All That I Want For My Birthday is a Gift to the Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s-Dementia. 

Many have chalked up the symptoms to “old age” not knowing when and how this silent killer creeps in and causes havoc on the brain. We exist in a state of denial while our loved one grows more and more tormented. 
We just sadly watch as the years go by and our loved ones get worse and their independence is turned into extreme dependence. We ignore the warnings of hoarding, wandering, emotional outbursts, forgetfulness, and in many instances, paranoia. 

They are oftentimes misdiagnosed multiple times, given all sorts of medications that only worsen the conditions, just to be later told “there’s nothing else that can be done. Just give the meds to slow down the process as much as possible”.  

That’s how Alzheimer’s-Dementia attacks. 

Families struggle financially because we never factor in the added cost and time of taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s-Dementia. 

You’re not told in advance that the family house, car, and other assets are counted as income towards your loved ones care, and if you waited too long to get the property out of their name, it’s almost impossible to do so once they are mentally impaired from making those major decisions on their own. Sometimes when families realize what needs to be done it’s at the stage where your loved one’s paranoia is growing and they think that you’re out to get them and take their money, not help them. Can you blame them? You’re trying to take away what they see as their independence on top of taking their assets out of their control. 

What they don’t realize just as families don’t realize is that the more assets that they possess (no matter how low in perceived value) the less the government will help to cover of their mounting medical expenses. Your family could lose the very property that your loved one worked so hard to purchase and maintain. The average person isn’t taught about asset protection until we’re faced with a crisis and in need of protection. By then, it’s oftentimes too late. 

A person who is fighting this disease in their 70s and 80s may have adult children that are in their 50s and 60s, and they may not have the strength and resources to care for their parent. They may be working and can’t quit their job to take care of their loved one. They may not be able to uproot themselves and relocate to a new city or state to be the caregiver. What if there are no grandchildren to assist? Or the grandchildren are too busy living their lives to help care for their grandparent? Who can afford to uproot their own life to now care full-time or part-time for a parent, grandparent, uncle, or aunt? 

What if the family lacks the financial resources for proper in-home or facility care? 

What happens if this person doesn’t have siblings, children, and grandchildren?

What happens then?

We never consider the ups and downs of their fading and distorted memories, and the fears that fill them because there’s more chaos than peace within. 

Imagine wearing headphones every day with all kinds of garbled sounds endlessly playing while you’re trying to concentrate, hold a conversation, take your medicine, eat, or sleep. 

Imagine feeling like you’re losing yourself, losing control of your basic skills to reason, discern, and communicate effectively. Imagine not feeling in control of your emotions. Imagine reverting back to your childhood and if you live long enough, your infancy—where you have an inability to clothe, bathe or feed yourself–losing your ability to walk and talk. 

Imagine forgetting the names and faces of family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and associates. Imagine not knowing your own child, sibling, or spouse. Imagine feeling like you’re surrounded by strangers but they know your name and you don’t know how. Imagine feeling so alone. The fear must be crippling at times. 

This is what Alzheimer’s-Dementia does to our loved ones. 

Let’s be clear, it’s not just attacking the elderly. We’re also seeing it attack younger people. There’s people in their 40s and 30s struggling to survive, praying for a cure, trying desperately to hold on. 

How in the world is this possible?

What are we consuming, wearing or breathing that leaves us exposed and so vulnerable? How it possible that it can attack generations of family members, and siblings? What “preventive” and other medications are we taking that can actually be attacking the very things our brain needs to protect itself? 

It’s attacking the one thing we can’t just get on a transplant waiting list for…our brains. It wipes out our short-term memory, it works hard to destroy our cognitive and verbal skills and as much of our long-term memory and dignity as it can before we’re no longer…

There has to be a cure…an affordable one…for everyone…now. We’re losing too many people. Too many lives are being torn apart. 

We need access to a cure. Now. 

I’m tired of losing loved ones. I’m tired of seeing other people lose loved ones. I’m tired of seeing families devastated by this. I’m tired of us treating this issue like it’s just a natural life-to-death progression for the elderly. It’s not! Those who have lost a family member are left to wonder and worry if someone it will come to attack them next or at some point. 

Lives are being silenced by Alzheimer’s-Dementia. People are left to feel helpless and hopeless. 

That’s what I want for my birthday.  The gifts and cards are great, but they won’t bring back my loved ones and they won’t help my grandmother and other family members who are fighting for their lives and dignity. It won’t heal and restore the battered caregivers who uprooted their lives to take care of their loved one fighting this disease. 

Please donate so that one day soon a cure can be gifted to the world. Every dollar helps. Here’s my donation page:

https://www.facebook.com/donate/1939451436321546/

I refuse to lose hope that one day Alzheimer’s-Dementia will be no more!

Thanking you in advance for your gift and praying for an accessible cure for all. 

~Natasha 

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