Thursday, June 22, 2023

The Long Goodbye

 This post is not sunshine and roses.  It's about dementia and Alzheimer's Disease.  Proceed knowing that.

 The summer solstice, which was just yesterday, is a loooong day.  Did you know they call Alzheimer's (and other dementia-related diseases) the long goodbye?  Here's why:

1. The grieving process begins when your loved one (my mom) is diagnosed with a form of dementia such as Alzheimer's Disease, Lewy Body, or Frontotemporal Dementia (among others).  It is a long process.

2. The disease is irreversible and only gets worse.  No one gets better, and no one survives.

3.  The person suffering with dementia does not retain the basic parts of their personality.  It changes.  The person you knew and loved is long gone by the time death comes.  Definitely true of my mother.

4.  Not only does memory suffer, but cognitive skills in general decline. Daily conversation dwindles away.

5.  Friends and family become strangers to the person suffering dementia.  She loses recognition.

6.  The physical body declines.

7.  The person is changing right before your eyes.

8.  Role reversal is difficult.  You may be caring for the person who used to take care of you as I am.

9.  The person affected with Alzheimer's gets to a point where they can no longer use reason.

10.  Those with Alzheimer's forget their pasts.  They come to a point where they don't recognize their own children or grandchildren.

11. The affected individual cannot read, follow a TV show, or do many of the things she once did.

12. A person with dementia may say things that are socially unacceptable and may even insult you.

13.  Dementia and Alzheimer's cause a person to lose the ability to speak, walk, and even eat.  

This is not meant to depress you, but to be aware that someone like me whose mom is suffering with the disease needs your help whether or not they ask for it, but most of all, they need your compassion. This long goodbye constantly weighs heavily on their mind as they are in a perpetual state of mourning.  This is my situation now with my mom.

I am linking to Thursday Thirteen.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I admire the direct way you address this issue. It's very brave. My dear friend Henry is now suffering dementia as a result of a TBI. After his accident he frequently referenced the injuries to his legs but never admitted the TBI, and now as he declines, there isn't even the slimmest recognition of his condition. Please know you will be in my thoughts.

  2. My mother is going this route. It's not a fun path, that's for sure.

    1. I'm so sorry. It gets even more difficult the further they decline.

  3. I'm so sorry you and your mother are and the rest of the famliy are going through this.

  4. It's actually my mom I'm saying the long goodbye with. Maybe I should rephrase the person watching my loved one deal with this is me. Thank you for coming by, reading, and commenting. It means a lot.

  5. Thank you. Your kind words are helpful.


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