Sunday, October 23, 2011
Old and Senile
I want to share this cute little saying someone had on facebook a while back. Although it is humorous, and I did repost it on facebook, it exposes a real concern I think we all have.
I was reminded of an article I read of how Sandra Day O'Connor's husband had been moved to an assisted living center where he met another Alzheimer's victim. He fell in love with her and would sit on the porch holding her hand. He had no recollection of his wife or his children. As stated in the New York Times article, she was relieved he was happy again. I was saddened to think how this cruel disease had robbed them of their former life.
I often see children struggle to care for parents long after the loved one knows or recognizes them. Although there are many programs in place that allow the elderly, and sometimes not-so-elderly, to remain in their own home, sometimes it is not possible to keep them there safely and other measures must be taken. With that in mind, I have requested my children care for their dad and I, as well as they can, for as long as they can. But when they can no longer do so without jeopardizing their own family unit, do what needs to be done without remorse.
Although I did request he come to see me from time to time, I specifically instructed hubby to go ahead and place me in a nursing facility if I no longer remember him or the children. As we often do when facing our fears, his reaction was the wise-guy remark, "What difference would it make if you don't know me?"