On the plane ride to Chicago the other day, I sat next to a woman who does marketing for the Alzheimer's Association. Soon enough, through tears, I was telling the poor woman about my 89-year-old Nanny who is suffering from dementia.
Thankfully my Nanny still remembers who I am, but some days she still thinks I'm only a train ride away or still in school. She's just not the same person anymore, only a sliver of the loving woman she used to be. She's still as sweet as she can be but now a dimmer light bulb is on.
This is the part where my mom would chime in, she's lived a long and healthy life so far and that I can't complain. Even the woman on the plane said that Alzheimer's is harder on loved ones, than it is on the person itself. I just miss my friend and I hate that she's retreating to some place that I can't reach her.
The Alzheimer's Association is looking for 5 million champions to sign their online petition, 5 million because that's how many people are suffering from the disease in America alone and my Nanny is one of them. 1 in 10 over 65 years in the US have Alzheimer's. Go sign the petition at www.alz.org.