Thesis statement: Alzheimer’s disease changed the way my father perceived his world and the way I perceived my father. I.
Introduction and insight of strained relationship with my father A.
Introduction to topic and thesis
A strained relationship with my father
Definition of Alzheimer’s disease
Fear and distrust
B. My father’s delusions
Uncontrolled bowel and bladder function
Severe hallucinations(due to medications)
No respite care
Cost to all family members (especially caregivers)
Alzheimer’s disease: A Silent Walk Alzheimer’s disease is a fairly common diagnosis for the elderly. Most often when an elderly person is experiencing some difficulty with memory or motor function a doctor will usually test them for symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. When my father was tested several years back, there was not much good information on the subject and little more in the way of help for a person that becomes a caregiver of the patient. My family began our own journey down a long road of caring for my father. We could not be prepared for what was to come. Prior to my father’s illness at the age of 65 he was not much of a family guy even though he had been blessed with six children and a loving wife. My father was a real macho kind of guy and he believed the child rearing belonged to the women and not the men. He provided well for our family but chose not to actively participate in our lives, never attending even a school function or a little league baseball game. Needless to say, that this lack of participation did not strengthen our relationship as adult individuals. I was a grown individual with two children of my own before my fathers disease brought him back into my life. I was notified by my sister that he was ill and that the women he had married divorced him when she knew of his disease. My sister retrieved him from his home in Alabama and brought him to live with her. She was able to care for him for a short while, before feeling overwhelmed and placing him in a facility. He remained in this facility for almost a month and she would advise me of his progress from time to time, but I was determined that he had chosen not to be a part of my life (or my children’s) and that I had a choice not to be a part of his. His existence in this facility haunted me on a daily basis; this was my father who had been cast out to strangers. He in his current state, was unable to communicate effectively about his caregivers, and I was afraid that he was suffering. I awoke one morning, packed a bag, drove 11 hours; and I brought my father home to live with my family and me. Little did I know what the next three years would bring! Although it did not matter, I was prepared to do what I could, for he was my father. The doctors we had seen were of little help. They prescribed medications that almost made matters worse. The disease and combination of drugs made life not only more complicated for my father, but made my world seem almost unreal. Part of the disease is called the wandering stage. The patient cannot control their movement, and they walk continuously from morning until night. As this disease progresses the wandering is increased at nighttime. Even with the strong medication, my father slept very little. My youngest sister and our families took care of my father for three years until his death. According to MedicineNet.com Alzheimer’s disease is defined as: A progressive neurologic disease of the brain that leads to the irreversible loss of neurons and dementia.( L1) According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s disease has increased over the last 20 years, has been linked to Mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease : […] Alzheimer's...
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