I have recently been through this tragic experience myself, but I try to keep in mind that it is not just my tragedy. Many other people are going through this now, and so very many more will be facing this in the coming years as their parents age.
I am a child of Alzheimer's. For many years, my father, Sargent Shriver, would testify before Congress for increased funding for his beloved Peace Corps -- and for all the War On Poverty programs he started. My father was an idealistic, intelligent, optimistic public servant, sharp and witty, his mind a beautifully-tuned instrument that left people in awe and inspired. That was then...today he doesn't know my name or who I am. When my Dad was diagnosed in 2003, I felt confused, powerless and alone. There was little information -- and even less hope. My mother, my four brothers and I felt we were entering a world that was terrifying and incomprehensible. Like cancer, people didn't talk about Alzheimer's back then -- they whispered about it. It was a diagnosis shrouded in shame.
[Via Huffington Post]