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Making blankets, cooking dinner, enjoying seeing the kids in their school plays.. those are all things that my Mother in Law loved to do, and wouldn't miss for the world. She can't do any of that now. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease two years ago, and now she can't heat a cup of coffee, much less know what the microwave is.

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Sons and Daughters
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My mother was ravaged by Alzheimer's. Early symptoms of short-term memory loss and confusion were evident when she was almost 73 years old. Later, hallucinations and paranoia--trying to get Dad out of the house (late afternoons) because "My parents are coming home, you can't be here so get your car out of their driveway!" At times, she would suddenly turn vitriolic and spew out accusations to Dad, angry because he'd invited his family to visit them for a week--right after she'd lost a son in childbirth. "How could you do such a thing?"

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Sons and Daughters
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My wife died about three years after diagnosis with frontal lobe dementia, a neurological disease similar to Alzheimer's. I cared for her at home for the first year, until that put me into the hospital for 11 days (my third hospitalization-first was my birth, second my tonsils). The day I went into the hospital, La Verna went into a nursing home, where she spent her last two years. For the next two years I visited her all but two days, although I'm not sure she was very aware of me the last year. She's been gone over four years now, but I still tear-up just about every day.

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Spouses and Partners

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