Friday, August 22, 2014

Blog For a Cause-Alztimer's Disease.

Hey everyone on the Internet. Thank you so much for tuning in here yesterday to read what I had to say about why equality is important. Today, I am telling you another cause which is near and dear to my heart, which is Alzheimer's Disease, and the struggle to find a cure.

When I was younger, my grandfather was literally my only father figure. He was that fun type of grandfather who sat around watching cartoons, got you cookies and ice cream, and constantly was a kid at heart. In addition to that, he was laid-back, hard-working, family oriented, and of course is the source of my sense of humor. He was always smiling, and extremely happy.
When I was 12 years old, things began to change. Sortly after I had entered seventh grade, my grandfather entered the hospital for a UTI (urinary track infection). Shortly after, everything began to go wrong, which resulted him staying there for much longer than originally planned. This was when he was first diagnosed with dementia. He was 79.
After his diagnosis, things began to change for my grandpa. Once active, he was no longer able to walk long distances. Eventually, he was only able to be mobile with a wheelchair. He soon became forgetful, and soon just completely out of it. He slept longer, and his behavior started to change. He who was easy going, began to be extremely angry and hostile. He began to rely on everyone around him to take care of him, and for the last year of his life, was sent to be in a nursing home. He died on October 11, 2011. He was 84 years old.
Watching my grandfather's health deteriote wasn't something that I could say was easy. He went from being a normal active senior, to being completely reliant on everyone around him. For my 16th birthday while visiting him, he accused my grandmother of cheating on him. (Which she never did by the way). It was wierd and hard to think about him dying, and dealing with his death ending up consuming my senior year. It's hard to see someone that you love lose all of their cognitive abilities, and eventually die as a result. It's even wierder because then they aren't themselves anymore. They are not themselves, and sometimes you don't even recognize them.
At this time, there is not cure for the disease. However, there are four stages of Alzheimer's. Pre-dementia, which is when people are often mistaken for just being older or stressed out. This affects pretty much more complex daily activities, and has mild cognitive impairment.Then there's early, which is when you get diagnosed. Moderate is when the patient begins to lose more and more cognitive abilities and is unable to be independant. This is when the patient begins to have outbursts of some sort, and is more agressive then the patient would be normally. Outbursts are to be expected.
Severe is the last stage. This when the patient is completely dependant of the person that is taking care of them. They are bed ridden, and can not respond to much. They often are asleep most of the day.
This is something that is important to me, because there needs to be a cure for this disease. Eventually, I hope that when I'm older or my future children are older, that there will be. Technology advances so hopefully this will be too. At the end of the day, the worst thing in the world is watching someone who is losing their ability to basically function. Watching my grandfather through his five year long battle proved that.
Looking for more information? Go to the Alzheimer's Disease Association's website

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