• D - Dementia

    #AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

    D is for Dementia

    "The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer.  
    And they will run right into the dementia firing range.  How will a society cope?  
    Especially a society that can't so readily rely on those stable family relationships
     that traditionally provided the backbone of care?
    Terry Pratchett

    Dementia (in all its ugly and life-shattering forms) is the Elephant In The Room - for retirees.  It is a tough topic that no one wants to face - a bullet everyone wants to dodge.  For anyone who has seen dementia in a loved one, it is more than just an unpleasant topic.   And it is a growing health care concern for everyone in our society.

    Both my grandmother and mother had dementia.  I got to stare dementia right in the eye and face the fact that with my familial history - I could be looking at my own future. 

    When I think about that possibility too long, I want to stop typing - like right now!  Get up from the computer and walk away - and tell myself over and over again ...

     No, Not To Me.  
    This will not happen to me.   No!

    It is my gut reaction to dementia.  It is the scariest, saddest and most depressing of all diseases.  Well, maybe not for the person who has dementia.  But for the family watching it progress, it is devastating.  It slowly rips up your relationship with a loved one - one day at a time for years and years - until the elder doesn't even know your face!

    If memory was the only thing lost - it would be almost a kindness.  But in the end - if dementia continues its normal slow torturous progression through the human brain, it impacts many of the body's systems ... even the inability to swallow a sip of water.  

    The pain felt by family members doesn't easily pass either.  Now, almost 4 1/2 years from my mother's death from dementia I tear up at her suffering.   I still remember to this day - every single microbe of independence and humanity that was stripped from her.

    So my advice to all is this ...

    Enjoy your life 
    while your brain is whole!
    Nothing is promised in the future.

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