What Nobody Tells You About Having A Grandparent With Dementia
Start writing a post
Relationships

What Nobody Tells You About Having A Grandparent With Dementia

They're letting go, but we're holding on.

1665
What Nobody Tells You About Having A Grandparent With Dementia
Author

Grandparents play an extremely crucial role in many people's lives. Without them, we literally would not exist. The unconditional love and support grandparents shower their grandchildren with cannot be received from any other source. From the moment we’re born, they’re our number one fans. Attending every concert, recital, and ball game they can, they want nothing more than to see us happy, healthy, and successful. So, when you notice changes brought by the inevitable decline of their health, it hurts.

By definition, dementia serves as an umbrella term that covers symptoms related to depleting memory and impaired thinking. According to The National Institute on Aging (NIA), "Dementia is a brain disorder that affects communication and performance of daily activities and Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that specifically affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language." Both diseases drastically alter the person suffering from them and leave the family with overwhelming heartache and grief.

If you're lucky, this article will only create a sad hypothetical situation in your mind. However, for those personally impacted by the effects of dementia, it is a harsh reality. Watching someone you love slowly disintegrate takes an enormous emotional toll. When your grandparent used to carry you, cook, and dance, the transition into being the one who cares for them drastically alters your life.

As a small child, I looked up to my grandparents with the utmost respect and admiration; now I look at my grandmother with sympathy and love as I administer medication, spoonfeed her, and change her clothes. I see the humiliation in her eyes as caretakers complete the simple tasks that her body and mind can no longer endure. Though it pains me more than anything to say, I selfishly look forward to when she will no longer suffer.

Watching each struggle to remember the names of her children, explaining for the hundredth time that grandpa is in physical therapy when she asks where he is (though he passed away months ago), and answering the same question over and over again digs like a dagger straight through my heart. The days go by, and the confused look on her face proves that she has no idea of the world around her.

Through the turmoil of dealing with these unfortunate circumstances, I've found a silver lining. My patience and compassion for those around me has grown immensely, and I've realized how much we take for granted. Each day that we can get out of bed, brush our teeth, and go for a walk is a blessing. As my grandmother lets go of her grip on this life, I've caught her favorite recipes, traditions, and fondest memories that I can one day pass on to my children. Cherishing the time I have left with her has tied me closer to my heritage and presented me with a newfound appreciation for family. Nothing in this life is guaranteed; the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can begin to live each day to the fullest.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

236
High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

2992
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!

5341

The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.

5660
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Holidays With A Small Family

I wouldn't trade what we have for the world.

7253
Matt Johnsn

When I was a kid I always went to my grandparents house whenever we celebrated any sort of holiday. We were a decently sized family and it was always a blessing to be in their house and surrounded by love during the holiday season. However, that all changed when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The family then began to drift apart and life went on, and we ended up all celebrating our own holidays with other family members.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments