Let me backtrack a bit here. My father died at the age of 45 of Alzheimer’s. He had a very aggressive strand and it went very quickly. At this time I did a lot of research into understanding Alzheimer’s to be better prepared for him as well as knowing what it all entails, including that it is hereditary.
Several of my friends' parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer's. One mother, a housewife, declined very rapidly within several years' time to the point her abilities for self-care, ability to use language, feed herself and use the bathroom by herself were drastically reduced.
When Ann was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, I was, at first, in denial. How could this happen to her? How could this devastating disease find it's way into such a brilliant mind, capable of so much throughout her remarkable career?
The doctors, even after noting her condition had worsened over the last four months, did not offer a conclusive diagnosis. While it would answer questions and allow her to start medications known to help, they were hesitant to call it Alzheimer's.
My mom was diagnosed at 59 with Alzheimer's. She will be 68 this August. It began with small oddities. First, there had been accusations us of stealing items such as wooden spoons and beach towels followed by clocking in at Publix to go to work, grocery shop, then coming right back home.
I have been a caregiver to family members with Alzheimer's since I was 10 years old. My grandmother, Lula Bennett Demarest, was in her mid-60s when we first started noticing the changes.
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