My family knows only too well what an evil son of a bitch Alzheimer’s is. Sir Terry Pratchett called it the embuggerance. Use whichever term you care to really; however you refer to it, it’s evil.
I have written about my Nan’s condition before, when I ran a 10km in 2015 to raise money to fund research. I don’t talk much about things because, honestly, in part it’s just too hard to talk about sometimes and also, there’s not much I can really say – nothing is going to make an iota of difference.
I am also acutely aware that this isn’t my battle. I don’t want to upset my Grandad, my Mum, I don’t want to plaster my Nan and who she now is all over the internet. I will always endeavour to remember Nan for the gentle, kind, loving, stubborn lady who was such an integral and key figure in my childhood. The lady who practically forced me to try Stilton;
Just try it. You can’t say you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it.
I love Stilton.
So today, on World Alzheimer’s Day, I won’t go into detail about my Nan – suffice to say that Alzheimer’s has robbed us of her and we will never be able to forgive it that. I hate Alzheimer’s. What I will do, is give money to research whenever I can, in the hope that progress will help families in the future to not go through the pain of seeing a loved one fade away completely, while still being alive. I can’t currently commit to volunteering, but when I am in a position to, it will be in support of someone who needs it – the person with Alzheimer’s, or their family member who is on 24 hour duty to care for them. Because guess what? The carers don’t get cared for very much. We as a nation do not provide much support.
If you can, please keep an eye out for a family member, or neighbour, who may need a helping hand every so often. From sitting with them and reading, to helping them with their shopping, or taking the person with Alzheimer’s for a walk while their carer (generally a spouse or grown child, who often have their own kids too) takes a much-needed rest.
I know that there are hundreds, thousands, of charities and causes all competing for your money and support. We can’t help everyone. But it doesn’t have to be financial support; giving a carer a break, or keeping a bit of an eye on someone with this evil disease, could actually save a life.