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article imageOp-Ed: The Alzheimer's Effect Special

By Matt Harding     Apr 24, 2011 in Health
Alzheimer's disease comes in many forms and strikes individuals no matter their race or ethnicity. It doesn't affect just the person who has it, however, but those around the person as well.
Alzheimer's disease affects different people differently. Depending on the stage patients are in, they can be simply forgetful or have trouble recognizing family members.
Many variables can change and complicate Alzheimer's. The individual may become angry or excessively happy, perhaps both.
Just as it affects the individuals who have the disease, it equally affects those around them. Family members and friends have to cope with slowly and painfully losing their mother, aunt, best friend, or even daughter in some cases.
My grandma, Eva, has had the disease since I was a child. It's difficult to remember her before she had it. As the disease progresses, I remember the person I knew growing up. Even with Alzheimer's in its early stages, she was always talking (even if it didn't make any sense) and laughing.
As I see her today, I still see shades of that person. She laughs often and is still very physically active. She doesn't talk as much, but does so every so often, saying simple phrases... "Hello" and "Thank You" to name a couple. She has affected me so immensely, especially in the last few years.
Alzheimer's doesn't just affect her and I, or my mother and aunts. The disease affects an estimated 5.4 million people in the U.S. alone. Of course, this doesn't include people like me.
My grandma
My grandma
My grandma
My grandma
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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