an Alzheimer’s or other dementia story line. How timely, as my husband and I were discussing last night how a few of the novels we’ve read recently have an Alzheimer’s story weaved through the book.
I told my husband that this seeming anomaly is not surprising due to the pervasiveness of the disease in so many households throughout the world. In my family, my father died from Alzheimer’s complications in 2007, and my sister-in-law died at the age of 69 from mixed dementia. I know there are many of you who at the very least know of someone affected by the disease.
My oh, my – such a difficult subject to broach with a family member when you know that he should put down the car keys and let others do the driving for him. The article linked above from NBC Nightly News is a good source of tips on how to handle this very familiar problem. I address this issue in my article: Driving with dementia: the dangers of denial. Although dementia is usually one of the most talked about reasons for taking away someone’s car keys, there are other reasons that are just as important that must not be ignored:
- Age-related slow reaction times;
- Medications that might cause dizziness and/or slow reaction time; and
- Impaired eyesight and hearing.
Not wanting to hurt a loved one’s feelings should not be the reason to avoid this subject matter. Let’s face it, your loved one’s safety and the safety of absolutely everyone else is at stake here. There are already so many dangers on the road with drivers talking or texting on their cellphones, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, doing any number of distracting functions such as eating, personal grooming, changing a tune on your I-Pod, or being distracted by children or dogs in the back seat. Now add someone who is impaired by age or cognitive disease and the risks to others increases greatly.
If you or a loved one are facing this important and difficult step, please read the attached NBC article linked above and also take the time to look at my article, Driving with dementia: the dangers of denial that provides encouragement for how you might take care of this very important matter of safety.
The exceptional article linked above focuses on the aftermath of losing someone for whom care was provided, and walking amongst the presence of that someone by virtue of their lingering essence; an essence that can not be bagged up and placed at the curb. Even the photos this blogger provides elicit clear images from when my parents died – thirteen years apart.
My father took comfort in my mom’s presence for many days after September 24, 1994, the day his wife died in her sleep: her handbag draped over the handle of the kitchen door; her reading glasses placed all through the house where she might have ended up needing them; the unfinished grocery list for items she anticipated purchasing later that week; the laundry basket containing clothes she removed from her body in the days preceding her death, not knowing that a few days hence, she would not be the one to launder them. I admit to hugging the bedsheets that had been removed from my mother’s bed the morning after her death. I buried my face in them, inhaling that which remained of my mother, as these were bedsheets on which her last breaths were taken.
When my father died thirteen years later, I collected some of his personal items that spoke to me: the crucifix that hung above his bed; the magnifying glass that he needed to read newspaper articles prior to losing his reading ability due to the insidious disease of Alzheimer’s; his favorite shirt – or was it mine? – that helped me to readily pick him out amongst the other residents in the crowded dementia unit dining room; and his worn out wallet containing items that even in the depths of his dementia, gave him a sense of importance and identity.
We all know that tactile items themselves don’t bring our loved ones closer to us. But these items act as surrogates for those who have passed, more or less serving as the catalyst that uncovers what matters to us most: the essence of the cherished being, and the memories that are not easily discarded.
A very moving story in the New York Times, When Illness makes a Spouse a Stranger, provides a moving testament, contained in an article and a video, of the commitment required when a spouse becomes a stranger.
When Michael French was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, his wife Ruth was told that the best way to describe this type of dementia is that the brain atrophies. This dementia is not like Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. Frontotemporal dementia strikes younger people and progresses much faster than other dementia.
How does one continue to have a relationship with someone who has become a complete stranger, especially one’s spouse? Ruth says that what is left in their relationship is love – that’s all – and that’s enough for her right now.
This story, and the accompanying video, are very moving and somewhat intense, but very much worth viewing.