Plight of Alzheimer's
Victims and Caregivers
Linda A. Winters-Miner
The following is a letter to the editor which appeared in and is reprinted from The American Journal of Alzheimer's Care and Related Disorders, Vol. 1, No. 3. This letter typifies the situation that Alzheimer's victims and their caregivers face:
To the editor: My husband is in the advanced stage of Alzheimer's Disease. My doctor refuses to say it's Alzheimer's without an examination of the brain (on autopsy)! Most of the Alzheimer's material I've seen offers no information about caring for an individual who no longer walks, talks, feeds himself, or fully understands. My husband is such a case. He's in a nursing home, but because he cannot begin to get the personal care he needs or deserves, I spend hours every day, doing what the home aides fail to do. Furthermore, they aren't told what Alzheimer's patients need, and they don't understand his inability to respond to simple requests. (His lack of response isn't due to a "mood," as one of the nursing-home staff suggested.)
My husband has been sick almost nine years, and spending eight to 10 hours a day with him has taken its toll on me.