Taking care of my grandma as she bravely endured Alzheimer’s

May 31st, 2016 | by | lifestyle


Before my grandmother died, she had been my closest companion. I had lived with her for seven years since when I had found a job in town and had moved into her apartment with her.

My parents still lived in Sydney, Australia where my father works and where I had been living with them as I pursued my bachelor’s degree. However, I had never quite settled in the new country and always missed home. I especially missed my grandma who we had lived a few miles apart from and I had always visited her when I could.

When my father got a job transfer, we had to leave the country and leave my grandmother. At that time she was quite healthy and there were no worries about her managing to stay alone. My grandfather had died many years before during the Vietnam War. By then my grandmother was running a convenience store in her lovely neighborhood which she adored and the people adored her.

However, during our stay in Australia we realized that her health was deteriorating. She had been diagnosed with diabetes and arthritis had started attacking her joints. However, her biggest blow came with the realization that she was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

The news were devastating to all of us. Although my grandmother was adamant that she was okay and that the attack was mild, we knew that the effects would increase rapidly due to her advanced age. A major issue was getting someone to care for her. Alzheimer’s is a disease that needs one to have close personal care especially in the advanced stages. Despite the fact that she could get a hired aide, I decided that once I finished college I would work in her town and care for her.

Having studied as an accountant, getting a job in her town was easy. My grandmother was overjoyed when her darling grandchild came to live with her. We had always been great buddies from the days when she dotted on me as a little baby.

My grandmother’s conditions were not so bad at first and she managed to continued running her store albeit with the help of her long employee Jose. Her arthritis was however getting worse. With time it became harder for her to handle kitchen appliances and I had to get special feeding equipment for her. I had to help take up most of the cleaning and cooking duties.

Due to my job, the tasks at home were often overwhelming for me and I finally hired a house help to help with the major chores. I however continued to take care of cooking and managing my grandmother’s medication. I ensured she took her medication and her food supplements on time. She particularly liked her apple cider vinegar which she said was a top antioxidant.

I continued taking my grandmother to her store until when her condition became too advanced. After that I continued to nurse her from home with the help of a hired temporary elderly care nurse. When my grandmother passed on, I lost a great friend.

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