Alzheimer’s disease is a dreadful condition for those afflicted. Imagine slowly losing your memory and mental faculties day by day. Ulianin, is how we used to call them in Filipino. A distorted version of Benjamin Button, where as one ages in reverse, behaving more and more life a child who is learning to take his first steps or to speak his first words or to just begin to do things for one’s self awkwardly. But the burden of the disease is as heavy, if not heavier, on those taking care of the afflicted.
One needs a lot of patience and love in taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s. The afflicted person will likely not remember you nor even still know how to do things for himself. One husband taking care of his wife with Alzheimer’s would have given up when the wife did not even recognized him anymore. But with great love and patience, he persevered taking care of her, saying “She may not remember me anymore. but I have not forgotten her nor the love we shared.”
More than the love and patience, we owe people with Alzheimer’s a lot of respect. How they are now or how they are acting is not who they were in life. These people were more likely accomplished persons in their time. They raised families with love and care. They made their children and loved ones the persons they are today. My mother had a mild case of Alzheimer’s. We treated her with love, patience and respect till her last days.