Father’s Day: Reflections on Alzheimer’s Disease

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June 14, 2018 - UsAgainstAlzheimer's
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This Father’s Day, a day when families come together to celebrate generations of beloved fathers in their lives, we pause to reflect upon the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on families. As we give thanks for the Dads in our lives, we must consider how Alzheimer’s has affected these men, and the stories that illustrate their strength and resilience in the face of this complex disease.

On this Father’s Day, join us in the fight for a cure. Share your Alzheimer’s story here.

Lisette Carbajal

“When the reminders for Father’s Day begin, memories of Father’s Days past are what I cling to – memories that I know are buried deep inside my father as well. But for many years, Father’s Day has no longer been filled with his laughter or signs of pride in his children. Father’s Day also always seems to fall near major moments that I wish I could have shared with my dad: starting a job with the Governor of Virginia, finishing graduate school, and this year, getting married.”

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Daniel P.

“Our experience with Dad taught us never to give up on those with dementia/Alzheimer's disease.  Their personhood still persists despite the affliction, and can be reached through creativity, reminiscence, and by just being attentive and present with them in the moment.  We can share experiences with our loved ones by meeting them in their world, learning their stories, and loving them as they are.”

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Joy Johnson

“My father was a simple man who never made a fuss and loved to tell stories. To see my dad slowly lose facets of his personality, his sense of humor and ultimately his dignity was heartbreaking for his family… To see my dad slowly lose facets of his personality, his sense of humor and ultimately his dignity was heartbreaking for his family.”

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Heidi Hoyt

“In early 2004, our family noticed my dad having problems with his memory. He was soon diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. And this is when my world came crashing down. He was my dad and I couldn't imagine him dying from this devastating disease. Very quickly it became difficult to communicate with him since his mind was literally wasting away. And I was frustrated and sad to see how stressed and exhausted my mom became as his caregiver.”

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Brenda P.

“Carl was a brilliant man. He taught at the university for years and years and was frequently recognized by both students and colleagues for his excellent teaching and student rapport. He was a good father and husband on the home front, teaching our daughter and son life lessons that are still important to them. We loved to travel and to experience as much as we could pack into our days. Carl was quirky, too, and we loved him for that. That quirkiness led us off many a beaten path onto a better one less traveled and more explorable. We never even considered looking at this 50-year-old man through an Alzheimer's lens.”

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Tammy C.

“He was a wonderful Dad and an unmatched Grandfather. By the time Great Grandchildren came along, Alzheimer's was stealing him away but he did his best with them, knowing they were special but perhaps not recalling their name, if they were a boy or girl, or have any idea of their age, but those kids loved their 'Papaw Great' unconditionally.”

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Chris Z.

“I spent Christmas Eve alone, curled in a chair beside my Dad's hospital bed, holding his hand in the dark, looking at the lights on the little fake tree we had put in his room to cheer him up and praying that the angels would come for him and take him home. I would stay nights, and my Mom stayed days. The doctor's I worked for were not compassionate at all about what I was going through. I was repeatedly told to just put him in a nursing home, that I couldn't work and care for my parents, I'd have to choose. But I was the sole breadwinner for my family—what choice did I have? I worked all day and stayed at the hospital at night.”

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On this Father’s Day, join us in the fight for a cure. Share your Alzheimer’s story here.

 

About the Author

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UsAgainstAlzheimer's

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is an innovative nonprofit organization committed to stopping this devastating disease by 2020.  Powered by our personal experience and the suffering of millions of families, we press for greater urgency from government, industry, and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer’s cureaccomplishing this through effective leadership, collaboration, advocacy, and strategic investments.