Alzheimer’s unfortunately runs in my mother’s family. She, her brother and sister and her cousins all died from the disease. Her brother lasted 15 years, and his wife — his chief caregiver — died of a heart attack from the stress.
When Mom was diagnosed, I was aware of what I was in for. I immediately took her into my home, but lost my job within days. Mom would wander, once getting lost for hours while police and bus drivers searched for her. She flooded the basement multiple times and once started a fire. My teenage children had to raise themselves. I became an advocate to speed up aid for caregivers, the invisible members of our community